Membrane Autopsy Services

We are able to undertake membrane autopsy and provide analytical services in support of clients operations. We can provide simple or advanced autopsy services tailored to the Clients need.

This facility is backed up by the following analytical services:

  • full chemical analysis of the water supply
  • full inorganic chemical analysis of deposits
  • determination of organic content
  • scanning electron microscopy
  • energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis
  • critical point drying to preserve biological structures for SEM
  • X-ray fluorescence and diffraction
  • Surface analysis tools (Auger and AFM)

Membrane dissection

Removal of anti-telescope devices and fibreglass shroud, appraisal of fouling, digital photography of membrane. Collection of samples for analysis and disposal of membrane.

Chemical analysis (NAMAS certified laboratory)

Feed water analysis from plant to include:

  • Chemical analysis: pH, conductivity, turbidity Ca, Mg, Na, K, ( Ba, Sr, Fe, Mn , Cu, Zn, Al, silica, alkalinity, chloride, sulphate, fluoride, ortho-phosphate, nitrate , nitrite and ammonia
  • total organic carbon
  • total suspended solids
  • bacteria (coliforms and plate counts)

Membrane foulant analysis to include:

  • microscopic analysis
  • % dry solids
  • ash solids to determine % organic / inorganic fraction of the biofilm
  • acid digestion of sample and subsequent chemical analysis

Scanning Electron Microscopy

SEM will provide high magnification images of the foulant in place on the membrane. This will also allow EDX analysis in which the inorganic composition of foulant can be determined. This method is useful for determining the presence of mineral scale and colloidal fouling

X-Ray fluorescence (XRF; at NAMAS certified laboratory)

This analytical technique will provide the same information as the EDX analysis carried out as part of SEM work (see above). Full quantitative analysis by XRF requires at least 2 grams of foulant to be available. Semi-quantitative analysis can provide results on 0.02 grams of foulant but can only determine the relative proportions of the elements present (i.e. absolute amounts cannot be determined in this case). XRF is cheaper than SEM-EDX if photographs of the foulant are not required.

Autopsy reporting


  • Write-up and conclusions of above analysis
  • Plant pre-treatment and CIP system appraisal
  • Conclusions and recommendations to plant operator

Copyright © 2010 - 2021 Water Treatment Products Ltd, All rights reserved.

Designed and built by Big Eye Deers