Affordable, flexible, and modular: a guide to open-source membrane-based water treatment systems
Membrane-based water treatment processes often require sophisticated control and monitoring that is not possible through manual operation. Automated regulation of pressure or flux through a membrane is required to minimize membrane fouling, thus maximizing efficiency and lifespan. Myriad automation tools exist, ranging from single purpose-built solutions to numerous linked sensors and hardware controls, all analyzed and controlled though commercially-available proprietary hardware and software. This paper outlines a way to design control systems for membrane-based filtration that utilize open source hardware and software, increasing the flexibility of a system to changing performance requirements while simultaneously minimizing the expense in time and resources to implement the control scheme. The method presented here can reduce the capital requirement for system control by one to two orders of magnitude while enhancing flexibility for system expansion and process sharing.