Since the development of reverse osmosis (RO) and ultrafiltration (UF) as practical unit operations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the scope for their application has been continually expanding. Initially, reverse osmosis was applied to the desalination of seawater and brackish water. Increased demands on the industry to conserve water, reduce energy consumption, control pollution and reclaim useful materials from waste streams have made new applications economically attractive. In addition, advances in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, coupled with advances in membrane development, are making membranes an important separation step, which, compared to distillation, offers energy savings and does not lead to thermal degradation of the products.
Basic membrane research is the foundation of FilmTec Corporation and the creation of the FILMTEC™ FT30 membrane in 1963.
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