• Water reclamation utilizing alternative, renewable and sustainable sources of water often employ membranes to achieve consistent product water quality and quantity. Therefore, a high emphasis is placed on the integrity of the membranes.
  • Membrane autopsy is a useful technique for determining causes of fouling events in membrane system as well as providing a broad overview of the membrane’s condition. The type and extent of fouling on the membrane surface can also be evaluated.
  • The UNESCO Centre for membrane science and technology (CMST) has been providing autopsy services for over 10 year and has autopsies for clients ranging from small industry companies to large water treatment plants.
  • Fouling occurs in all membrane system and the general operating principle is not how to eliminate fouling but how can it best be managed.
  • When conducting an autopsy it is usually on the premise that the fouling management process has failed.
  • The aim of the autopsy is to identify the root cause of the fouling event and provide some recommendation on how to correct or manage it.





Is there a problem with your membrane system? When should an autopsy be undertaken?
Problems associated with membrane system:
  • An observed loss in performance resulting in:
  • High permeate conductivity/ low rejection
  • High TMP
  • High êP
  • Decrease in product flux
  • Increased frequency of cleaning



  • Other reasons:
-End of trials
-Long term effects of cleaning methods
-System incident or mishap