The aim of this study was to develop a method for characterizing membranes (ultrafiltration and microfiltration) used in drinking water production. The method accounts for the specific behaviour of microorganisms during filtration, namely their deformation under mechanical stress. The leaks of microorganisms are linked to the presence of a small number of defects or abnormally large pores in the membrane structure. Assuming that the defects are cylindrical capillaries, the range of pore diameters concerned by the method lies between 0.05 and 1.2 μm.

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