Download Case Study (PDF)

High Water Recovery and Reduction of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in Industrial Waste Water

Major consumer goods producer

high COD wastewater

Project Background

A major US consumer goods producer generates high COD wastewater from which they want to achieve high recovery and <2,000 mg/L COD in the treated water. Water from rinsing activities at the plant contains surfactants, making it difficult to increase recovery to the goal of 90%. The desired treatment process would treat 105,000 gallons per day, minimize retentate, and reduce downstream chemical costs required to mitigate elevated COD.

Project Results

The contaminants in the rinse water that contribute to high COD readings are soluble COD. Ultrafiltration and polymeric filters are more easily fouled by the surfactants and could not achieve 90% recovery without added downtime due to increased frequency of cleaning. Cerahelix succeeds where other membranes failed by achieving 91% recovery with minimal downtime.

The NanoHelix removed >96% of COD, bringing the permeate composite level to 564 mg/L. A unique benefit to ceramic picofiltration is the smooth surface combined with small (<1 nm) pore size that prevents irreversible fouling. This enhances the cleaning procedure by requiring a 20-minute CEF (chemically enhanced flush) for 12-hour continuous filtration runs.  The smooth surface also results in higher sustained flux (average 110 LMH) prior to CEF.


System Parameters
Cerahelix filterNanoHelix
Wastewater flow105,000 GPD
Influent COD 17660 ppm
ParameterInlet (mg/L)Permeate (mg/L)

NanoHelix Flux vs Hydraulic  RecoveryNanoHelix Flux vs Hydraulic Recovery