Article | June 26, 2014

Tips On Designing The Proper Aeration Diffuser Membrane


We approach challenges holistically to create cutting-edge, customized solutions. A crucial first step in this process is real world field testing. Why? Because distinct rubber compounds react differently in distinct waste streams. Given the unique chemical makeup of any waste stream, we can optimize rubber compounds, and by testing it in your unique application, we can design the proper aeration diffuser membrane materials needed for optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Our ideal lab partners

We seek participants that are innovators and early adopters. Those who understand the nature of a changing market and the necessity of collaboration, and who wish to realize revolutionary solutions in wastewater treatment. This risk-free process ensures that rig installation will not hinder an existing system in any way. Most importantly, the resulting optimized rubber membranes can drastically reduce energy costs, making any facility more competitive in their industry.

How it works

First, we arrange an initial meeting at our partner’s facility to assess and establish installation and testing plans for the Field Test Unit (FTU). We then proceed to a chemical analysis of the waste stream and select the appropriate diffuser membrane materials. Upon installation of the FTU, we gather data per the established testing schedule, analyze this data and share results with all participants. Following test completion, analysis and removal of the FTU, we are prepared to make recommendations of the precise materials and products needed for our partner’s application.

What we need

Mainsail’s field test program is a customized, collaborative process. While factors such as design layout and space allocated to the FTU are dependent upon the existing facility layout, we have set requirements necessary for us to execute a seamless, productive testing session. All facilities must have an electrical hook-up near the site of the FTU rig. Additionally, facilities must be available for regular check-ins from testing personnel. Following FTU installation, Mainsail will schedule a visit to the test unit once every 3 months to collect data and perform routine maintenance. These monthly visits are brief, and only require use of the facility for 60-90 minutes each time.

Field Test Facts

Mainsail assumes 100% of maintenance costs associated with the unit, and, on average, our FTUs consume only $100 of electricity per month.

The average percentage of facility construction costs attributed to wastewater aeration is just 2%.

The annual percentage of energy costs at a wastewater treatment facility used for aeration is 60-80%.

Fine bubble aeration uses 40-70% of the power required by course bubble or surface aeration depending on the facility.

The average diffuser membrane requires cleaning in just 6 months due to buildup, and will need to be replaced in 5 years.

With the right rubber chemistry, our optimized membranes deteriorate slower and can last 10+ years.

About Mainsail Global

Mainsail Global is a division of Hiawatha Rubber: a leader in specialized product design and a premier rubber resource since 1955. In 2009, Hiawatha Rubber learned of a unique need for fine bubble flexible aeration membranes in the wastewater treatment industry. It was a need that spanned subdivisions of the industry, and defied all prior conceptions of fine bubble aeration’s capabilities in individual facilities. Hiawatha Rubber engineered these custom parts, and soon realized even greater demands from the wastewater treatment industry. With roots in precisely customized engineering and expectation-shattering results, Mainsail Global emerged to bring strategic solutions, and an unparalleled knowledge of rubber chemistry, to virtually any market of wastewater treatment. We’ve been solving problems of all sizes and environments ever since.