What is a hollow fiber membrane filter and how does it work?

March 11, 2024 3 min read

What is a hollow fiber membrane filter and how does it work?

In a post-pandemic world, outdoor pastimes are increasingly popular. Whether you want to take in the beauty of Mother Earth or take advantage of the health benefits of being outside, more people find themselves hiking, camping, or enjoying other outdoor hobbies. It is important to stay hydrated while enjoying these pastimes, and a hollow fiber membrane straw may be just the way to do that. 

What is a hollow fiber membrane filter?

A hollow fiber membrane filter is a type of filter that is used in many different types of filtration, including microfiltration and reverse osmosis. It follows the same principles used in kidney dialysis. 

To best understand a hollow fiber membrane filter, picture a PVC pipe. Inside the PVC pipe are hundreds of straws packed together so tightly that they fill the entire pipe. Now take that image and shrink the straws down, so they are so thin that you cannot even see the holes in the straws. The PVC pipe is now so full of straws with so thin openings that you cannot see through it whatsoever. If debris tries to enter the pipe, it would not fit through the tiny openings. 

How does it work?

The “straws” in the above analogy are fiber membranes with microscopic holes in them. The “PVC pipe” is the filter itself, and the “debris” represents contaminants, like parasites and bacteria. These membranes are packed together so tightly that contaminants cannot enter through the pores in the membranes, and only clean water is allowed through. 

One common type of hollow fiber membrane filter is the hollow fiber membrane straw. These straws can be placed directly in a water source and used like a straw. One end of the straw is placed in contaminated water, and as the water travels up the straw, contaminants cannot pass through the matrix of membranes. Parasites and bacteria are too big to fit through the microscopic pores of the filter, which are usually around 0.2 microns in diameter. These holes are too small for contaminants to fit through, so only fresh, filtered water will come out the other side. 

Advantages of a hollow fiber membrane straw

Hollow fiber membrane straws come with a slew of advantages, both based on their size and effectiveness. These straws are typically small and lightweight, making them the perfect water filter to accompany you on outdoor activities. They can fit in a backpack or in the pocket of hiking pants, so you no longer need to carry gallons of heavy water along your trek. 

Seychelle’s hollow fiber membrane straw in particular can filter up to 1,320 gallons of water, so they are long-lasting and can effectively filter through many adventures. In terms of effectiveness, Seychelle rises above competitors with a pore size of 0.1 microns. This means that the holes in the membranes are even smaller than other brands, ensuring even more contaminants are being blocked. Seychelle straws are independently lab-tested to remove 99.999% of bacteria and parasites, making them ideal for use in lakes, rivers, and other freshwater sources. 

The Wrap-Up

Hollow fiber membrane straws allow contaminants to be blocked based on microscopic pores that are too small for contaminants to pass through. They can be used in all freshwater sources, and they are light and compact, making them perfect for your next outdoor adventure. To ensure your water is safe to drink and free of bacteria and parasites, choose Seychelle. Seychelle straws go above and beyond to give you the peace of mind that you can experience the great outdoors the way it was meant to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a hollow fiber filter work?

A hollow fiber filter is packed with thousands of tiny membranes, each with a microscopic pore. These pores are so small that when water is pushed through the filter, contaminants cannot pass through them. This allows only water, and no bacteria, to filter out the other side. 

What are the advantages of hollow fiber membrane?

Hollow fiber membrane filters are ideal for filtering out contaminants effectively due to their small pore size. The small size blocks contaminants like bacteria and parasites, making the water safe to drink.

Can you drink lake water with a hollow fiber membrane straw?

Yes. Lake water and other freshwater sources are safe to drink with a hollow fiber membrane straw.