Our Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine is the workhorse of our sugar shack. Each season it processes hundreds of thousands of gallons of sap, taking out 95% of the water and concentrating the sugar content twenty fold. Our machine has nine membranes in series, each one taking a bit more water out of the sap. We always take proper care of our membranes with daily rinses and frequent soap/acid washes, however over time a few of ours have degraded for various reasons. We just received four new Hydranautics 8×40″ membranes for the 2022 season. The membranes at the end of the line are worked the hardest. The sugar content rises into the double digits and our booster pump raises the pressure up to 650 PSI. We currently have three different types of membranes, all of varying ages. This week we’ll do a performance test and retire four of the worst performing membranes and then re-order the remaining nine in the most efficient order. Having efficient membranes allows the machine to operate at a lower pressure, increase pump throughput, and extends the longevity of the membranes. Our RO is just large enough for our operation, the additional performance should really help this spring!

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