Membranes Filters: MCE, Cellulose Acetate, PES, and PTFE

Filter membranes can be divided into different types, based on their materials, Nylon, PTFE, PTFE-L, MCE, PES, CA, PVDF, PP, etc. Today, HAWACH will mainly talk about four membrane filters, MCE, Cellulose Acetate, PES, and PTFE.

Filter membranes are used in various industries such as food and beverage, medical and pharmaceutical, municipal engineering water treatment, industrial high-purity water, boiler water replenishment, seawater desalination, and ultrapure water in the electronics industry, wastewater treatment and reuse, material concentration, and purification. Because of membrane filter principle, different materials’ membrane filter have different feature as follow.

Scanning electronMCE MFCellulose AcetatePESPTFE
Protein bindingLowVery lowVery lowNot applicable
DNA bindingLowVery lowVery lowNot applicable
Chemical resistanceVery highLowLowVery high

1. MCE – mixed cellulose ester membrane filter(aqueous membrane)


MCE membranes are composed of a mixture of cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate.

Features of MCE membrane filter:

Relatively uniform pore size, high porosity, no medium shedding, thin texture, low resistance, fast filtration rate, very small adsorption, low cost, and use cost, but intolerant to the organic solution and strong acid and alkali solution. MCE membrane filters have a high flow rate, low protein binding capacity, and good chemical compatibility.

Uses of MCE membrane filter:

These filters are commonly used for general filtration applications, including air monitoring, particle analysis, microbiology, and clarification of aqueous solutions. The pharmaceutical industry requires hot-pressed sterilized water injections to filter out particles from large infusions. For the sterilization of heat-sensitive drugs (insulin ATP, coenzyme A, and other biochemical preparations), the particles and oil insoluble in the 0.45-micron filter (or 0.2-micron) solution are analyzed and measured, and the water pollution index is determined.

MCE membrane filter is used in scientific research departments such as somatic cell hybridization and mitochondrial complementation prediction heterosis research.
0.45 Disc Vacuum Microfiltration Membrane nylon membrane filter microporou-glass-fiber-membrane-Filter
2. Cellulose Acetate-reinforced cellulose membrane filter(aqueous membrane)


Made from cellulose acetate, which provides good chemical compatibility and low protein binding properties.

Features of cellulose acetate membrane filter:

Without any adhesive, stable chemical performance, flexibility, not easy to break; high-temperature resistance, can withstand high-pressure sterilization; non-toxic and tasteless, acid, and alkali resistant. PES membrane vs. Cellulose Acetate. CA membranes have lower temperature resistance compared to PES membranes and may not be suitable for high-temperature applications.

Uses of cellulose acetate membrane filter:

Suitable for making various coarse and fine filters and folding filter elements; suitable for filter membrane of the plate and frame filter press in beverage, medicine, and other industries; suitable for the support and pretreatment of reverse osmosis membrane and ultrafiltration membrane.

Cellulose acetate membrane filter is non-toxic and can be widely used in medicine, the chemical industry, food, beverage, and other fields; it is hydrophobic, and it is particularly good for air filtration.

3. PES – polyethersulfone membrane filter(aqueous membrane)


Made from polyethersulfone, which provides high chemical resistance and low protein binding.

Features of PES membrane filter :

Microporous membrane filters are made from a synthetic polymer called polyethersulfone, which is a hydrophilic membrane, that has a high flow rate, low dissolution, good strength, and does not adsorb protein and extracts, with no pollution to samples. The ability of PES to bind protein and extractable content is very low. The flow rate of the PES membrane is also higher than that of cellulose or nylon membrane. The filter membrane is strongly recommended for filtering cell culture media. It has the characteristics of strict pore size distribution, high flow rate, flux, low protein adsorption, and high strength. PES membrane vs Cellulose Acetate, PES vs CA filter, PES membrane has lower protein binding than the CA membrane. PES membrane filters offer high flow rates, low protein binding, and excellent thermal stability.

Uses of PES membrane filter :

Low protein adsorption and high drug compatibility, specially designed for biochemical, inspection, pharmaceutical, and sterilization filtration devices. It is hydrophilic and is often used for biological sample filtration. These filters are hydrophilic, making them suitable for the filtration of aqueous solutions and biological samples. They are commonly used in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and food and beverage industries for sterilization and clarification purposes.

4. PTFE – polytetrafluoroethylene membrane filter(hydrophobic membrane)


Made from PTFE, known for its excellent chemical resistance and high temperature tolerance.

Features of PTFE membrane filters:

PTFE membrane filter made of food-grade isotactic polypropylene as raw material, with no additives in the process; stable physical and chemical properties. PTFE membrane filters are known for their chemical inertness and hydrophobic properties. These filters are highly resistant to a wide range of chemicals and solvents and have excellent thermal stability. With the most extensive chemical compatibility, which can withstand strong solvents such as DMSO, THF, DMF, dichloromethane, chloroform, etc.

Uses of PTFE membrane filters:

Filtration of all organic solutions, especially strong solvents that other filter membranes cannot tolerate. PTFE membrane filters are commonly used for air and gas filtration, as well as filtration of aggressive chemicals and organic solvents. They are suitable for applications that require high chemical compatibility and low extractability.


Polyethersulfone (PES) is a hydrophilic polymer known for high chemical resistance, making it suitable for applications like biological filtration. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is hydrophobic, chemically resistant, and excels in extreme temperatures, commonly used in chemical filtration and applications requiring non-stick properties. The choice depends on factors like water compatibility, chemical resistance, and specific application needs.

Click here to know Introduction of Hawach Microporous Membrane Products, Hawach to Talk About the Applications and Differences Filter Membrane