Chromatic Elemental Imaging (CEI)

Pioneered by Avista Technologies for customers worldwide

Chromatic Elemental Imaging (CEI)

In the CEI process, a beam of focused electrons is accelerated across the surface of a foulant sample causing each element to emit electrons. The X-ray patterns emitted are specific to every element, enabling each one to be individually identified.

CEI then assigns a color to each element and produces a three-dimensional, high resolution image of the foulant sample. Element concentration is indicated by color intensity.


A distinct advantage of CEI is its ability to provide insight into the layering characteristics of foulants deposited on a membrane. By analyzing the layers, it is possible to understand the fouling sequence. When used in combination with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX), CEI can reveal the interaction between inorganic, organic, metal oxide and colloidal compounds.

As a troubleshooting tool, CEI is unmatched in its ability to successfully determine the primary membrane foulants, which can help identify process deficiencies to prevent or minimize future fouling. CEI has also accelerated the development of new antiscalants, cleaners and biocides by replacing the process of trial and error with scientific validation of formulations targeting specific foulants.

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