In industry, membrane technology has also proven itself as a separation technology for the treatment of raw water to process water or for the purification of process waste water. They operate without phase change, and the equipment required is kept within limits. Further advantages are simple upscaling (modularity) and low chemical consumption.
At Fraunhofer IGB, membrane materials, membranes and membrane processes are researched and developed for microfiltration (MF, suspended particles, bacteria), ultrafiltration (UF, macromolecules, viruses and colloids), nanofiltration (NF, organic compounds and divalent ions) and reverse osmosis (monovalent ions).
A new focus is on membrane adsorbers, which combine the advantages of membranes with those of adsorber materials. For this purpose, we equip membranes with special functional groups in order to specifically remove impurities such as heavy metal ions (Pb, Cd, Cu) or organic molecules (penicillin G, bisphenol A) from process wastewater by means of adsorption. Membrane adsorbers are also used for the concentration of solutions with low pollutant concentration, in order to subsequently treat the enriched solution energy-efficiently with AOP technologies and destroy the pollutant.