Membranes

Technical membranes are the tool of choice for the separation of complex mixtures. At Fraunhofer IGB we develop innovative membranes for a broad range of applications, such as membrane adsorber for water treatment, membranes for the separation of hydrogen or oxygen or membranes for medical devices. We can manufacture flat and hollow fiber membranes both of polymer and ceramic materials. Our production capabilities go from a lab up to a pilot scale.

Fields of research

 

Membrane materials

Polymer materials offer convincing advantages, like cost, processibility and broad range of applications. Polymers, we are working with, comprise commercially available ones, their modifications and self-made (block-co-) polymers by e.g. radical polymerization. Polymer membranes can be further optimized by adding particle fillers to come to tailor-made mixed-matrix membranes. If the application requires more extreme conditions e.g. regarding temperature we are working with full ceramic membranes.

 

Membrane processing

Fraunhofer IGB uses various methods to produce different types of membranes up to a pilot scale. Hollow fiber membranes are manufactured by wet spinning, flat membranes by casting and capillary membranes are formed by melt-spinning. To further enhance separation properties membranes can be modified by various coating techniques, like wet chemical coating, plasma modification, interfacial polymerization, sol-gel methods or electroless plating. We have the equipment to apply continuous roll-to-roll coatings both for hollow fiber and flat membranes.

 

Membrane applications

Membranes are widely used in various fields of application, like waste water treatment, gas separation or forward osmosis. Furthermore membranes find use in fuel cells, in downstream processing, in the biomedical field or as membrane reactors. In all fields we have devices to test and qualify membranes. So, we have the possibilities to develop and optimize membranes in an application orientated environment.