Physico-chemical Water Technologies

In numerous production processes water is used as a solvent or means of conveyance, as cooling water or washing water. Increasing costs for the purification and disposal of wastewater, regional or seasonal shortage of water, and a growing awareness of environmental issues within companies have increased water recycling. Water is used several times and impurities have to be removed selectively.

The use of oxidative and electrolytic processes for water treatment is one of the main fields of research of Fraunhofer IGB. We work on the improvement of existing processes such as adsorption, filtration, flocculation/precipitation, electrodialysis, homogenization and disinfection as well as on new approaches in process and unit operations. Water treatment and the circulation of process water can thus be carried out economically and sustainably.

Technologies

 

Water treatment

The Fraunhofer IGB has at its disposal numerous technologies for treating an extremely wide range of chemically and biologically polluted process wastewaters from branches of industry such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries or metal processing, process wastewater with a high organic load from paper and cellulose processing, and also from the food and beverages industries. The use of oxidative, photolytic and electrolytic processes combined with adsorption and membrane processes for water treatment is a field of activity that opens up various treatment strategies.

 

Compound separation

Increasing costs for the purification and disposal of wastewater, regional and seasonal shortages of water, and also a growing awareness of the environment on the part of companies are resulting in using these process waters several times, whenever possible, and removing impurities selectively. With our technologies such as electrodialysis, capacitive deionization and free-flow electrophoresis, water treatment and the circulation of process water can be carried out economically and sustainably.
 

Electrochemistry

We investigate and evaluate gas diffusion electrodes for electrosynthesis in order to produce chemicals on site and to offset power peaks caused by fluctuating regenerative electricity supply, by converting flexibly the electric energy into basic chemicals. To develop the process, scalable and adaptable continuous flow cells are available that enable a wide range of development tests by changing the gas diffusion layer.

Systems

Process development

In cooperation with industrial partners, new concepts and technologies for the sustainable treatment and purification of process water for a very wide range of applications are being developed and optimized at the Fraunhofer IGB up to industrial scale. Water treatment and the circulation of process water can thus be carried out economically and sustainably.

Process optimization

In many cases the currently established water treatment processes and systems cannot do the job without adaptation and support from new, selective systems. The Fraunhofer IGB is therefore working on the further development of existing processes such as adsorption, filtration, flocculation/precipitation, electrodialysis and disinfection as well as on new approaches to processes and components.

System integration

Especially in the case of typical industrial wastewaters with a complex composition, efficient separation of substances is frequently not possible with just one single process stage. By combining and integrating various processes we are able to develop efficient and coordinated solutions, which are optimized in their overall impact as a process chain regarding selectivity and energy efficiency. In this way, results can be achieved that exceed the sum of the results of the individual process stages.