Nanotechnological Application in WAter DESalination

The objective of the NAWADES project is to study, design, produce, and test a new membrane system for the desalination of seawater. The technical concept is based on four developments:

  1. The ultra-membrane filtration that usually precedes an osmosis membrane stage can be integrated directly and compactly in a multi-layer membrane filter.
  2. Formation of deposits (scaling and fouling) can be reduced by using plasma technology to treat the surfaces of the membranes.
  3. Fouling through microbial growth can be prevented by integrating titanium dioxide nanofibers into the membrane in conjunction with the radiatiointegration of 
UV light through a glass fabric into the space between the membrane layers.
  4. The state of the membranes can be monitored by applying a double-sided coating which functions capacitively. This is then analyzed.

The new filter is designed to provide a self-cleaning, low-maintenance membrane filtration system to be used in seawater desalination processes. It is characterized by higher efficiency and longer lifetime, as well as reduced energy consumption as a result of reduced fouling leading to lower pressure.


Project information

Project title

NAWADES – Nanotechnological Application in WAter DESalination


Project duration

October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2016


Coordinated by

  • Fraunhofer IGB


Project partners

  • Fraunhofer IGB (Germany)
  • Hidroquimia Tractaments i Quimica Industrial SLU (Spain)
  • Acondicionamiento Tarrasense Associacion – LEITAT (Spain)
  • Sico Technology GmbH (Austria)
  • VirtualPie LTD  (United Kingdom)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
  • Mann + Hummel GmbH (Germany)
  • Knowledge Innovation Market S.L. – KIM (Spain)
  • Exergy LTD  (United Kingdom)
  • Eilenburger Elektrolyse‐ und Umwelttechnik GmbH (Germany)
  • IVL Svenska Miljoeinstitutet AB (Sweden)


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 308439.

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