In electro-membrane filtration (EMF) the material separation in the electric field is combined with mechanical membrane filtration. A reactor is divided into two chambers – the retentate compartment and the permeate compartment – using a standard filtration (e.g. ultrafiltration) membrane.
The driving gradient for the material transport across the membrane can be generated both by the transmembrane pressure and by the electric field applied. This permits separation both on the basis of the electric charge and the particle size. As a result, for example, a significantly higher degree of selectivity combined with low energy consumption can be achieved compared with the established ultrafiltration method.