Extension of the membrane technology portfolio in industrial applications will require the development of membranes and membrane systems that can cope with harsh conditions.
Traditionally, industry tries to reduce capital expenditure and operating costs for their production processes to maximize profits. In recent decades sustainability has become a top priority as well, and companies have focused on minimizing energy usage and have reduced the discharge of waste and CO2 from their processes. For several process steps membrane-based solutions have been introduced to achieve these goals.
Extension of the membrane technology portfolio in industrial applications will require the development of membranes and membrane systems that can cope with harsh conditions. Examples are the use of membrane systems for the separation and purification of organic solvents and for the purification and concentration of aqueous solutions with a high salt concentration (high osmotic pressure) or featuring an extreme pH. These challenges require the development of membrane materials and modules with high chemical stability and new process technology solutions.
To generate these new or improved membrane system solutions for industrial implementation, improved fundamental understanding of transport phenomena through membranes and creative process technology and materials science are needed. This requires the involvement of expertise on membrane materials, membrane characterization, (membrane) process technology, and fluid flow. This expertise is available within the Membrane Process Technology group and the other membrane groups embedded in the Department of Membrane Science and Technology.
Gerrald Bargeman is holding the research chair of Membranes for Harsh Conditions.