Membrane separations technologies

Membrane filtrations are recognized by industry as an emerging technology. Although polymeric membranes have the largest market share, ceramic membranes are becoming important as they have a general advantage of much longer life time and better performance in difficult, harsh (in process) environments vs. most widely used polymeric membranes. Moreover, they have much larger fluxes and suffer less fouling than polymeric membranes. Still, state of the art membranes are suffering from significant fouling that reduces this advantage. Surface modification methods developed by SusChemA in collaboration with VITO prevent the foulants from binding irreversibly, which is a major breakthrough and can provide major economic and environmental benefit: less frequent cleaning of membranes and in a milder way. The ongoing fruitful collaboration of LADCA and ORSY on the organic-modified ceramic membranes (jointly with VITO,  the IWT SBO project FunMem4Affinity) will be continued with the purpose of developing several generations of functionalized membranes suitable for applications in organic solvents, as well as in aggressive (highly acidic) media and in specific heavy fouling aqueous solutions. The most significant part of the experimental work on the modification and characterization of membrane materials is performed by LADCA, but the expertise of ORSY in organometallic and organic chemistry is important for the development of methodologies for the surface functionalization.