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Advanced bipolar membrane processes for remediation of highly saline waste water streams


NEW ED aims at closing industrial water cycles and reducing the amount of waste water streams with highly concentrated salt loads stemming from a broad range of industrial production processes by exploiting the waste components (salts) and transforming them to valuable products. This will be achieved by developing new micro- to nano-porous bipolar membranes for bipolar electrodialysis (BPMED), a new membrane module concept and by integrating this new technology into relevant production processes. The bipolar membrane process produces acids and bases from their corresponding salts by dissociating water at the interface within the bipolar membranes. However, BPMED so far has been applied only in niche markets due to limitations of the current state of membrane and process development. Major drawbacks of the classic BPMED process are low product purity, limited current density and formation of metal hydroxides at or in the bipolar membrane. The objective of this project is to overcome these limitations by developing a new bipolar membrane and membrane module with active, i.e. convective instead of diffusive water transport to the transition layer of the bipolar membranes, where water dissociation takes place. The key feature of the innovative new bipolar membranes is a nano- to micro-porous and at the same time ion conducting intermediate transition layer, through which water is convectively transported from the side into the transition layer. The porous transition layer may have either the character of a cation or an anion exchanger. Several promising intermediate layer materials together with different monopolar ion-exchange layers will be tested and characterized. Membrane manufacturing and new module concepts will be investigated to exploit the full potential of the new bipolar membrane technique. Integration of the developed membranes and modules into relevant production processes is an essential part of the project.

Call for proposal

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Templergraben 55
52062 Aachen

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Städteregion Aachen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Thomas Melin (Prof.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (5)