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Development of a conductive membrane that generates oxidising surface to prevent biofilm formation and fouling

Objective

This project deals with a central problem of filtration systems and in particular of membranes: biofilms and bio-fouling. By its very nature, the surface of a filter is an open structure in which microorganisms can readily settle. Nutrients available in the in-feed enable these to grow. As a result biofilms develop leading to an overall reduction of filtration efficiency of 30-50%, unstable processes and frequent filter change. A multitude of strategies are tried to reduce membrane fouling which in itself demonstrates the urgency of the problem. Current strategies, often used in combination, are: enhanced modules and membranes, cross-flow filtration, low flux, regular back flush, permeate stoppage, scouring, sparging, rinsing cycles, chemical cleaning with soda, caustic or tenside solutions. ConductMem will develop an advanced system that can permanently prevent biofilm formation and surface fouling by the electrolytic production of biocidal oxidising agents on the membrane surface itself. The conductive membrane operates as an anode. The current flow will generate OH-radicals, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide on the membrane surface. These oxidizing agents degrade organic matter and disinfect the surface. The technology will be demonstrated by an automated non-fouling membrane filtration unit fitted into the partner’s membrane bioreactor design, incurring an additional cost of less than 15% compared with the state of the art - but with membranes that will last twice as long and not require chemical cleaning. It is expected that the MBR market will grow strongly as environmental directives, aimed at improving the quality of European water, are implemented. And domestic sewage will not be the only waste stream that can benefit from our apparatus. Other industries such as food production, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals will also be convinced by the financial and environmental benefits of treating their waste streams using ConductMem technology.

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2011
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Coordinator

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG EV
Address
Hansastrasse 27c
80686 Munchen
Germany

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Christoph Schulte (Mr.)
EU contribution
€ 24 992,15

Participants (6)

POLYMEM
France
EU contribution
€ 213 186,75
Address
3 Rue De L Industrie Zone De Vic
31320 Castanet-tolosan

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Olivier Lorain (Dr.)
Eilenburger Elektrolyse- und Umwelttechnik GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 243 655
Address
Friedrich-engelhorn-str. 7
04838 Eilenburg

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Hans-Jürgen Förster (Dr.)
E.R.S. - Steuerungstechnik - GmbH & Co. KG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 255 366,75
Address
Industriepark 26
74706 Osterburken

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Uwe Belzner (Mr.)
MICROBAC LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 205 239,85
Address
Werdohl Business Park Unit 30c
DH8 6TJ Consett

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Rose Amanda (Ms.)
GRUNDFOS AS - GBJ GRUNDFOS WATER EQUIPMENT AS GRUNDFOS ELECTRONICS AS GRUNDFOS INTERNATIONAL AS
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 154 559,50
Address
Poul Due Jensens Vej 7
8850 Bjerringbro

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Allan Hjarbæk Holm (Dr.)
VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V.
Belgium
Address
Boeretang 200
2400 Mol

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Ludo Diels (Prof.)