A need for energy-friendly separation processes
Several international studies have shown that about 50% of the energy use in industry (that is 16% of the global energy use) arises from separation processes. Because as much as 80% of these separations are currently performed using energy-intensive thermal processes as distillations or evaporations. That is 12 to 13% of our society's energy use.
Membranes, requiring typically only 10 to 30% of the energy of a distillation process, can provide sustainable energy-lean alternatives, resulting also in important reduction of CO2 emissions.
Challenging membrane requirements for chemical industry
Membranes are state-of-the-art technology, implemented on a large scale, in a wide variety of water treatment processes.
Membranes also have great potential for treating chemical process streams, both end-of-pipe and in-process. These streams are much more challenging. Think of high temperatures, different types of solvents, high/low pH levels, high viscosity, high amount of fouling components, complex (biomass) streams, solutes with similar sizes, etc. They require membranes with a high chemical robustness, in combination with a highly flexible, and enhanced performance provided by a tunable surface affinity.
A-membranes are the answer to these needs.