In recent years, VITO and UAntwerpen have been working on scaling up their A-membrane technology. This resulted in a new production method for long, multi-channel membrane tubes (1.20 metres long). As the next step in the scaling-up process, the membrane researchers have now also increased the capacity of the pilot production line. The installation is fully automated, meaning that manual interventions are drastically reduced. One push of a button is enough to start the whole process, from pre-treatment of the ceramic supports through to the chemical treatment and the final quality control. Currently we are in the process of engineering an industrial scale production line to start commercializing our technology.
A-membranes have been demonstrated in different applications, often in collaboration with industrial end-users (see applications). As a result, they have been bought by different companies working with a variety of fine chemical processes. In particular, the technology is opening up opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry. A-membranes have proven not to leach (not releasing impurities into the process), which is extremely important for use in processes where purity is crucial. VITO and UAntwerpen are already working towards an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval dossier that will allow and regulate the use of these types of membranes in the heart of pharmaceutical production processes. A-membranes are also safe for use in the food-industries and comply with directive 2005/31/EC.