Press Release #25

New Applications for Membrane Distillation – Seminar for Industry and Research at Fraunhofer ISE on October 23-24

20.10.2014

On October 23-24, 2014, representatives from industry and research will convene at Freiburg’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE to discuss new findings and applications in membrane distillation at the invitation of DME e.V., the German Seawater Desalination Association. The English-language conference is aimed at specialists and other interested individuals who wish to expand their knowledge and forge new contacts.

Pilot plant on Gran Canaria for solar thermal desalination of seawater based on membrane distillation.
© Photo Fraunhofer ISE

Pilot plant on Gran Canaria for solar thermal desalination of seawater based on membrane distillation.

Drinking water resources are becoming ever scarcer in many parts of the world. Today, more than a billion people already have no access to clean drinking water. As a result, we need to tap additional sources of water, such as processed seawater, and wastewater processing needs to be exploited. Membrane distillation is an innovative process requiring nothing more than heat of between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius as the drive power. Here, the aqueous part of a solution is evaporated through a membrane and then condensed. The membrane separates pure water from the initial product in the process. One big advantage of this method is that it allows drinking water to be extracted from even very concentrated solutions. In addition to producing drinking water, from seawater or brackish water for example, membrane distillation is also an attractive concept for many industrial sectors where aqueous solutions are concentrated – whether this be fruit juice manufacturing or waste reduction in the plastics industry.

Fraunhofer ISE has carried out work on membrane distillation and its various applications for many years. The institute continues to develop the technology and builds system prototypes. At present, development is focused on upscaling to create systems that produce several 100 m³ of distillate each day, and on industrial applications for membrane distillation.

Further information on the conference and conditions of participation can be found at www.dme-gmbh.de or by calling +49 (0)203 306 42 57.