De.mem has exclusively licensed a novel low pressure hollow fiber nanofiltration membrane technology from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The innovation is based on years of research by the NTU scientists.
The new membrane is based on a proprietary materials formulation. Its surface is positively charged, which ultimately result in better rejection of contaminants that is less dependent on pore size. A loose substrate structure allows for high water permeation.
The De.mem nanofiltration membrane has potential applications which can replace Reverse Osmosis in some areas. However, it is operated at a comparably low pressure of only 2 bar. This leads to significant savings in power consumption vs. Reverse Osmosis, which allows for reduced operating cost. Compared to a Reverse Osmosis plant, there is no need for Ultrafiltration as a pre-filtration method, which also leads to reduced capital expenditures. The De.mem nanofiltration membrane is a hollow fiber membrane. This also allows for easy cleaning.
The filtration process works as shown in the following chart. Hollow fiber membrane bundles are placed in the inside of so-called membrane modules. The water is then pumped inside these modules. As pressure is applied, clean water passes through the pores of the selective layer of the membrane. The contaminants remain outside. The clean water then leaves the modules. In a regular and simple backflush routine, the dirt is cleaned out of the modules.
De.mem sees potential applications for the technology in both industrial waste water treatment and potable water treatment. The company is currently in the process of setting up a pilot manufacturing plant for the De.mem nanofiltration membrane in Singapore.