Membrane technology (water filters) is widely used at large scale but besides their modularity it is still not commonly used in decentralized areas due to economic (initial and operational investment, energy consumption) and technical issues (high knowledge for operation). The production of second hand membranes (end-of-life reverse osmosis (RO) recycled into nanofiltration (NF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes) has demonstrated the feasibility to decrease the membrane production cost in >90% (<60€/module comparing with new production (500-1500)€).
The recycling process was already patented, while alternative devices to reduce the CAPEX (using an alternative membrane housing, namely REnd-cap, with >50% cost reduction) and OPEX (using membranes in gravity-driven mode without external energy) of compact systems have been successfully assessed by the University of Girona (LEQUIA research group) and the University of New South Wales within Tecniospring+ Mem2.0 project (postdoctoral fellow: Dr Raquel García-Pacheco).
The goal of DECEMEM project is to prepare for commercially exploitation the next generation of housing filters for water treatment in decentralised areas, as an adequate, affordable and sustainable technology solution. These housing device (the improved existing REnd-cap) will be a simple, robust and light-weight membrane housing for spiral-wound NF and UF membranes (commercial or recycled). The improved REnd-cap device will be easy transportable and easy for membrane set up and disassemble, comparing with the standard devices. To facilitate the technology transfer, the Rend-cap device will be set up in a compact modular system for water treatment in small and decentralised communities.
Main results achieved
- Upgraded Rend-cap device. A European patent has been field to protect IPRs.
- The process has been validated with 20 membranes from reclaiming urban wastewater treatments and landfill leachates treatment.
- Collaborations with membrane user companies (Volkswagen Navarra, TELWESA, Infinitum).
- Market analysis and business plan conducted with the support of several entrepreneurship programmes (DeepTech, The Collider, L2Market, IESE BTTG, Barcelona Activa, Ship2B).
- Project website.
- Video to disseminate the technology (supported by XRE4S network).
Investigator: Dr Raquel García Pacheco (Supervisor: Dr Joaquim Comas)