REnd-cap: sustainable membrane technology for decentralized areas

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)[1]. 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)€[2]). The recycling process was already patented[3], 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 research group (LEQUIA from University of Girona (UdG) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW,Australia) within Tecniospring+ Mem2.0 project[4]. The goal of DECEMEM project is to prepare for commercially explotation 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. A market analysis will be conducted to develop the business plan of the product targeting different users i) for drinking water production in aid international context (in 2018, natural disasters caused US$132 billion in economic looses affecting to 68.5 millions of people across the world [5]) and ii) for grey and wastewater treatment for developed countries market (75% of municipalities of Spain are small[6] and still 16% of the treated wastewater do not reach the quality standards[7]).The improved REnd-cap device will be patented and get ready for comercialisation. Licence agreement and further spin-off creation will be undertaken after the end of the project, according to the main outcomes of the market analysis and the attraction of clients and investors.

Additional Info

  • Start: 21-09-2020
  • Duration: 18 months
  • LEQUIA grant: 84.000 Euros
  • Funding organisation: AGAUR
  • Program: INNOVADORS
  • Reference: INNOV00027

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Laboratory of Chemical and Enviromental Engineering

Institut de Medi Ambient
Universitat de Girona
Campus Montilivi
17003 Girona

Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la UdG
Edifici Jaume Casademont, Porta B
Pic de Peguera, 15
17003 Girona
Tel. +34 972 41 98 59
info@lequia.udg.cat

 

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