Your network of excellence in the gas and water industry

The DVGW supports the gas and water industry in all technical and scientific areas. The main focus of the Association’s work is on safety and hygiene as well as environmental and consumer protection. The DVGW elaborates technical rules designed to promote the technical self-management of the German gas and water industry, thus ensuring the safe and secure supply of gas and water according to the highest international standards. The Association, which was founded in 1859, currently has approximately 14,000 members. The DVGW is free from economic and political influences.

DVGW Research Center at Engler-Bunte-Institut of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
DVGW Research Center at Engler-Bunte-Institut of KIT
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Water treatment plant equipped with ceramic membranes

Membrane processes

Membranes provide a diverse range of future-thinking processes in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater. Stable operation and the reliable retention of contaminants are absolutely vital.

Water treatment plant equipped with ceramic membranes; © Matthias Bitsch
Biofilm at the membrane spacer
Biofilm at the membrane spacer © Bachelor thesis Julian Bross

The use of membrane processes is a core competence of the DVGW Research Center. Typical fields include the treatment of brackish water, membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment or the application of membranes for swimming pool water treatment. In the industrial sector, membranes are used, for example, in biogas production, for Zero Liquid Discharge and in raw material recovery from water sources (e.g. Lithium or Ammonia). Additionally, membrane technologies are the core process step in the production of pure water for example for green hydrogen sector.

Our main focus is on the development of processes and optimization of pressure driven membranes (reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration/microfiltration), membrane bioreactors, electrodialysis and membrane distillation.

One of the main drawbacks of membrane filtration is the formation of fouling and cake layers on the membrane surface. The presence of fouling (organic and biofouling, scaling) lead to a decrease of permeability and thus an increase on the energy consumption. Additionally, fouling layers can also damage membranes or make these unusable, which further increases operating costs.

A focal point of the work at the DVGW Research Center is to understand and minimise fouling processes by optimising the process parameters.

If you have any questions on membrane processes please contact
Dr. Florencia Saravia
Bereichsleiterin Wasserchemie und Wassertechnologie
Phone+49 721 608-47894