Circular Economy

REMEMBRANE Layman report published: How to recover old membranes at low cost

RemembraneThe REMEMBRANE project layman report has been published. The document provides a general explanation for a non-specialised audience in order to understand the current challenges of the reverse osmosis industry and the results of the project.

Click here to download it.

Currently, there are more than 15.000 desalination plants operating in 100 countries. More than 80% of these installations work with membranes based in reverse osmosis technologies. The growth of the global market for desalination, especially in the Mediterranean region, Asia, America and Middle East, is estimated at over 10% per year with an expected capacity of 100 million m3 per day and a specified investment of €50.000 per m3 per day, which defines a potential volume of €50 million. A reverse osmosis membrane normally lasts between 5 and 10 years. Membranes tend to be discarded when the flow rate/water quality is not acceptable. On average, membrane replacement rates at brackish water treatment plants are around 10%, meaning that 10% of the installed membranes are replaced each year. But this rate can go up to 25% in some industrial plants.

REMEMBRANE proposes an innovative and environment-friendly technology in which diverse mechanical and chemical treatments are developed in order to recover these membranes to reuse them in the same desalination process or in other applications which need a lower quality water specification, but always in reverse osmosis technology (i.e. tertiary treatment of wastewater for irrigation and reuse, industrial water with low salinity requirements, etc.) avoiding landfill disposal and thus extending the life of the membranes.