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Germany: Water Treatment

Lanxess Doubles Membrane Production for Water Treatment Applications

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Lanxess is producing Lewabrane membrane elements for water treatment in Bitterfeld, Germany. The membrane's active separating layer forms a wafer-thin polyamide film. That filters out undesirable substances from water such as salts, pesticides, herbicides, viruses, bacteria and also minute particles.
Lanxess is producing Lewabrane membrane elements for water treatment in Bitterfeld, Germany. The membrane's active separating layer forms a wafer-thin polyamide film. That filters out undesirable substances from water such as salts, pesticides, herbicides, viruses, bacteria and also minute particles. (Source: Lanxess)

Lanxess has doubled its membrane capacities for reverse osmosis elements at the plant in Bitterfeld.

Leverkusen/Germany — The market for reverse osmosis membrane elements is currently projected to continue growing at an above-average annual rate of ten percent (Cagr 2015-2020) in the years ahead. Because the plant was already operating almost at the limit of its capacity, the company decided to double it.

Production of membrane elements for the Lewabrane line is a multi-stage process. It begins with the fabrication of a thin-film composite membrane comprising several individual layers. A polysulfone base layer and an active filter layer are applied on a nonwoven base substrate.

The filter layer is made of polyamide and applied in a complex coating process. Produced as flat components, the reverse osmosis membranes are then wound by fully automated autowinders into spiral-shaped elements. This design helps to conduct untreated water towards the membrane surface and to collect the permeate (filtrate).

In addition to the membrane elements plant, the manufacturer also operates a plant for monodisperse ion exchange resins in Bitterfeld.

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Expanded membrane portfolio for water treatment

The German company has been expanding its line of membrane elements since production began in September 2011 and the products were introduced to the market in early 2012. Today, numerous types of Lewabrane elements are available in different sizes, which, according to the company, can be optimized for high fouling resistance, high energy efficiency or high performance.

The new Lewabrane RO ULP line is the latest addition. These “Ultra Low Pressure” elements display higher water permeability than the standard elements, while offering the same level of rejection of critical substances, the manufacturer claims. The operating pressure required in the pressure vessel has been reduced by 40 %. Furthermore, the new membranes are suitable for removing micropollutants from wastewater and drinking water.

As an exhibitor at Aquatech 2017, from October 31 to November 3 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the company will be showcasing its Lewatit-brand ion exchangers, its Lewabrane line of reverse osmosis membrane elements and its Bayoxide iron oxide adsorbers for water treatment. Exhibits will include the new Lewabrane RO ULP line of membrane elements.

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