From waste to resource

Five different membrane technologies will be systematically investigated in our five BRICS research teams. To integrate the various technologies created from out BRICS partners, we will sort the technologies into basically three categories:

(1) technologies mainly as pre-treatment; inorganic ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes from India team will provide a solid pre-treatment processes for all potential downstream technologies; the membrane distillation from the Chinese team will be suitable for cases where low-grade heat or solar power is abundant; pre-concentration and clarification of the feed streams will facilitate the process efficiency of the whole system.

(2) technologies which could be used for both pre-treatment and downstream purification/ extraction processes; This includes the electrodialysis or reactive electrodialysis technologies from Brazil team; the ion exchange membrane technologies from the South Africa team will provide a key solution to the streams where anion nutrients are highly concentrated; both technologies could also be applied as the final purification and extraction steps for targeted matters. The membrane extraction technology could be utilized to pre-separation of metal ions and to obtain pure metal ions.

(3) downstream purification/extraction processes; the membrane crystallization technology from the Russian team is the final step to reach a complete separation of water and inorganic chemicals. This will allow a zero-liquid discharge process to close the tap of the earth’s water.