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Lanxess doubles membrane production capacity

New Lewabrane ULP line launched for removing micropollutants in water treatment.

4th August 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cologne

Industrial

Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has doubled its membrane capacities. The market for reverse osmosis membrane elements is currently projected to continue growing at an above-average annual rate of 10% (CAGR 2015-2020) in the years ahead. Because the plant was already operating almost at the limit of its capacity, Lanxess decided to double it.

“We have expanded the capacity of our plant in Bitterfeld so that we can continue meeting the rising demand for reverse osmosis membrane elements. This step makes us even more attractive as a supplier to major customers,” explained Jean-Marc Vesselle, head of the Liquid Purification Technologies business unit at Lanxess.

Production of membrane elements

Production of membrane elements for the Lewabrane line is a multi-stage process, the company reports. 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, Lanxess also operates the world’s largest plant for monodisperse ion exchange resins in Bitterfeld.

New Lewabrane ULP range

Lanxess has been continuously 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 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 high level of rejection of critical substances, according to the manufacturer. The operating pressure required in the pressure vessel is 40% lower, which reduces operating costs. Furthermore, the new membranes are said to be a good option for removing micropollutants from wastewater and drinking water.

Lanxess at Aquatech 2017

As an exhibitor at Aquatech 2017, this fall in Amsterdam, Lanxess 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.

“As one of the world-leading suppliers of products and solutions for water treatment and purification, we support our customers in managing scarce water resources as efficiently as possible. Our products meet the highest German and international production and quality standards. At Aquatech, we want to demonstrate our competence as an experienced, all-around supplier to a broad, international, professional public,” said Mr Vesselle.

The unique LewaPlus software application for integrated system design will also be available for demonstration at the Lanxess stand.

www.lanxess.com

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