What is membrane engineering ?

Environmental considerations like massive scale air or water pollution and also the gradual rarefaction of the fossil energy resources gave rise to the concept of sustainable growth and to related strategies like process intensification, reuse of water and solvents at their point of use, hydrogen as energetic vector (requiring H2 production and using fuel cells as electric generators) or CO2 capture and storage.

Membranes have a key role to play in new technologies and in the separation operations associated with these strategies.

Moreover a lot of separation operations are currently performed using membranes in industrial processes. Among the major applications for liquids, it can be mentioned the water desalination, the preparation of food, beverage, dairy or pharmaceutical products or the treatment and the recycling of industrial effluents, the production of tap or ultrapure water, the dehydration of ethanol, the dialysis of blood (kidney machine)… For gas separation, some examples of current applications are the removal of hydrogen from ammonia synthesis gas, the removal of carbon dioxide from natural gas and the air separation. Intensive efforts of R&D are now engaged over the world to develop high performance membranes.

As an example, the membrane technologies are identified as “Key Technologies 2015” by the French government. On the other hand, the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) has now a new section dedicated to « Membrane Engineering ». A Network Of Excellence "Nanomempro" focused on this domain has been supported by Europe during the last 4 years.



The European Membrane House and the European Membrane Society support the creation of the Master EM3E-4SW.

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