SIC membrane manufacturing and application testing – SiCaM joint project


The main objective of the joint project SiCaM is to develop an efficient manufacturing of membrane stacks made of SiC ceramic membranes and to enable their applicability for separation tasks in water treatment. This includes the completion to the finished system. Only with such a system the large-scale application of ceramic membranes for submerged applications can be made possible.

The advantages of ceramic membrane systems over polymeric membranes lie in the material properties (chemical and thermal resistance) due to their structure. Hence, they can be fully exploited. This requires fundamental investigations in regard to materials science and process engineering as well.

Submerged applications in filtration technology often allow significantly more energy-efficient operation, as no pumps are required for membrane crossflow. However, the limited driving force (negative pressure on the permeate side) limits the application to micro- and ultrafiltration. Ceramic membranes are also an alternative to the usual polymeric membranes in this field. 

In the joint project SiCaM - "Efficient production of compact stacks of silicon carbide membranes for modular use", possibilities should be created for combining ceramic membranes and providing them with appropriate connections. The goal is to enable scalable integration into membrane modules and membrane plants. This is being done by experts from plastics technology (Eitech Werkzeugbau GmbH) and module construction (WTA Technologies GmbH).

In the subproject by Fraunhofer IKTS "System design, simulation, manufacturing of SiC membranes and application testing", investigations on flow behavior and mechanical stability are being carried out. This is done by practical tests as well as by simulation of the flow and strength behavior. The project partners will be provided with suitable SiC membranes for the development of the connections and the integration into membrane modules as well as the planned application testing in water treatment. The application testing will be supported by tests with model media, the determination of optimal operating parameters and the development of suitable strategies for membrane cleaning and backwashing.