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Detection of mineral and bio-based deposits on filtration membranes

Physical Sciences, Energie und Umwelt, Messtechnik, Maschinenbau

  • Innovative monitoring of deposit accumulation on filtration membranes
  • Allows economical optimization of filtration parameters
  • Maximizes membrane lifetime and liquid throughput, minimizes system down-time

Ihr Kontakt

Dr. Rebecca Kohler

+49 (0) 89 5480177 - 33


High-tech filtration applications are fundamental to many processes, amongst others in water supply or in the food and medical industries. However, since the direct membrane environment is the area with the highest solute (e.g. salts, sugars, protein) or particle (e.g. crystalline material, bacteria) concentration, membrane clogging is a key issue when optimizing filtration processes. Currently, some physical parameters such as liquid pressure or conductivity are used to estimate when membrane modules should be flushed or replaced. Often, a generic maximum filtration volume or generic end date will be linked to a replacement date. Thus, the full potential of filtration modules can usually not be exploited.


The innovative technology uses polymer optic fibers and their optical properties to follow the build-up of membrane deposits in real time. This allows flush cycles to be scheduled before non-removable deposits build up, process speed to be optimized and the life-cycle of a filtration module to be significally prolonged – thus leading to maximized liquid throughput and minimized system down-times necessary for service, cleaning or filter module exchange.

Kommerzielle Möglichkeiten

  • Filter modules with in-built polymer optical fiber
  • External surveillance modules connected to a by-pass pipe to main filtration system

Application fields:

  • Filtration applications for drinking water, sea water & process water.
  • Concentration applications in e.g. the food and medical industries.


RO membrane prototype tested in lab and brewery environment (water filtration).


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