The membrane technology is a mechanical separation process for the separation of gaseous or liquid mixtures and solutions using technical membranes. Depending on the type of membranes used separation results for a variety of requirements can be achieved. In terms of economic and ecological aspects, this type of filtration is of particular importance due to the purely physical separation of mixtures or solutions.


The basic structure of a membrane comprises the support body with microporous structure, on which a membrane layer is applied. This membrane layer determines the filtration characteristics by their fineness.

The liquid mixture to be purified flows along the membrane layer in a closed loop system. Thereby, the membrane layer keeps particles larger than the separation layer back and the clarified medium permeates the membrane layer and is separated.

Depending on the requirements, different membrane geometries are used. At first, the membrane elements are differentiated in mono and multi-channel elements. The channel diameters in the mono-channels that are most likely be installed in pilot plants, are typically between 6 and 16 millimeters. In multi-channel elements, several channels are arranged side by side in the same membrane element, having channel diameters in the range of 2 to 8 millimeters. Depending on the outer diameter of the ceramic element, this results in up to 211 channels in each single membrane element.

Classification of membrane separation processes

The membrane technology distinguishes the separation processes according to the size of the particles to be separated in the four processes microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.

Membrane materials

As membrane materials various polymeric plastics as well as ceramic materials are used. Especially due to their longevity, as well as the excellent mechanical and chemical properties, ceramic materials are often preferred over the polymer plastic membranes. Thereby separation limits in the range of 1 to 1400 nanometers are achievable.

Field of applications

Environmental technology
  • Waste water treatment
    • Clarification of metallic components (e.g. Ni, Mn, Co, Al)
    • COD / BOD reduction
  • Process water treatment
    • Removal of dissolved dyes and insoluble pigments
    • Treatment of wiping solution at the intaglio printing process
    • > patented process –     technology
Water technology
  • Drinking water treatment
    • Softening
    • De-mineralization
    • Removal of pesticides and other organic acids
    • Removal of metallic impurities (e.g. Fe, Mn, As)
    • Removal of natural organic substances
Food industry
  • Clarification of products such as wine, fruit juices and gelatin
  • Concentration of dissolved recyclables such as pectin or sugar
  • Treatment of CIP-solutions for service life extension
  • Degassing of liquids such as dissolved oxygen
  • Clarification of glucose syrup
  • Treatment of vapor condensate – removal of carbohydrates
  • Clarification of molasses
  • Recovery of proteins from CSL / wash water
Dairy industry
  • Recovery of proteins, lactose and minerals from cheese whey • Concentration of full and lean milk
  • Protein standardization of milk
  • Desalination of whey proteins
  • Clarification of salt brine (service life extension) • Concentration of butterfat
Bio and fine-organic chemistry
  • Clarification/ purification and concentration of useful substances (e.g. proteins, vitamins, enzymes etc.)
  • Treatment of fluids contaminated with Uranium
  • Separation of Oil-Water suspensions
  • Separation of emulsions and suspensions
  • De-gassing and gassing of aquous media
  • Clarification of acids (recycling)
  • Treatment of phosphating and galvanic baths

Customer benefits

  • Definable separation limits of the process (cut-off)
  • Inert membrane materials with longest life spans
  • Possibility of “chemical-free operation”
  • Low operating costs
  • Modular construction with expandable capacities
  • Compact systems with low total filling volumes
  • Possible high degrees of automation
  • All system capacities possible – no technical limitations
  • Amortization within shortest time periods

Design method

For products whose filtration properties are unknown, different possibilities for carrying out test trials are available. For the basic testing of products laboratory scale filtration units can be used. After successful first tests further trials can be conducted on our pilot unit. Results of pilot test trials find their way into the design of industrial filtration plants. We offer our customers either laboratory units as well as pilot units on a rental basis.
laboratory facility
pilot plant
industrial plant

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MEMBRAFLOW control systems GmbH
Pfromäckerstraße 15
73432 Aalen
Telefon +49(0) 73 61 – 52 48 87-0
Telefax +49(0) 73 61 – 52 48 87-9

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