Membion, a membrane manufacturer specializing in membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment, has secured an investment of approximately €5 million, led by TechVision Fonds (TVF) and DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF), both German entities. The company, founded by Dr. Klaus Vossenkaul and Dirk Volmering, alumni of RWTH Aachen University with over two decades of industry experience, focuses on the development and production of membrane bioreactor (MBR) modules for wastewater treatment.
Utilizing their multi-patented technology, Membion addresses the increasing demands on water quality and aims to significantly reduce operating costs for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant operators. Dr. Klaus Vossenkaul emphasized the urgency of challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, and intensified agriculture, stating that adherence to water quality standards will be mandated by fines under German and European legislation.
The patented Membion technology, according to Dr. Vossenkaul, enables wastewater treatment plants to enhance efficiency. Notably, the Membion MBR modules offer higher water quality without requiring additional space, as opposed to traditional wastewater treatment plants. The conversion to Membion MBR modules can reduce bacterial load by a factor of 1,000 compared to conventional plants, and their aerated modules drastically cut down energy consumption for filter flushing by over 90% compared to conventional MBR plate modules.
Dr. Vossenkaul highlighted the importance of Membion's hollow fibre MBR modules, which feature unique membrane filters. These modules bring about significant energy and operational cost savings, eliminating the need for secondary clarification found in conventional systems.
The article emphasizes the impending need for a "fourth purification stage" in wastewater treatment to filter microplastics, antibiotic-resistant germs, pathogens, and trace substances. Membion's innovative approach is positioned to meet these evolving requirements without requiring additional space for retrofitting purification stages.
Björn Lang of TVF Management sees Membion as the future technology leader in a rapidly growing international market. Membion aims to revolutionize wastewater treatment, aligning it with the needs of future generations while enhancing its economic viability. Dr. Elisabeth Schrey, Managing Director of DTCF, expresses support for Membion's vision of energy-saving water recycling, acknowledging the importance of innovation in both established wastewater systems and new industrial water applications.
The investment of €5 million will enable Membion to pursue a broad market entry, establish additional production lines, and develop further product features.
By Cate Lawrence