Fouling-resistant RO membranes get powerplant use

Lewabrane fouling-resistant reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are being used on a large scale for the first time at the Dammweg thermal power station in Chemnitz, Germany, membrane manufacturer Lanxess announced on 8 January 2014.

Sixty Lewabrane RO B400 FR filter elements are cleaning 50-60 m³/h of pretreated river water for steam generation purposes.

Even after it has been softened and desalinated using ion-exchange resins, the water still contains a considerable amount of organic material that causes excessive conductivity in the water-steam cycle, which is harmful to the turbine and other components.

The Lanxess membrane elements lower the degree of fluctuation in water quality and in particular filter out organic substances. Some 90% of the feed water, the permeate, is used for the ensuing processes. The remaining concentrate is also put to further use by adding it to the process water.

Dr Jens Lipnizki, head of technical marketing membranes in the Liquid Purification Technologies business unit at Lanxess, explains that “the 90% reduction in the organic contamination of river water demanded by the operator of the power plant can be easily achieved using our membrane technology.”

The RO facility at Chemnitz was developed and designed by the Celle-based water technology company Berkefeld, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.