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Membrane distillation is the process in which pure water is separated from contaminated water (saltwater for example) by means of evaporation through a membrane. The porous membrane used in membrane distillation is typically hydrophobic, which means that it repels water in liquid form. Due to this hydrophobic nature, it only allows gasses to pass through the membrane pores. Water vapour is a gas, so for water to pass through the membrane it must first evaporate into water vapour. Hence, in the process of membrane distillation water is separated from contaminants by means of evaporation through hydrophobic membrane pores.

The process of membrane distillation is driven by a vapour pressure difference, that is the result of a temperature difference. To create this temperature difference one side of the membrane contains hot water and the other side contains cold water. The evaporation of water consumes heat energy and as water evaporates through the porous membrane heat energy is subtracted from the hot side lowering it in temperature. After passing though the porous membrane the water is then condensed at the cold side. The condensation of water releases heat energy. So, this process of membrane distillation consumes heat energy and hence is regarded as a thermal process.

 

Systems for testing applications.

Aquastill offers the PURA-1 system, the PLICA-7 and PLICA-13 modules for testing and research projects. Next to the supply of these test systems and/or modules, we can provide technical support and training in order to help you assess the technical and economical feasibility of a specific application.

Systems for production applications.

Aquastill offers the PURA-10 and PURA-100 systems and the PLICA-26 modules for operational production projects of medium size. Next to the supply of these systems and modules we can provide technical support and training on location in order to secure an optimal commissioning of the installation.

Technology transfer through licensing.

To OEM partners, Aquastill offers a technology transfer of the patented MD technology in the form of a license contract, following a three stage approach: 1) supplying PURA systems to test and develop, 2) licensing to build locally PURA systems, sourcing PLICA modules from Aquastill and 3) licensing to build locally the PURA Systems with PLICA modules.

Patented design.

The Aquastill concept is protected through patents on the design of the modules and on the manufacturing of the modules. Patent WO2010011138 (A1) is referring to our module design, which comprises an elongated foil formed of a plurality of foil layers folded in zigzag fashion. The spaces between the foils are filled with spacers which create a flow channel between foils and act as a turbulence promotor to increase productivity. The device is suitable as a heat exchanger, a membrane filter, or a combination thereof. Patent WO2013144004 (A1) describes the manufacturing method of a package consisting of folded foils with spacers in between.

Engineering services.

Our engineers come from different fields and have many years of experience in process simulation, cost engineering and project management. Our development team understands your process goals and conditions, provide process engineering and a project specific design. We build consensus across all disciplines providing conceptual calculations, basic engineering, budgeting, feasibility studies, detail engineering, planning and risk management.

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