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SINTEF joins international membrane project
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Published May 26, 2010

Membrane technology has great industrial potential, not least in energy and environmental technology. For this reason, SINTEF has signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening and consolidating its cooperation in this area with four other European research institutions.

The intention is to develop and scale up membrane technology in collaboration with industrial partners, with the aim of to accelerating the transition to large-scale use in a wide range of industrial processes.

The European Inorganic Membrane Research Alliance (EIMRA) will collaborate in developing new membrane materials, new production technology, and new membrane processes, covering the entire chain of activities from basic research to industrial applications.

Examples of potential industrial processes in which membrane technology could result in more energy-efficient solutions include biofuel production and separation processes, points out chief scientist Rune Bredesen of SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, who is SINTEF's point of contact with EIMRA. Carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production are two other potential fields. Under certain conditions, membrane technology is capable of reducing energy consumption by as much as 60 percent, so this is an environmentally friendly technology for the future.

The other partners are the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), Risø DTU – the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark, the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO) in Belgium and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany.

Christina B. Winge