Water desalination with nanotechnology

The aim of the NAWADES project is to research, design, manufacture and test a new concept for seawater desalination using membranes. Four developments are pursued in this concept:

  1. The ultra-membrane filtration typically upstream of an osmosis membrane stage is compactly integrated directly into a multilayer membrane filter.
  2. The formation of deposits (scaling and fouling) is reduced by surface treatment of the membranes with plasma technology.
  3. Titanium dioxide nanofibers are integrated into the membrane to prevent fouling by microbial growth in combination with the introduction of UV light via a glass fabric in the space between the membrane units.
  4. To monitor the condition of the membranes, a coating is applied on both sides, which acts capacitively and is evaluated.

The new technology is intended to enable self-cleaning, low-maintenance membrane filtration, which can be used in seawater desalination with high efficiency and service life as well as reduced energy requirements (as a result of pressure reduction through reduced fouling).



Project information

Project titel

NAWADES –  Nanotechnological Application in WAter DESalination


Project duration

October 2012 – September 2016



  • Fraunhofer IGB


Cooperation partners

  • Fraunhofer IGB (Germany)
  • Hidroquimia Tractaments i Quimica Industrial SLU (Spain)
  • Acondicionamiento Tarrasense Associacion - LEITAT (Spain)
  • Sico Technology GmbH (Austria)
  • VirtualPie LTD (Great Britain)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
  • Mann + Hummel GmbH (Germany)
  • Knowledge Innovation Market S.L. - KIM (Spain)
  • Exergy LTD (Great Britain)
  • Eilenburger Elektrolyse- und Umwelttechnik GmbH (Germany)
  • IVL Svenska Miljoeinstitutet AB (Sweden)


The research leading to results in this project will be funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7/2007-2013) in accordance with Grant Agreement No 308439.

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