Membion Secures EUR5 Million for Wastewater Treatment Technology

Membion is a membrane manufacturer specialising in membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment.

German wastewater treatment company, Membion announced an investment of around EUR5 (USD5.43) million led by TechVision Fonds (TVF) and DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF).  The company develops and produces membrane bioreactor (MBR) modules for wastewater treatment. With the multi-patented technology, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant operators can meet the growing demands on water quality and significantly reduce operating costs. Membion founders Dr Klaus Vossenkaul and Dirk Volmering studied process engineering at RWTH Aachen University and have over 20 years of experience in the industry. 

Dirk Volmering and Dr. Klaus Vossenkaul, co-founders of Membion

Climate change, water scarcity and the increasing intensity of agriculture mean that more and more water must be available in good quality. In future, operators will have to pay fines under German and European legislation if they do not meet these quality standards. As a result, wastewater treatment plants must become even more efficient. The patented Membion technology makes this possible.

Dr Klaus Vossenkaul, Membion’s Co-Founder

He further explained that customers need higher water quality but often lack the space to expand their wastewater treatment plant. If they convert these to Membion MBR modules, the bacterial load of the wastewater can be reduced by a factor of 1,000 compared to a conventional plant. Further, compared to conventional MBR plate modules, 75 percent less space is required.

“In addition, our MBR modules are aerated in a revolutionary way, reducing the energy required to flush the filters by more than 90 percent compared to MBR plate modules,” added Dr Vossenkaul.

The company’s unique membrane filters, so-called hollow fibre MBR modules, achieve significant energy and thus, operating cost savings while maintaining space efficiency. There is no need for secondary clarification as in conventional systems. This matters because ever-increasing demands on water quality will soon require a so-called “fourth purification stage.” 

In addition to the separation of sewage sludge and water that has been implemented to date, this will also have to filter microplastics, antibiotic-resistant germs, pathogens and trace substances such as drug residues from the water. To meet these future requirements, sewage treatment plants will need additional space to retrofit a purification stage. 

Additionally, the growth of urban areas requires extra capacity for water purification. Membion’s self-developed production plant has a scalable, highly automated production unit. 

Björn Lang, the responsible partner at TVF Management, shared, “We see Membion as the future technology leader in a dynamically growing international market. Membion aims to revolutionise wastewater treatment, align it with the needs of future generations and at the same time make it much more economical.” 

Both established wastewater systems and new industrial water applications need innovations to use water responsibly. I am delighted that we can support such an experienced entrepreneur in Klaus Vossenkaul, and we share his vision of energy-saving water recycling.

Dr. Elisabeth Schrey, Managing Director of the DTCF

Membion will use the capital to achieve broad market entry, set up further production lines and develop additional product features.