We have developed innovative membrane functionalisation technology for attaching functional groups to ceramic membranes, based on the Grignard reaction, in collaboration with the University of Antwerp. This allows advanced separation based on affinity – and not just by molecule size – tailored to the specific application. For in-process streams in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector, this offers opportunities for surprising optimisations and/or solutions for difficult separation processes. In highly polluting water streams, the functionalisation efficiently reduces membrane fouling. Thanks to the highly stable anchoring of the functional groups, this innovative technology can also be used in conditions that would otherwise lead to leaching of these groups.

In our innovative membrane functionalisation technology, specific organic groups are attached in the pores of ceramic membranes, making separation based on affinity possible. A wide variety of organic groups can be used. Groups are attached to the membrane separately or mixed. The technology has an infinite number of applications, has a very wide range of pore sizes (up to 1 nanometre), ceramic carrier materials and groups to be attached can be used.


  • One or more organic groups, with a simple bond to the membrane surface
  • Separation of molecules of the same size, but with different physical or chemical properties
  • Organic groups can be removed and replaced, allowing the membrane to be reused
  • High-value applications with small flow rates
  • Treatment of large capacity streams (usually watery) without membrane fouling


  • Can be used in continuous processes
  • Bond between organic groups and membrane material is highly stable
  • Wide range of organic groups possible
  • Mixture of different organic groups possible

Industries & applications

  • Removal of impurities from APIs
  • Concentration increase of high-quality products
  • Separation and recycling of catalysts, separation of fatty acids
  • Purification of solvent streams and solvent changes
  • Separation of products from hydrolysed lignin streams
  • Surface water treatment & oil-water streams
  • Wastewater, including wastewater produced during oil and gas production
  • Separation of metals from watery streams
  • Pharmaceutical sector, Fine chemistry, Bulk chemistry, Food industry, oil & gas
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