Press Releases


Using state-of-the-art RO elements to gain a stronger foothold on the U.S. market

LANXESS at the AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition, February 13-17, 2017, Long Beach, California, United States, Stand 319

Cologne -

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is showcasing its Lewabrane brand of membrane elements for reverse osmosis (RO) at the Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition, hosted by the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The extensive product range comprises grades for brackish water and seawater treatment that boast a long service life, good permeate yield, effective salt rejection and low energy requirements. “The Lewabrane brand has established a firm place for itself in the market, not least on account of its high quality and performance properties, which both we and our customers associate with these ‘Made in Germany’ products,” says Jean-Marc Vesselle, head of the Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit at LANXESS.

The company manufactures its RO membrane elements – which comply with the most stringent German and international production and quality standards – at its Bitterfeld site. “We’re developing increasingly efficient elements to further reduce fouling, blocked conduits and pressure losses,” says Alexander Scheffler, Director Membrane Business at LPT. “A year ago, we first unveiled our reverse osmosis elements with innovative ASD feed spacers to a wide audience of experts at the Membrane Technology Conference. Since then, the new product generation has already proven itself in a number of applications throughout the world,” he adds.

“By taking part in this year’s Membrane Technology Conference in California, we’re looking to further raise our recognition in North America and generate new customer contacts,” says Scheffler.

The market for RO membrane elements is currently projected to continue growing at an above-average annual rate of 10 percent (CAGR 2015-2020) in the years ahead. As LANXESS’s membrane production facility in Bitterfeld is operating almost to its limits, the company has decided to double its capacity here. The additional output is scheduled to come on line in the second half of 2017 as planned.

Lower energy consumption, longer dwell times

“The ASD feed spacers incorporated in LANXESS membrane elements are multifunctional feed spacers comprising strands of different thicknesses that water flows along. The special ASD design produces a more even flow and thus reduces fouling,” explains Dr. Carsten Schellenberg, responsible for Research and Development at the LPT business unit’s membrane facility in Bitterfeld. “Our Lewabrane ASD product range is also named after this alternating strand design,” adds Schellenberg. Optimized for applications in brackish water, the RO elements have standard geometries (length: 40 inches, diameter: 8 inches) and are characterized by particularly low energy consumption and high fouling resistance.

Design platform for monitoring and configuring RO facilities for industrial-scale water treatment

With the proven ion exchange resins from the Lewatit range, the Lewabrane brand of membrane elements, and iron oxide adsorbers from the Bayoxide range, LPT offers three technologies for water treatment throughout the world. The LewaPlus engineering platform developed by LANXESS is the only design software capable of configuring a process with RO and ion exchange. This platform’s performance is being developed continuously. A key condensate polishing module was implemented in 2016, and value-adding enhancements for users are also being prepared in 2017.

Offering numerous configuration options, the user-friendly LewaPlus software configures a proposal for an RO facility once the water analysis and required quantity of permeate have been entered. Further process by a system expert is then needed for facility optimization or adaptation to specific process conditions.

Detailed information is available online at Brochures and the LewaPlus software can also be downloaded from this website free of charge.

The Liquid Purification Technologies business unit is part of LANXESS’s Performance Chemicals segment, which generated sales of EUR 2.0 billion in 2015.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 and about 16,700 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 54 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.