Research Group Polymeric Membrane Materials

Membranes made of synthetic polymers are widely used for separation processes in medical and technical applications. Main application areas are e.g. hemodialysis, drinking water and waste water treatment, beverage and food industry (clarification filtration, sterile filtration) or pharmaceutical industry (sterile filtration). Here, micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration as well as reverse osmosis have been as energy-efficient separation technologies.

Despite worldwide research activities, in membrane technology fouling is still a challenge, which leads to a reduction in membrane performance with increasing operating time.

Due to the demand for sustainable energy supply and the advantages of these technologies over conventional power generation systems (e.g. internal combustion engines), fuel cells and Li-ion batteries have received a lot of attention in the last decades. The major drawback of current fuel cell systems is their insufficient tolerance to carbon monoxide, inadequate conductivities at low and medium temperatures (100 - 130°C; MTPEM) and over a wide range of humidity, and fuel leakage (especially in DMFC). In the course of the expansion of renewable energy generation systems (use of wind energy and photovoltaics), energy storage and conversion systems such as electrolysis and redox flow batteries are becoming the focus of research and development. Furthermore, the production of membranes itself must also become more sustainable.

The work of the Polymeric Membrane Materials research group is dedicated to these topics in three main areas of work:

  • Membranes (MF, UF, NF/RO) with reduced fouling tendency and increased chlorine resistance (NF/RO) for water treatment

    • Surface modification with polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte multilayers
    • Surface modification by grafting to reactive groups on the membrane surface
    • Surface modification with (photoactive) antimicrobial nanoparticles
    • Development of (block) copolymers with fouling-release properties

  • Development of new ion conducting membrane materials (cation exchange and anion exchange materials) for electrochemical applications (electrolysis, fuel cell or membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI))

    • Temperature and alkali-stable anion exchange materials
    • Pore-filled ion-exchange membranes
    • IPN ion-exchange materials and membranes

  • Membrane manufacturing processes

    • Solvent-free/low-cost production of porous membranes via extrusion
    • Alternative, environmentally friendly solvents for NIPS process

Students are encouraged to inquire about topics for bachelor, master or diploma theses! For further information please contact Dr. Jochen Meier-Haack.

Current Projects

innovatION: Selektive Entfernung monovalenter Ionen aus salzhaltigen Wässern für die Grundwasseranreicherung und Trinkwasseraufbereitung, 2/2021 - 1/2024; BMBF FKZ 02WV1572C (

CaFeOX: Natürlich vorkommende Ca-Fe-Oxid-basierte Materialien mit maßgeschneiderten antimikrobiellen Funktionalitäten für vielfältige Anwendungen auf Oberflächen, in Wasser und Membranen, 6/2021 – 5/2024; SAB Antragsnummer 100576758

Hi-Water: Entwicklung von effizienten und kostengünstigen Technologien für die Trinkwasseraufbereitung im ländlichen Raum Entwicklung von Polymermembran zur Rückhaltung von Pathogenen und geringer Foulingneigung, 2/2018 - 5/2021; BMBF FKZ 01DN18012

Further information

Head of Research Group

Dr. Jochen Meier-Haack
+49 351 4658 519 +49 351 4658 290