NX Filtration delivers pilot system to reduce the water footprint of a brewery in Spain

19 June 2020

NX Filtration delivers pilot system to reduce the water footprint of a brewery in Spain

NX Filtration applies its hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes for optimal reuse of wastewater streams at the La Zaragozana brewery in Spain. NX Filtration’s nanofiltration membranes will be used to treat the concentrate from the reverse osmosis treatment of process water at the brewery and therewith significantly reduce the water footprint of the brewery.

The project is a demonstration project as part of VIDA (Value-added Innovation in fooD chAins), stimulating innovation and cutting-edge development in the agrifood chain, financed by the European Commission. Together with NX Filtration, the project is conducted with two engineering companies and water solutions integrators, Jotem Waterbehandeling and Adiego Hermanos.

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the optimization of the reverse osmosis water conditioning by introducing advanced nanofiltration membranes with unique characteristics for this application. The high pressure in the rejected stream in the reverse osmosis system can be used for the, relatively low pressure, hollow fiber nanofiltration process for which no additional pre-treatment and feed pump are required. Additionally, hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes have little to no problems with ‘scaling’, which is membrane fouling due to precipitation of salts. The filtrate from the hollow fiber nanofiltration can also be reused in the brewery’s processes, reducing the remaining concentrate stream to 15-20% of the original stream.

Erik Roesink, founder and business development manager at NX Filtration, comments:

“This is a great example of an application for this new generation of hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes which fits in perfectly with the reuse of wastewater and water savings in general. Due to a growing population and drought caused by climate change, applications like ours are increasingly needed.

Our new generation of nanofiltration membranes is based on an innovative coating technology which uses water soluble polyelectrolytes. This results in very robust and resistant ultra-thin separation layers, which mainly filter low molecular components such as drug residues and nanoplastics as well as divalent salts, which cause hardness. Univalent salts, such as table salt, mostly pass through the membrane. Due to the hollow fiber configuration, only simple pre-treatment is required, enabling the application of a simple, robust one-step filtration process. It also saves energy by using the pressure of the concentrate produced by the reverse osmosis.”


Robert Gerard
Water and wastewater expert