atech innovations gmbh, based in Gladbeck, has been active since 1989 in the distribution and, since 1992, also in in the development and production of high-quality ceramic membranes for a wide variety of industrial applications. 14 staff members are there to support customers all over the world from the chemical, biotechnological, food and beverages industries and from the waste water treatment/recycling industry. atech is owned 75% by ARAN Holding GmbH based in Bad Schwartau, 25% are owned by Dr. Giovanni Catania who is also a Managing Director of both atech and ARAN. At its headquarters in the innovation park 'Wiesenbusch' in Gladbeck, atech has a production area of approximately 1,200 m2.
After its foundation in 1989, atech at first sold products from a French manufacturer on the German market and developed membrane plants for industrial waste water treatment. Shortly after the production of ceramic membranes initially made of silicon carbide - had been started the plant engineering division was discontinued. Since 1994, atech has focused on developing and distributing ceramic membranes made of aluminum oxide and pressure vessels to accommodate the ceramic membranes.
We will attend the following tradeshows:
IFAT - Entsorga Munich: 13. - 17. September 2010
Initially, atech ceramic membranes were used in waste water technology. Meanwhile, successful solutions and possible applications are furnished to all industries where liquids are filtered. The benefits of atech membranes are particularly useful in the food, environmental and chemical industries.
In the field of waste water treatment atech membranes are used, for example, for the filtration of cleaning chemicals (surface treatment), for cell separation after biological processes, or for the recycling of paints and lacquers. In chemical and biotechnological applications, ceramic membranes ensure protein concentration, cell separation, recovery of catalysts, filtration of dyestuffs, and more. In the food and beverages industry, ceramic membranes made by atech filter or clarify beverage such as beer, wine and fruit juices.
In the environmental / waste water industries, the substances listed below are, among others, filtered for cleaning, concentration or separation purposes:
Solutions for biotechnology and for the chemical industry include filtration, cleaning, separation or recovery of:
In the food industry, ceramic membranes made by atech are used for the filtration of:
Ceramic membranes are so-called composite membranes, which means that a thin membrane is applied to a highly porous support. atech supports are characterized by high water permeability. The membrane is as thin as possible thus presenting a small resistance - and at the same time thick enough to minimize imperfections.
Membrane supports are made of high-purity alpha-aluminum oxide which ensures maximum permeability and fulfils high requirements regarding mechanical strength. The carriers supports are produced by extrusion and are sintered at temperatures of up to 1,800°C. Only if pure materials and high temperatures are used, supports will be resistant even to very corrosive media liquids and will have a sufficient stability. Then, the filtration membrane is applied in layers, starting with the largest pores and continuing to finest pores having diameters of only a few nanometers (one thousand millionth of a meter, a hundred thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair). Depending on the application, membranes are available in alpha-aluminum oxide, titanium oxide or zirconium oxide.
When compared to rival products, in particular to polymer membranes, ceramic membranes made by atech stand out due to their high chemical, thermal and mechanical strength, ensuring a long service life. Consequently, membranes are primarily used when polymer membranes are no longer able to meet the requirements. Due to their excellent material properties ceramic membranes ensure process stability, high availability levels, low pre-treatment requirements and minimum technical care. Compared to ceramic membranes made by other manufacturers the quality of atech membranes is significantly higher because they are produced without using any ceramic binders or other additives.
All in all, ceramic membranes made by atech provide the following benefits:
During cross-flow filtration by means of ceramic membranes the liquids to be filtered flows through the channels of the membrane carrier. All particles whose size exceeds the pore diameter of the membrane are retained. The particles / molecules build up in the concentrate. The filtrate permeates through the pores and - depending on the procedure - is subjected to subsequent process stages.
Depending on the requirements of each particular application, atech innovations offers a wide range of different membrane designs. The standard range includes single-channel and multi-channel membranes with various channel diameters suitable for ultrafiltration (starting at 5 kD) and microfiltration (up to 1.2 µm).
The ceramic membranes are arranged in pressure casings vessels to form modules. Filtering surfaces are available in sizes ranging from 0.05 square centimeters for test purposes to more than 30 square meters per casing vessel for a large-scale application.
For an initial assessment of the filterability of a specific liquids and of the filtering performance, atech can perform filtering tests for the user on a pilot installation. A test run on a pilot installations is one of the first steps in filtration using ceramic membranes because there are hardly any two identical liquids and because even minimal changes in the composition of liquids may lead to significant changes in the filtering performance.