Eine Frau hält einen Laptop in der Hand und steht vor einem Pellet Reaktor


Water is an important resource in manufacturing and as a foodstuff. It is therefore paramount that our water be used efficiently and protected from contamination – for economic as well as ecological reasons. Fraunhofer IKTS provides solutions for the treatment of waste water and industrial process water without chemicals or biological agents – from multifunctional components to compact overall systems.

Fraunhofer IKTS has many years of experience in identifying and solving specific problems faced by the industrial and household water management sectors. Based on extensive process analyses, we apply the advantages offered by ceramic high-performance materials to the development of functional components in separation and reaction technology. Our scientists integrate these components in economical system solutions used by municipal water works, the manufacturing industry and the mining sector. The disciplines of materials technology and process technology are closely intertwined at Fraunhofer IKTS in order to meet all relevant technological, statutory and economic framework conditions.

Our successful methods focus on combining ceramic membranes for micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration with electrochemical, sonochemical and photocatalytic processes (advanced oxidation processes – AOP). Specific sensor systems and classic aerobic and an-aerobic treatment techniques also play a role in many cases. The institute develops highly integrated components which combine processes such as filtration and adsorption or sonoelectrochemical oxidation. The sensors required for this are developed and integrated specifically for each application. Ceramic elements are key when it comes to improving the performance of such highly integrated compact systems as well as the operating conditions (high temperatures, aggressive media). The combination of these methods significantly reduces the energy demand of water treatment plants and enables the use of renewable energy sources. This makes process technology more efficient and benefits the environment while reducing process costs.

As a reliable partner for industrial and municipal clients, Fraunhofer IKTS also dedicates its resources to meeting the challenges of the future. Due to changes in demography, legislation and economic framework, water and waste water systems will have to become smarter and more efficient. For this reason, Fraunhofer IKTS integrates cutting-edge measuring and sensor technology concepts to operate plants adaptively and in an optimized way depending on the load. Furthermore, it is possible to adapt centralized and decentralized water treatment solutions to specific local demands and conditions by integrating modular plant concepts and using powerful data collection and interpretation strategies (AI, neural networks).

With its business division Water, Fraunhofer IKTS is working at the crossroads between the water, energy and materials management sectors. For instance, requirements from sectors such as heating, renewables, nutrients and raw materials can be integrated in approaches for holistic systems used to balance ecological and economic requirements.