Flemish start-up invents new wastewater treatment filter


The start-up BFM has developed an innovative membrane that enables faster, cheaper and more efficient treatment of waste water

‘Game changer’

A consortium of Flemish investment funds have joined Dow Chemical Company to support Blue Foot Membranes (BFM), a spin-off of Flanders’ research institute for technological research, Vito.

BFM produces and markets the patented Integrated Permeate Channel (IPC) technology used in membrane bioreactors for the treatment of industrial and municipal waste water. Membrane bioreactors use a combination of biological treatment and microfiltration using permeable membranes.

“The team of Blue Foot Membranes is ready to demonstrate the benefits of these unique membranes,” said BFM director Patrick Vanschoubroek. “We are convinced that IPC membranes are a game changer for industrial as well as domestic wastewater treatment plants.”

According to Vanschoubroek, IPC membranes double the output capacity per square meter and lower aeration costs by at least 50% compared to membrane bioreactors equipped with conventional filtration membranes.

“The innovative IPC membrane lowers the cost of membrane bioreactor systems through a reduced carbon footprint and energy consumption,” said Tim Lacey of Dow Water & Process Solutions. ”Dow is excited about this opportunity for customers to decrease the cost of wastewater treatment sustainably.”

BFM investors include Ghent-based inter-university investment fund QBIC II, Limburg investment fund LRM and the government agency Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Photo courtesy BFM