Final Thesis

3D Printed Hollow Fiber Membrane Geometries

Key Info

Basic Information

Chemical Process Engineering
Masterthesis / Bachelorthesis
Focus/Key Topic:
experimental / constructive


Membrane technologies have established as sustainable systems in various industrial applications. In the food and produced water field, membranes are regarded as resource- and energy-efficient process alternative for the selective separation of product and waste streams. In medical applications, there was neither blood filtration for kidney patients nor open heart surgery possible without membrane technology. For those purposes, polymeric membranes made from high-tech polymers are utilized.
Performance limitations for membrane technologies occur due to boundary layer effects at the membrane surface. Concentration polarisation means an increasing local concentration of the retained species at the membrane surface. For the controlled reduction of the boundary layer, we develop novel hollow fiber geometries to induce superimposed secondary flow patterns. Those secondary flow patterns imply mixing effects to increase the local mass transport from the membrane surface to the bulk phase.

Our solution approach tackles the conventional fabrication process of wet fiber spinning with phase inversion. We manipulate the hollow fiber geometry by varying specific process parameters, designing novel spinnerets for fiber extrusion or adding extension modules to the conventional setup.
The next research project aims at the further development of our method to fabricate sinusoidal-shaped hollow fiber membranes. Basing on a continuous sinusoidal geometry, derived structures with discontinuous, nozzle-like pulse segments will be developed. Project aim is the further enhancement of the induced secondary flow pattern and mixing effect.

If this sounds interesting to you or in case of further questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I will show you around in our labs and introduce you to the project and your possible specific assignments. I am curious about your interest.

The work provides you.

  • Membrane fabrication| Deep understanding of a fundamental field of membrane technology
  • Experimental work| Experience in lab work, design of experiments and characterisation of chemical systems
  • Creativity| Development and execution of individual and creative ideas and concepts
  • 3D printing| Development of skills in 3D-CAD software and utilization of future-leading manufacturing techniques
  • Teamwork| An extensive supervision by the scientific researcher as well as a supporting Team of thesis students and research assistants (HiWis)

You should offer.

  • Self-dependent, systematical and structured working attitude
  • Interest in experimental work and mechanical constructive design
  • Willingness to try out something new
  • Ability to work in a team