March 14, 2022

Fujifilm’s photographic Films become membranes to purify water

  • This ion exchange solution is able to give new uses to already used and purified water, such as irrigation for crops and urban gardens, promoting new formulas of circular economy.
  • Applications include: desalination of brackish water for human consumption; desalination of wastewater for reuse; generation of electricity through the salt gradient potential; softening of hard water; and production of ultrapure water.
  • The company's Spanish subsidiary is leading the promotion and expansion of these solutions throughout Europe, especially due to the Spanish market's expertise in everything related to water treatment and reuse.

Since 1934 Fujifilm has been consistently recognized in sectors such as photography. This knowledge, which has evolved over time thanks to its commitment to R&D (7% of the company's annual turnover), has led to new products, such as ion exchange membranes for purifying water. A solution capable of giving new uses to water already used and purified, such as irrigation of gardens and crops, promoting new formulas of circular economy.

Among the applications of this coating technology to preserve such a scarce yet necessary commodity are: desalination of brackish water; desalination of wastewater for reuse; energy generation through the potential of the saline gradient; hard water softening; and ultrapure water production.

At Fujifilm we have a broad portfolio of membranes, ranging from those offering low electrical resistance, with or without a wide pH range, ideal for brackish water desalination or reuse, to low permeability membranes suitable for brine concentration. All of them are based on new and innovative polymer technology that builds on the know-how Fujifilm has accumulated over the years,

explains Pol Adarve Business Development Manager - Industrial Division at Fujifilm Europe.

It is precisely Spanish experts such as Adarve who are responsible for leading the marketing, promotion, development and expansion of these solutions throughout Europe, especially due to their knowledge and experience in the Spanish market in terms of water treatment, desalination and reuse processes.

As part of the Industrial Products Division, Fujifilm's water membranes have become a useful tool for companies in a variety of industries to meet water quality regulations and their goals of reuse, reduced consumption and environmental care.

How Fujifilm's ion exchange membranes work

Ion exchange is a water treatment process used to demineralise dissolved salts and minerals in water. It is an electrochemical process in which dissolved ions, e.g. nitrates and sulphates, which are common in agriculture and animal husbandry, are transferred in a concentrate stream called brine. The main advantage of electrodialysis technology and ion exchange membranes over reverse osmosis is the higher level of treated water recovery, up to 92-95%, compared to brine.

Fujifilm has several laboratories in Europe and Asia dedicated to the research and development of these ion exchange membranes in order to constantly innovate in this field and promote the saving and reuse of water, especially in regions where it is increasingly scarce, thus helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda proposed by the UN,

says Adarve