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Arkema, Polymem Awarded for Ultrafiltration Membranes

Friday, October 15, 2021

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Specialty chemicals company Arkema and French water filtration modules manufacturer Polymem received the Team Innovation Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for their development of ultrafiltration membranes made from Kynar PVDF resins.

The ceremony, held in August, awarded joint research from Arkema’s French and American research centers and application research by Polymem.

“Working hand in hand with Polymem and downstream users enables us to move faster and to accomplish far greater results than simply working alone. It is an outstanding example of a market driven solution,” said David Silagy, General Manager for Fluoropolymers at Arkema, in a press release.

The material, according to Arkema, demonstrates “outstanding long-term resistance to oxidants and exceptional mechanical strength in a microporous structure.” Water passes through the microporous fibers, likened to “hollow spaghetti” under one millimeter in diameter, to be ultrafiltered with the scale of the pores in the 10–20 nanometers range.

The new membranes were initially tested at the Ginestous-Garonne water treatment plant in 2020 and are currently showcased in France’s Toulouse Métropole wastewater treatment plant.


Specialty chemicals company Arkema and French water filtration modules manufacturer Polymem received the Team Innovation Award from the American Chemical Society for their development of ultrafiltration membranes made from Kynar PVDF resins.

“It is an extremely safe system. After passing through the membranes, all suspended solids and any elements in the order of 15 nm including bacteria and viruses are eliminated. The system thus perfectly fulfills its role regarding everything that is pathogenic, offering the best guarantees to prevent issues of quality non-conformity,” said Julie Ducrot, Process and Water Treatment Engineer at the Toulouse Metropole Cycle de l’Eau Department.

“The treated wastewater we obtain is top quality (index A) that is entirely suitable for its intended use, namely currently just the watering of green spaces (within the facility as well as the nearby golf course),” Ducrot added.

Arkema reports that “repeated, long-term cleanability is a key feature of these membranes” and that filtration throughput is high while cleaning frequency is between 20% and 30% lower than with other polymer materials, because of the membranes’ long-lasting hydrophilic properties.

Public policies in France strongly encourage the reuse of treated wastewater to aid the country in their efforts to adapt to climate change. The development of the ultrafiltration membranes provides a possible solution for pressure on water resources and reduces the products needed for treatment and energy costs.

“The availability of this innovative technology gives momentum to a circular economy and sound water management within our community,” said Robert Médina, Toulouse Métropole Vice President for Water and Sanitation. “As such, we stand among the French authorities at the forefront of this issue of wastewater reuse.”

Arkema’s Other Projects

In November 2020, Arkema placed an inaugural Green Bond fully dedicated to the financing of a new plant in Singapore that’s slated to manufacture 100% bio-based Rilsan polyamide 11.

Arkema notes that this Green Bond is aligned with its Corporate Social Responsibility and in financing the new Singapore plant, the company is making strides in a sustainably project at the heart of its growth strategy.

This plant, which is scheduled to come onstream in 2022, is reportedly designed with technology to maximize its efficiency and minimize its environmental impact and will be dedicated to producing 100% bio-based amino 11 monomer and Rilsan polyamide 11 from castor oil, a renewable and sustainable feedstock.

The company notes that its Rilsan polyamide 11 is recognized for its properties and performance in very demanding applications, contributing to the development of sustainable solutions in fast-growing sectors, such as 3D printing.


Tagged categories: American Chemical Society; Arkema Inc.; Awards and honors; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; EU; NA; North America; Polymem; Water/Wastewater

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