'The shortage of drinking water in many regions on the planet constitutes a real problem and hazard. The use of seawater, brackish water and wastewater for human consumption is not a new concept. In spite of the success of membrane technology in water reclamation, membrane separation systems suffer from a serious problem: membrane fouling. The main downside is an inevitabe increase in operation and maintenance costs as well as an adverse effect on the lifespan of the membrane (harsh cleaning treatment). LbLBRANE is an ambitious project ensuring competent input right from the membrane concept down to lab-scale production and optimisation before scaling-up in pilot plants for end users. LbLBRANE applies novel nanotechnology tools, namely the layer-by-layer (LbL) technology to develop a versatile and generic procedure for the fast fabrication of low-cost, stable, chemical-resistant polyelectrolyte membranes. The LbL technology is the way to go for a bottom-up nano-engineered membrane whereby the modification is performed stepwise in a controlled manner - the thickness can be finely tuned by the number of layers deposited, the architecture of the film can be compartmentalised by incorporating functional species (polyelectrolyte as well as nanoparticles with specific functions, such as antibacterial properties) and the morphology of the film can be modulated via the pH, charge density and type of polyelectrolyte pairs to create pore size (hence permeability) tailored according to the specific need of the membranes. Our concern is focused towards high performance, regenerable membranes which could be cleaned in-situ and hybrid membranes with extremely high flux with high permselectivity and mechanical robustness. The ultimate aim is towards implementation of LbL on large industrial scale, from module design and construction to end user, especially for water reuse and metal/acid recovery.'
'The objective of TexWIN is to increase productivity by up to 20% and reduce down-times of machines by one third of workshop factories; due to a reduction of stop times, set-up times and waiting times, increased flexibility and reliability of processes, and due to reduced sampling effort. The breakthrough is to exploit existing knowledge available in various factory internal and factory external sources by (1) combining and evaluating process state information as well as product and material characteristics and (2) deriving best production instructions. Additionally existing production knowledge and experiences from production operators will be preserved and made available by the CBR module. This will be enabled by the hierarchical control structure "TexWIN-Concept" consisting of an adaptive and modular system "TexWIN-System" and re-engineered "TexWIN-Processes" improving quality of products and processes of workshop factory operations. The “TexWIN-System" integrates the two following units: (a) the factory controller for the improvement of the process schedule and event-based coordination of factory (inter-)operations and (b) the adaptive CBR-based production unit controller for identification of best process recipes/machine settings concerning product quality and production process set-up and execution efficiency. The modules will be integrated into a common communication framework, which will enable flexible interfacing and ontology-based information transformation. The "TexWIN-Processes" are adapted factory business processes which allow maximising the efficiency and quality effects and seamless integration into existing factories. TexWIN, which will be tested within in 5 textile and plastic mills, will be best suited for industries dealing basically with make-to-order production, small batches, high-quality product variants, workshop production, complex processes and non-homogeneous and/or natural materials.'