Kick-off Meeting

innovatION stands for the selective removal of monovalent ions from saline water for groundwater recharge and drinking water supply. This project is funded for 3 years by BMBF and is part of the “Water technologies: water reuse” (german: „Wassertechnologien: Wasserwiederverwendung“, WavE) network. innovatION is a joint project of nine national partners and two international associated partners. The Chair of Process Engineering in Hydro Systems (Technische Universität Dresden) is responsible for the project coordination and is collaborating close with the Chair of Business Management, esp. Sustainability Management and Environmental Accounting of the TU Dresden, to investigate the selective retention of water substances and to elaborate the efficiency and sustainability of the process. On 19 February 2021, the project started with a virtual Kick-off Meeting involving the project partner and sponsors.










Saline surface water or saline groundwater will be filled into the mMCDI via a user-specific pre-treatment. Here, only the monovalent ions pass through the nanofiltration membrane and thus adsorb at the cathode or anode. The polyvalent ions remain in the solution, which can then be used as drinking water or for groundwater recharge. References:

Ayers, R. S. & Westcot, D. W., 1985. Water quality for agriculture. FAO Irrigation and Drainage, 29, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Bazargan, A. & Salgado B., 2018. Fundamentals of Desalination Technology. In: Bazargan, A. (Ed.). A Multidisciplinary Introduction to Desalination, River Publishers, 41-66.

Martens, S. & Wichmann, K., 2005. In: Lozan, J.L., Grassl, H., Hupfer, P., Menzel, L. & Schönewiese, C.-D. (Eds). Warnsignal Klima: Genug Wasser für alle? Wissenschaftliche Fakten. 126−130.

Trinkwasserverordnung – TrinkwV, 2001. Verordnung über die Qualität von Wasser für den menschlichen Gebrauch. updated 2018.

Wiederhold H. & Elbracht J., 2013. Salzwasserintrusion – Gefahr für unser Trinkwasser? In: GEOFOKUS. Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen, 52.

WWAP (UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme), 2012. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2012: Leaving No One Behind. Paris, UNESCO. 1-16.

WWAP (UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme), 2019. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019: Leaving No One Behind. Paris, UNESCO. 1-9.




Press release on the "innovatION" research project

Research project develops sustainable, membrane-based water desalination processDue to the globally increasing demand for water and the decreasing availability of freshwater resources, there is a worldwide interest in efficient desalination processes. Freshwater that is influenced by the sea or by geogenic, i.e. natural, underground salt deposits often has high concentrations of sodium and chloride. High nitrate and sulphate concentrations usually result from agricultural influence. "Conventional desalination processes desalinate water completely and usually do not distinguish which salts are retained," explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Lerch, professor of the chair of process engineering in hydrosystems and coordinator of the innovatION joint project. "However, a complete desalination of the waters is often not useful, but only a reduction of the monovalent, singly charged ions."The aim of the innovatION research project is to develop an energy-efficient selective membrane-based desalination process for the targeted removal of monovalent ions from saline groundwater and surface water, and to examine potential applications and areas of use, taking into account water chemistry, economic and ecological aspects.innovatION stands for Selective Removal of Monovalent Ions from Saline Waters for Groundwater Recharge and Drinking Water Treatment. The joint project will be funded over the next three years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF within the funding measure "Water Technologies: Water Reuse". innovatION brings together nine national partners from practice and science as well as two international associated partners. Within the framework of innovatION, selective membranes for specific retention of monovalent salts are being developed and installed in newly designed modules for use in an electrochemical process in laboratory and pilot plants. The plants will be used to carry out investigations to identify optimised process and plant parameters depending on different raw water qualities and treatment targets. The resulting effects and challenges for the different raw waters will be examined. The developed technology will be compared with international targets such as the sustainability goals using a holistic economic-ecological sustainability assessment in order to derive recommendations for action.By choosing partners from industry, science and practice, the consortium is able to build plants and test and evaluate the innovative technology on site with practical partners. Young scientists can be involved in cooperation and exchange with international scientists at an early stage. The results thus contribute significantly to securing water resources and further education, both nationally and internationally.



Poster for the kick-off event of the BMBF funding measure of WavE

innovatION is a joint project which is focused on the development of a sustainable treatment and utilization of saline groundwater of the WavE-Network ( of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.In July 2021 all WavE-Partners came together for a launch event. The goal and content of innovatION were presented with the following three posters.


Presentation at the WavE kick-off event

innovatION is a joint project which is focused on the development of a sustainable treatment and utilization of saline groundwater of the WavE-Network ( of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.In July 2021 all WavE-Partners came together for the WavE kick-off event. Hereby, Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Lerch presented the contents and goals of innovatION.