Presentation at the WavE status conference

At the WavE status conference on 07th - 08th of February 2023 in Frankfurt am Main, the mid-term results of all collaborative projects and cross-sectional topics of the BMBF funding measure "Water Technologies: Reuse" were presented. Hanna Rosentreter presented the results of innovatION to about 200 participants from science, practice and politics. Afterwards, questions regarding concentrate treatment, fouling potential of membranes and suitable solutions for desalination were publicly discussed on the podium. Further results of innovatION on membrane production, groundwater recharge and on the practical desalination pilot tests were presented on three posters. Highlights of the conference were the keynote presentations on "Wasserstress in der deutschen Industrie" ("Water stress in the German industry") by Dr. Christoph Blöcher (Covestro Deutschland AG) and "Direct potable reuse: the ultimate sustainable solution?" by Dr. Jelle Roorda (Roorda Advice, Netherlands). The status conference organized by DECHEMA was a successful format for the exchange of project partners from all 15 collaborative projects.


WAVE II: Invitation to the status conference

On 7th and 8th February 2023, the status seminar of the BMBF funding measure "Water Technologies: Reuse" will take place in Frankfurt am Main at DECHEMA e.V. The funding measure aims to develop innovative technologies, operational concepts and management strategies for water reuse and desalination. Thirteen collaborative projects focus on the following topics     "Water reuse through the utilisation of treated municipal wastewater"     "Recycling of industrially used water" and     "Treatment of saline groundwater and surface water". The aim of the status seminar is to present the current results of the collaborative projects of the funding measure after two years of transdisciplinary research at various locations in Germany. In addition, the activities on application-relevant and cross-cutting issues of the WavE II cross-sectional topics will be presented. As part of the seminar results of the collaborative project innovatION will be presented. The two-day conference offers users and interested participants from industry, politics, administration, science as well as federal and state authorities the opportunity to learn more about the current findings. Participation is free of charge. To register for the status seminar, please use the following link:


Hybrid quarterly meeting at the TU Dresden

On 4th and 5th October 2022, the 5th quarterly meeting of innovatION took place. For the two-day meeting, project leaders of the different subprojects came together in hybrid form for exchange. After welcoming the guests who had traveled to Dresden at the Chair of Process Engineering in Hydrosystems of the TU Dresden, the mMCDI laboratory test plant was first presented. Afterwards, the evening ended with a walk and dinner together in Dresden. In the morning of October 5th, the presentation of the current results in the different work packages and the planning of further work steps followed. As a conclusion of the project meeting, the Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V. allowed an insight into the laboratories and the membrane production in the afternoon.


Project meeting and sampling on Langeoog

Small project meeting on Langeoog:On 16.08.22 the project leaders of innovatION from the Technical University Dresden, the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg and the Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband met on Langeoog. The installation of the pilot plant in the waterworks was discussed and further groundwater samples were taken for analysis and desalination tests with the monovalent membrane capacitive deionisation.


Protocol report on the online workshop "Requirements for selective desalination in practice"

On 07.03.2022, the online workshop "Requirements for Selective Desalination in Practice" took place as part of the BMBF-funded innovatION joint project in the funding measure Water Technologies: Reuse, the online workshop "Requirements for Selective Desalination in Practice" took place. After the welcome address by the moderator, Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Lerch from the Chair of Process Engineering in Hydrosystems at TU Dresden, the objectives of the workshop were presented. As a selective desalination plant is being developed within innovatION, further requirements and areas of application in practice as well as further questions regarding selective desalination are to be compiled together within the workshop with the 42 participants from research, industry and politics, which are to receive attention within the research project. Prof. Lerch presented the concept of selective desalination of innovatION: "In conventional desalination processes, polyvalent ions such as calcium and magnesium are removed first, or full desalination is carried out, in which case subsequent mineralisation must be carried out for treatment into drinking water or for use in irrigation. In contrast, monoselective membrane capacitive deionisation (mMCDI) aims to remove only monovalent ions, such as sodium, chloride and nitrate, from saline waters by using selective membranes." At the beginning of the workshop, Dr. Heiko Schwegmann from the project management organisation Karlsruhe and Dr. Christina Jungfer from DECHEMA gave their greetings and pointed out the importance and promotion of desalination for Germany as well as in a global context.After the introduction, the practical partners of innovatION, Dr. Jan Kolja Hesse from the Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband and Joachim Oltmann from the Kreisverband für Wasserwirtschaft Nienburg, demonstrated their need for utilisation-oriented water treatment due to increasing water withdrawals and simultaneously decreasing groundwater quality and quantity. Ron Jong from the KWR Water Research Institute as an associated partner then presented water treatment and desalination concepts in the Netherlands. The subsequent discussion once again showed the national as well as the international need for efficient solutions to remove monovalent ions such as sodium, chloride and nitrate, but also per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that are difficult to degrade.In the afternoon of the workshop, discussions were held in smaller groups in three parallel discussion forums on practical applications with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lerch (TU Dresden, Chair of Process Engineering in Hydrosystems), selective process engineering and materials with Dr. Meier-Haack (Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e.V.) and sustainability with Dr. Scope (TU Dresden, Chair of Business Administration, esp. Sustainability Management and Operational Environmental Economics). Like at a round table, the participants from the different areas were able to express their ideas, concerns and questions, which were summarised with the help of a digital pinboard.Digitally, too, with the support of a sweet motivational package and online communication tools, a joint practical exchange with many participants from different fields on selective desalination could be carried out.


Invitation to the Workshop on 7 March 2022

We would like to invite you to the workshop "Requirements for selective desalination in practice" on 07 March 2022 as part of the BMBF-funded joint project innovatION to discuss the need and implementation of selective desalination. In addition to keynote speeches from practice and research, there will also be discussion forums in which you are invited to actively participate.


Testing plant in operation

Finishing our testing plant in laboratory scale is one of the first greater milestones achieved. DEUKUM GmbH manufactured the electrodes and assembled the plant, elkoplan staiger GmbH provided the electrical installation. In January, the plant was delivered to Technische Universität Dresden, Chair of Process Engineering in Hydro Systems. Equipped with a preliminary test cell, the plant is now in operation. Two separate sections of measurement prior and subsequent to the cell allow the monitoring of several parameters, e. g. electrical conductivity, pH, temperature and pressure during the experiments. For a later analysis, all collected data is logged automatically. The implemented control from elkoplan staiger GmbH allows operating the plant either on site or by remote connection. Besides the laboratory experiments, new monoselective MCDI-Cells are being developed and manufactured. Those cells will be tested in future laboratory experiments to evaluate their performance. The results and findings help to develop and build the test plant in pilot scale and define operational parameters for it.


WavE II-Cross-cutting issues

Overview of cross-cutting issues WavE-II:- Analytics, Monitoring, Surveillance (Ruhl/Helmecke) - first online meeting: 1 December 2021- Digitalisation (Weng/Track) - first online meeting: 18 January 2022- Technologies and processes (Lerch/Wintgens) - first online meeting: 19 January 2022- Implementation of projects (Drewes/Ante): first online meeting: 1 February 2022- Evaluation (Donner/Sievers) - first online meeting: 28 March 2022


Quarterly meeting

On 28.09.2021, the project leaders of the individual work packages of innovatION met online to exchange information about the project's internal progress.


Quarterly meeting

On 19.05.2021, the project leaders of the individual work packages of innovatION met online to exchange information about the project's internal progress.


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 from OOWV

OOWV practical partner in nationwide research project Extracting salts from water - and enriching groundwater Langeoog/In Nord west. Falling groundwater levels and increasing salinization of groundwater are challenges of the present and consequences of climate change. Solutions are the focus of a nationwide research project with the participation of the Oldenburg-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV) under the leadership of the Technical University of Dresden. Therefore, a pilot plant will be installed in the Langeoog waterwork for eight months from the end of 2022. In particular, it will remove sodium and chloride from the groundwater near the coast in order to subsequently infiltrate it again for the purpose of groundwater recharge. The aim is to develop special membranes for this process, through which the water can be purified accordingly. "It won't be of drinking water quality afterwards," reports Yannick Tiemann, project manager on the OOWV side, "but it can be fed into the groundwater body afterwards." It is also conceivable that the treated water could be used for industrial purposes, thus conserving drinking water resources. There is still a long way to go before the first concrete results are available - the research project entitled "innovatION" is at its beginning. Initial results are expected in 2024. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. "During the eight-month pilot phase at the Langeoog waterwork, we will be responsible for supervising the plant and taking samples of different waters - meaning groundwater, process water and water from the pilot plant. We share the samples and the results obtained from them with the project partners for laboratory tests," describes Yannick Tiemann. "Due to the globally increasing demand for water and the decreasing availability of freshwater resources, there is a worldwide interest in efficient desalination processes," states the "innovatION" project description of the TU Dresden. "We are pleased to be one of the two practical partners, along with the Kreisverband für Wasserwirtschaft Nienburg," says the OOWV project manager.He has also already been involved in "MULTI-ReUse," a water reuse process in which treated wastewater is further processed to make it available to local industry. Here, the plans for a large-scale plant with its own supply network in Nordenham are concrete. The plant will save around one million cubic meters of drinking water per year. After all, not every industrial process requires the valuable water in drinking water quality.


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.



Presentation of innovatION at the Aachener Membran Kolloquium

The Aachen Membrane Colloquium (AMK) traditionally takes place every 2 years. This year we were able to present our first interim results from the innovatION project on ion exchange membranes with a poster as well as in a pitch. At the AMK, in addition to membrane manufacturing methods, results on the use of membranes for water treatment and desalination were presented. Electrochemical membrane processes are becoming more and more important for desalination as well as for the recovery of valuable resources. The AMK is a suitable exchange platform for manufacturers, researchers and operators. We hope to be present again next year in Aachen - at the 15th Aachen Conference on Water Technology, which will take place alternately to the AMK - to present the latest results of innovatION.


Presentation of innovatION at Euromembrane

Euromembrane is organised by the European Membrane Society ( every three years (2021 Copenhagen; 2024 Prague ( and is one of the largest membrane conferences in Europe. It primarily serves the exchange of knowledge between scientists. This year's Euromembrane was a special edition on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the European Membrane Society. The Euromembrane programme was very broad and covered many topics in the membrane sector, with membrane-based desalination methods being one of the focal points. First results on membrane development from the joint project innovatION could be presented in the form of a lecture.


Conference presentations at MELPRO 2022

On this years MELPRO conference, the latest findings on the membranes and electrochemical processes have been discussed. After the last conference in 2020, which had to be organized as an online event, the participants from science and industry could meet in Prague to discuss recent research and development at presentations, posters and panel discussions. Also the goals and progress of the project innovatION, as well as the current state of the modelling have been presented by David Schödel.



At POP-UP-WISSEN - Wissen schafft Dialog, a project of the Technical University of Dresden, innovatION was also presented on a poster in order to exchange information with the public and to answer questions on this topic. The aim of the project is, through POP-UP-WISSENsläden, decentralized events at POP-UP-WISSENsorten and virtual activities in the POP-UP-WISSENsnetz, to arouse the curiosity of the population in Weißwasser and Dresden, to answer questions and discover future topics. Further information on the "Wissenschaftsjahr 2022 Nachgefragt!" and "POP-UP-WISSEN - Wissen schafft Dialog"campaign is available here:


Poster presentation at ProcessNet conference

From 16 to 18 of March the annual conference of "ProcessNet Fachgruppen Computational Fluid Dynamics, Mischvorgänge und Agglomerations- und Schüttguttechnik", which is organized with the DECHEMA, took place in Leipzig. Besides talks and presentations from attendees regarding fundamental science or industrial scale applications, the innovatION project was also represented by David Schödel. For the "Computational Fluid Dynamics" group a poster from a prior Master Thesis, describing the approaches to our mMCDI model was presented and discussed.


Presentation at the conference of the Fachsektion Hydrogeologie e. V. of the DGGV

From March 23rd to March 25th 2022, the conference of the Fachsektion Hydrogeologie e. V. of the DGGV (Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft – Geologische Vereinigung) took place online, with the main topic "Groundwater - Climate - Society", in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena. In the session "Artificial and natural groundwater reacharge" the PhD student Laura Bräunig and the Master student Mareike Schloo, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, could present their first results from the project "innovatION" on the geochemical interactions during the infiltration of a monovalent-partially desalinated water into dune sediments of the East Frisian island Langeoog in two posters and flash talks. Likewise, the meeting showed the increasing interest in research on methods and techniques for groundwater protection and understanding of groundwater quality, as well as processes during infiltration through the vadose zone. This reinforces the motivation of the "innovatION" project for the development of a monovalent-selective membrane and the importance of understanding geochemical reactions during artificial groundwater recharge with product water.


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.