Using simulation to optimise the design of water filtration systems

STFC Hartree Centre worked with Evove as part of the ERDF funded CW4.0 programme using computational modelling to develop membrane filters with transformational performance in water filtration and the processing of other liquids.

Credit: Adobe Stock


During liquid filtration processes like water purification and desalination, polymer and ceramic membranes are commonly used as a filtration and separation barrier. Conventional filtration membranes have random microstructures and pore sizes, resulting in rapid dirtying and polluting and sub optimal filtration. This causes significant inefficiency, over engineering and unnecessary energy cost. Evove, a graphene innovation application company, want to re-design filtration membranes to address these fundamental challenges. Their work aims to significantly reduce power usage, costs and the environmental impact of water treatment processes.


Software Engineers at the Hartree Centre worked with Evove using their expertise in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to explore how CFD help accelerate the design process of the Evove Separonics®- their new semi-permeable membranes. CFD transformed membrane design by allowing the team to trial new geometries using computer simulation, removing the need to physically build and test all potential membrane design candidates in the lab. The ability to generate detailed simulations of how fluids pass through new membrane structures offered insight into the potential design optimisations that could be adopted by Evove. This approach showed that CFD and simulation can be used to accelerate the design process for the Separonic® membranes, reducing reliance on expensive and time consuming prototype testing.


Using the power of simulation to model and test highly detailed membranes helped Evove to explore their membrane designs virtually, reducing costs associated with physical prototyping. By accelerating the design process, Evove’s customers can rapidly implement more effective membrane filters, which increasing efficiency and reducing power wastage, ultimately helping to meet climate change targets. The collaboration between Evove and the Hartree Centre will continue, using CFD modelling to explore how the design of Separonic membranes can be further optimised as they are deployed globally in the transition to a net zero economy.

Continuing our relationship with the Hartree Centre and leveraging the expertise and high performance computing, we will design highly precise filtration membranes that enable resource circularity and significantly cut the carbon emissions of key economic sectors.

Tristan Phillips, VP of Engineering at Evove

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