Innovation Method: thinking outside the box
Bio-inspired innovation is a method that uses nature as an inspiration for out-of-the-box innovations. Our out-of-the-box applications can be technical, but also offer solutions for societal challenges and social innovation. Nature uses efficiency and sustainability as the basis for the survival of life on our planet of which we can learn a lot.
Did you know that the earth is operational for nearly four billion years? During that time the earth has mastered a wide variety of challenges. This is why nature is a great source of inspiration for finding a solution to challenges in today’s technology. Therefore it is no surprise that the power of Berghof Membranes’ bio-inspired innovation lies in nature’s unconventional solutions. It is what drives us to think outside the box.
The World Ocean is the largest existing ecosystem on our planet. Covering over 71% of the Earth’s surface, it’s a source of livelihood for over 3 billion people. Yet, we often forget how dependent we are on the sea and everything that lives in it. Actually marine life reinvents itself time and time again by adapting to changing environmental conditions. In nature nothing is lost and the available energy is used as efficiently as possible. It is this efficiency that inspired us to develop our latest innovation, Ridge-M™.
Let’s zoom in on one of the ocean’s greatest representatives – the shark. Fast and agile, and able to reach astounding speeds. Their secret? A skin to which nothing sticks. And yet this skin is not smooth. It is covered with famous shard, tooth-like placoid scales. These so-called denticles protect the shark by preventing the attachment of organisms present in the water that could contaminate or disturb it.
One of the tedious bottlenecks in high-solids ultrafiltration is the excessive accumulation of solids on the membrane surface, resulting in fouling or clogging of the membrane. With the development of our new patented Ridge-M™ membrane technology, which offers an enhanced self-cleaning effect, the build-up of foulants on the surface of the membrane is prevented. This results in a higher, more stable permeate flow that yields better permeability, thus a higher permeate flux.
Multiple sharkskin-inspired ridges in the length of the inside of the membrane increase the surface turbulence due to uneven shear stress distribution. The technology creates a continuous mixing of solids in the feed water delaying the forming of a cake layer on the membrane surface.
Possible fouling between the ridges is removed easily due to the combination of turbulence and the uneven shear stress. This technology boosts the average performance of the membrane up to 50%* and lowers the consumption of both energy and chemicals.
*Average flux increase up to 50% compared to the standard Berghof HyperFlux™ membrane. Results may vary by application or operating conditions
In 2020, Berghof Membranes installed one of its containerized pilot plants at Liprovit, a leading Dutch company producing dairy-based nutrition products for young animals.
Holland Malt B.V. is a malt producer located on the northern coast of The Netherlands. The company produces malt and exports malt to breweries all over the world.
Artigas landfill has received the municipal solids waste (MSW)
from the Bilbao area since 1976. It has evolved over time and is nowadays part of the eco-park of Artigas.