A joint project between Fraunhofer and Stellenbosch University (SU)
The ICON project WASTEC aims to merge the expertise and associated technologies available at Fraunhofer and Stellenbosch University with its Water Institute in the field of water treatment and utilization and, through joint research and development, to develop solutions for the water-supply problems existing in South Africa and the sub-Saharan countries.
The technical solutions concentrate primarily on a reduction of the energy required for desalination with reverse osmosis (RO) plants and the application of new antimicrobial technologies for the safe production of foodstuffs. The Fraunhofer IST is hereby focusing on the prevention of biofilms on RO membranes through the utilization of a disinfection process developed at the Fraunhofer IST involving chemical oxidation using diamond electrodes (DiaDis technology) in combination with thin protective coatings which are applied to the membranes by means of atomic layer deposition.
Building on WASTEC and the Fraunhofer-SU cooperation as well as the results achieved in this project, in the long term, the R&D market in other sub-Saharan countries will be opened up through the establishment of a science and technology network involving other R&D institutions and relevant industry.