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Master-Thesis: Emerging membrane technologies for energy efficient separation of lignocellulosic biomass in biorefineries - Guideline Development

AEE – Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien (AEE INTEC) ist eine außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtung und eines der führenden Institute im Bereich angewandter Forschung zu den thematischen Schwerpunkten Gebäude, Industrielle Systeme, Technologieentwicklung sowie Städte und Netze. AEE INTEC beschäftigt in Gleisdorf rund 70 Personen aus mehr als 10 verschiedenen Nationen.

AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE  INTEC) was founded in 1988 as an independent research association and is now one of the leading institutes for applied research in the fields of solar thermal energy, low-energy and zero energy buildings as well as in energy efficiency in industry. Besides these energy related topics also sustainable water management is a focus area, whereas process intensification technologies such as the membrane distillation and the oscillatory flow bioreactor are applied.


The biorefinery approach aims the highest possible value creation in means of down cycle raw material utilization. Membrane separation processes combine the advantage of material usage of the components by partly selective separation mechanisms with energy efficiency measures. Of great interest are emerging membrane processes such as forward osmosis (FO), membrane distillation (MD), pervaporation (PV) and liquid membrane permeation (LMP). In this project particular attention is paid to MD and LMP for the treatment of different process streams.

Besides the international Annex 17, a national project was set-up to strengthen Austria’s membrane and biorefinery research network. The objective is to evaluate the use of membrane separation processes and the integration of industrial waste heat, a sustainable path of the utilization of waste materials / waste streams and the reduction of the water demand is to be demonstrated.

The Austrian contribution develops guidelines for the use of emerging membrane separation technologies in biorefineries based on a waste/process water streams from the paper and pulp factory.

Master Thesis

This diploma thesis will be embedded into the framework of a national and international focus on emerging membrane technologies for energy efficient treatment of lignocellulosic biomass in biorefineries.


In this master thesis already conducted experimental data and available data from recently published literature of different membrane technologies will be collected and a guideline for the biorefinery industry, researcher, decision maker and membrane technology provider on membrane applications will be developed. The guideline will point out the efficient integration of membrane technologies and the possible/necessary combination of technologies, based on an integration concept for membrane technologies in biorefineries elaborated.

The methodology includes:

  • Reprocessing of experimental data and available literature (e.g. existing evaluation matrixes)
  • Literature research on recently published data
  • Consolidation of data from different sources
  • Elaboration of integration concepts for membrane technologies in biorefineries on defined integration points
  • Elaboration of a guideline

We request....

Thesis written in English or German Solution-oriented, creative, independent and reliable operation-mode Interest in sustainable technologies, biorefineries, membrane technologies Desirable: knowledge on literature research, preparation of well-structed word document.

We offer....

  • Paid thesis, integration into ongoing project
  • Start: 2022
  • Duration: 7 month
  • Location: AEE INTEC (Gleisdorf)


DI Judith Buchmaier
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-452
Email: j.buchmaier@aee.at

DI Dr. Bettina Muster-Slawitsch
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-471
Email: b.muster@aee.at