Focus on "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" Industry Planning Water Treatment Industry Concerned

China's water resources are increasingly scarce and industrialization is still advancing at a high speed. How to ease the contradiction between resources and development has become a major challenge for China during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. As one of the solutions, separation membranes that are widely used in water treatment, chlor-alkali industry and other fields will play a key role.

The reporter learned from the vice chairman and secretary-general of the China Film Industry Association Yu Jinde yesterday that the “12th Five-year Plan for Separating Membrane” (hereinafter referred to as the “Planning”) prepared by the Association has been finalized and reported to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Development and Reform Commission. The relevant ministries and commissions of the Ministry of Science and Technology and other countries may be separately listed in the "12th Five-Year Plan for High Performance Membrane Materials" in the future. According to the plan, China will substantially increase the self-sufficiency rate of separation membranes during the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” period, form a complete scale of production capacity in the entire separation membrane and realize import substitution, and the production capacity of related species will also increase substantially.

The chief drafter of the plan, Prof. Chen Guanwen, director of the Engineering and Application Committee of the China Film Industry Association, told reporters that the plan is expected to be included in the "12th Five-Year Plan for New Materials" of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and "High-tech" of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The "Two Five-Year Plan" will play an important role in supporting and guiding the development of the separation membrane industry in the next five years.

Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration Membrane: Water Treatment "Magic Wand"

As a water treatment technology that emerged at the end of the 20th century, separation membrane technology is not known outside the industry, and the current industry scale is also very small. However, during the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” period, China will enter a new stage in the treatment of water resources. The separation membrane technology, which plays an important role in the field of water treatment, is also expected to usher in rapid growth.

“This year's document No. 1 of the Central Committee takes water safety as a top priority, and the realization of the safe treatment of drinking water proves that it is not a 'film',” said Eugene.

According to the “12th Five-year Plan for Separation Membrane”, China will substantially increase the self-sufficiency rate of separation membranes during the “Twelfth Five-year Plan” period, and form a complete scale of production capacity and import substitution in the entire area of ​​separation membranes, including water treatment. The annual capacity of ultrafiltration and microfiltration membranes will reach 45 to 50 million square meters; the electric drive membranes will have an annual capacity of 1 million to 1.3 million square meters.

“There are 300 million people in China who do not have access to standard water, and the new drinking water standards that will be implemented in 2012 will not be met in most of the current places. All these need to rely on membrane treatment to achieve compliance,” said Chen Guanwen.

It is understood that the “Healthy Standard for Drinking Water” (GB5749-2006) that will be enforced by July 1, 2012 at the latest will increase the drinking water index from 35 in the original standard to 106, and 35 indicators for the original standard. The eight items were revised. According to this standard, advanced treatment of drinking water by the membrane method is the only way.

“Originally, the industry did not want to use membranes because the membranes are too expensive, but they are now different. The membrane processing plant has gained recognition and promotion in more and more cities in China,” said Chen Guanwen.

From the end of the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” period, the construction of the membrane water treatment project for urban use has started. Hangzhou, Wuxi, Dongying, Beijing and other places have built a membrane water treatment plant. Among them, the 500,000 tons/day water plant planned by Beijing at the end of last year has been certified, and the scale is known as the largest in the world.

“Imagine how many membranes would be needed if a water treatment plant with a capacity of 500,000 tons per year were to be treated by the membrane method. How many more plants in China need to be transformed? This is a relatively large market.” Chen Guanwen said.

The plan also mentions that the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” will build a tap water membrane purification project with a scale of 500,000-75 million cubic meters per day.

“Not only that, but also in terms of sewage treatment, industrial water recycling, the separation membrane is also useful.” According to Chen Guanwen, the country may not be equipped with water indicators for new large-scale projects in the future, and require companies to use municipal wastewater. There is a need for membrane treatment to turn waste water into recyclable water.

Eugende said that at present, membrane treatment projects in the field of wastewater reuse have accounted for more than 95% of the total, and more than 90% of membrane materials in China are also used for water treatment.

Eugende pointed out that as early as the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the direct drinking water system with ultrafiltration membrane as the core provided healthy drinking water for the 70 million visitors to the World Expo, and its main health indicators were even better than the EU standards. Therefore, if the “Twelve Five Plan” of the Separation Membrane Industry is achieved as scheduled, China’s drinking water quality will have a qualitative leap.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane: Desalination "Killer"

“In addition, seawater desalination is an important application area for separation membranes. At an earlier internal meeting, the relevant leaders have stated that China will launch a general campaign in seawater desalination,” said Chen Guanwen.

"The methods for achieving seawater desalination include distillation method, membrane method, ion exchange method, etc. Among them, membrane technology has become the preferred technology for seawater desalination due to its high efficiency, no phase change, low energy consumption and low operating costs." Eugene De said.

Yang Shangbao, director of the Department of Water Resources Division of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that according to incomplete statistics, the capacity of desalination projects already built in China has reached 600,000 tons/day, of which 60% use membrane technology. The relevant “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” proposed that the desalination capacity should reach 2.2-2.6 million tons/day, which means that the membrane technology has more room to be used.

“It is expected that during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period, 200,000-300,000 cubic meters/day of reverse osmosis membrane desalination system will be designed and constructed, and new seawater desalination capacity will be 1 million-1.5 million cubic meters per day. With desalination project With the scale and maturation, the percentage of seawater desalination projects using membranes is expected to increase further,” said Eugene.

As for the treatment of some drinking water, reverse osmosis membranes are also needed. "For example, bottled water, which is currently widely used, needs to be filtered through a reverse osmosis membrane," said Chen Guanwen. “The current market share of domestic RO membranes is only 10%. We hope that this proportion will increase further in the future, even to more than 50%,” said Eugene.

According to the plan, the annual production capacity of reverse osmosis membranes during the 12th Five-Year Plan period will reach 10 million square meters, and the share of domestic RO membranes will increase to 25%-30%. At present, the annual production capacity of domestic reverse osmosis membranes is only 4 million square meters.

Ion Membrane: Chlor-alkali Industry “Alchemy”

"In addition to water treatment, there are various other applications for separation membranes, including the recovery of useful substances, gas separation, and hemodialysis," said Chen Guanwen. Among them, the perfluorinated ion exchange membrane as a kind of separation membrane has great application value in the chlor-alkali chemical industry and new energy fields.

The reporter learned that China's existing chlor-alkali industrial plant scale exceeds 38 million tons, and is the world's largest producer of chlor-alkali. Before the industrialization of domestic ion-exchange membranes, the core material ion membrane used in ion caustic soda in China is 100% dependent on imports, which has become the bottleneck of the safe operation and healthy development of the chlor-alkali industry in China's basic industries.

In order to eliminate this threat to the country’s economic security, China began to include this technology in the national “6th Five-Year” and “Seventh Five-Year” major scientific and technological breakthroughs since 1980, and invested several hundred million yuan in scientific and technological research, but it has been Not successfully developed.

Until September 22, 2009, the large-scale perfluorinated membrane used by the Dongyue Group for chlor-alkali industry was successfully rolled off; from May 14 to June 30, 2010, the perfluorinated membrane was successfully applied to Yanzhou University of Sinochem Corporation. The Huanghua chlor-alkali plant, Bluestar (Beijing) Chemical Machinery Plant and Dongyue Group's chlor-alkali plant have finally achieved market application and import substitution.

According to the plan, domestic chlor-alkali industrial perfluorinated membranes will achieve large-scale production during the “12th Five-Year Plan” period, with an annual production capacity of 200,000 square meters. By the end of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan”, they will strive for an import substitution rate of 60%.

“This patent may apply for the first prize for national invention, and this award has been vacant for two years. As far as I know, many national leaders are very excited after seeing this project.” Chen Guanwen told the reporter The application of separation membranes in this field is not simply a water treatment, but a key component of the country's major strategic equipment manufacturing.

As a member of the national "863" film and water treatment expert group and a review expert of the National Development and Reform Commission, Chen Guanwen also participated in the acceptance of the project.

He pointed out that caustic soda is one of the most basic raw materials in all chemical industries. It is one of the two basic industries in China. It has a production value of 100 billion yuan a year, showing how large is the market for ion membranes.

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