SolSep BV is a company specialising in membrane technologies for organic solvents for the purpose of filtering organic solvents with solvent-resistant membranes. There are only a handful of companies worldwide that develop and produce these types of filters. Therefore, SolSep sells 75% of its membrane modules to foreign businesses, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada.
SolSep BV was established in 1999 in part in response to increasing dissatisfaction with existing technologies. The removal of organic solvents such as ethanol from a process flow is traditionally carried out through distillation. However, this process has two drawbacks: it’s an energy-intensive process, and the high temperatures involved can, in some cases, lead to a deterioration in product quality. The use of membrane filters mitigates these negative effects.
As a scientific researcher in the agricultural sector, Mr Cuperus worked on developing alternatives for the distillation process. SolSep BV was established to commercialise this membrane technology and is therefore entirely focused on developing and producing membrane filters to remove solvents from the production process. To that end, the company services two main markets: the fine chemical and food industry sectors. SolSep’s membranes are currently mainly used as the first step in the purification process before distillation occurs. The company’s goal is to apply membranes as a fully integrated part of the production process. This goal is also SolSep’s primary export ambition, given that the companies that make use of such technologies are primarily located abroad, often with research sites in the Netherlands. In terms of the international market, Cuperus believes that there is a lot of growth potential in the United States. US companies are more accustomed to experimenting with innovations in the production process. If the experiment fails, the new technology is aborted; if it works, implementation immediately follows. In Europe, businesses usually experiment at a smaller scale, for example, in the lab, before applying new technologies in the field.
SolSep accomplished its crowning export achievement in an English-speaking country: a metallurgical plant was using solvents in combination with distillation to clean its products. SolSep succeeded in offering a comprehensive solution that also significantly benefitted the client in economic terms. Cuperus looks back on this achievement with pride and contentment.
Export countries: Europe, US, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore