A-membranes is a spin-off of VITO, a Flemish research institute focused on cleantech and sustainability, and the University of Antwerp. More than a decade of joint research and development in the field of membrane filtration, condensed in several patents (FunMem® technology), are the base for the spin-off.

The technology is centred around the development of a method to graft organic groups on the surface of ceramic materials.

The method was first developed in the lab on ceramics powders, and then scaled up towards little, lab-size membranes.

In 2014, our team successfully developed a lab-process to functionalize industrial format multichannel membranes (length of 120 cm – about 4 ft). A milestone, and the beginning of years of intensive testing of the technology in lab and pilot test-cases in several industries.

In 2017, an installation for the fully automatic characterisation and consequent functionalisation of up to 5 industrial format membranes simultaneously was commissioned: The FunMem® pilot-installation. The installation has meanwhile been boosted in capacity to cope with the growing interest in our grafted membranes. These projects provided plenty of production knowhow but nonetheless remained too small in output to realise genuine commercial availability of our membranes.

A-membranes was incorporated in 2021 with the goal to valorise the technology. Meanwhile A-membranes has re-engineered the production technology to allow the production of industrial volumes.

Our team

Bart Coen

CEO & Founder

Passionate about new technologies and business development, Bart founded A-membranes end of 2021. He is thrilled to lead the A-membranes’ team in reducing the impact of product separations on climate change. Prior to starting A-membranes, Bart has earned his stripes in management and CEO positions in different parts of the chemical industry. He has been active in established businesses but has started new business units and new companies as well. In 2011, Bart started his own management and consulting firm. He graduated with a BSc and MSc in chemical engineering from the KU Leuven Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and has additional training in Business. Bart is one of the main investors in our company.

Vera Meynen

Co-investor and Advisor to the management

Vera, or in full: Prof. Dr. Vera Meynen is a research professor at the University of Antwerp. She is currently chair of the Department of Chemistry, active within the Centre of Excellence CASCH (catalysts for sustainable organic chemistry) and the spokesperson of the Industrial Research Consortium InSusChem (Consortium for Integrated Sustainable Chemistry Antwerp). Her main research interests include the synthesis and modification of inorganic materials with tunable properties. She focuses on the correlation between synthesis-properties-performance in inorganic and hybrid organic-inorganic materials, to improve their performance in a variety of applications such as separation, sorption, catalysis, and sensors. With this interest, she co-developed our grafting technology, together with Vito. Vera advises the Management Team of A-membranes and is co-investor in the company.

Anita Buekenhoudt

Advisor to the management team

Anita is one of the developers of the A-membranes’ grafting technology, which she developed together with Vera Meynen from University of Antwerp. She is a well-known expert in membrane-technology, both in the formulation of membranes as in membrane-applications. Driven by her passion for cleantech and sustainability, the two focus points of the research institute Vito she is linked to, she’s the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book-chapters in the domain of membrane-science.
Anita is Team Lead for the membrane team within Vito’s Unit of Separation and Conversion Technology, and as such coordinating both all of A-membranes’ technical market questions as well as our continued research.
Anita holds a PhD in Physics from KU Leuven.