Ceramic membrane activity initiated as an exploratory during 1993-94 and the activity gained momentum when it bagged two sponsored projects in 1995. During the formative stage, the R&D activities were primarily focused on development of low cost ceramic membranes in disc and tubular configuration including system design and development of prototypes for membrane based separation process.
The first milestone on upscaling and demonstration of the ceramic membrane activity was achieved in January, 2002 when a pilot plant trial (500LPD capacity) for treatment of arsenic contaminated groundwater was conducted successfully under the field codition using a seven element module (0.5 m2) fabricated with indigenously developed mono channel ceramic elements made by slip casting technique. Development of low cost ceramic multichhannel elements led to a step forward in application of ceramic membrane technology for iron removal and experimental plant (5000 LPD capacity) was installed on the occasion of the "Technology Day" (May 11, 2003)at CSIR Scientists - residential complex (SIRSA) for iron removal from an abandoned hand pump tube well.
To highlight the above achievements and importance of the research on ceramic membranes in the country, two National Seminars were organized in 1997 and 2003. As a result of these efforts, the activity assumed the status of "Ceramic Membrane Section" in April 2000 which finally emerged as a full fledged "Ceramic Membrane Division" in December, 2004. Due to expansion of the activities, a Ceramic Membrane Building was constructed in June, 2007 with a floor area of 1050 m2 . The Division achieved international recognition when it organized "International Conference on Catalysis in Membrane Reactors" (ICCMR8) during 18-21, Dec., 2007.
The Division managed 24 projects including 6 international collaboration till date and it currently employs 8 Scientists, 5 Technical Officers & Assistants and 3 supporting staff .