Membrane Development Specialists (MDS) was formed in 1980 as a Joint Venture between Brown Bavari Corporation (BBC) of Zurich, Switzerland and Desalination Systems (DSI) of Escondido, California. Its purpose was to develop applications for membrane technology from concept full size plant installation.


To accomplish this task MDS utilized the access to specialty membranes and elements from DSI conducting bench tests that lead to field pilot tests and ultimately resulted in designing membrane equipment that was built and installed for industrial processes. Larry Lien, joined DSI in 1983 and became Managing Director of MDS in 1985. In 1987 Dr. Salimbeni inquired to MDS about the use of membrane technology on waste water from Olive Mills in Italy. This started a long relationship of cooperating on new industrial process membrane applications that continues to this day. Some of the successful membrane based applications MDS has developed over the years are listed below:


  • Glycol Recovery—Automotive and Airplane Deicing Fluids
  • Acid Purification and Reclamation-Sulfuric, Phosphoric, Hydrochloric, Hydrofluoric, Citric, and Acetic
  • Caustic Purification and Reclamation—Clean In Place Caustic cleaned and recovered for reuse in the food and industrial industries
  • Plating Bath recovery of valuable plating metals for reuse—copper, nickel, zinc, chrome, gold, and silver
  • Produced Water Treatment from Oil and Gas Production
  • Refinery waste water purification—oil removal for direct discharge and Sour Water Stripper water recovered as pre-heated boiler feed waters
  • Mining Tailings Water treated to recover valuable metals and simultaneously produce clean water for surface discharge. These systems resulted in huge membrane installations treating upwards of 30,000 M3 Day
  • Gas Membrane Applications: CO2 Concentration from Exhaust and Flue Gas and Pervaporation—aliphatic and aromatic separations


BBC dropped out of the Joint Venture in 1990, but DSI continued funding MDS work until DSI was sold to Osmonics in 1997. MDS led Osmonics' membrane applications group until Osmonics was acquired in 2003 by General Electric. Upon which time the MDS name was abandoned as a separate entity. Larry stayed on at GE until he retired on August 1, 2006. With the blessing of GE, Larry reestablished the MDS name under an LLC in California on September 1, 2006.

Membrane Development Specialists

921 "A" S Andreasen Drive

Escondido, CA 92029


Phone:  (619) 857-7930