Ballard wins more contracts

Ballard wins more contracts

News & Views For f u r t h e r information contact: Gary C. April, Department o f Chemical Engineering, The University o f Alabama, 7~xscaloosa, AL 35...

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News & Views For f u r t h e r information contact: Gary C. April, Department o f Chemical Engineering, The University o f Alabama, 7~xscaloosa, AL 35487-0203. USA. Tel: +I 205 3 4 8 1734; Fax: +1 3 4 8 7558.

High-tech inorganic membranes P a l l - P a s s US, Inc., a wholly owned s u b s i d i a r y of Pall Corp., a n d Coors C e r a m i c s C o m p a n y , a wholly owned s u b s i d i a r y of ACX Technologies, Inc, have a n n o u n c e d the f o r m a t i o n of PCC E n t e r p r i s e s , LLC, a 5 0 / 5 0 joint v e n t u r e to m a n u f a c t u r e high tech i n o r g a n i c m e m b r a n e s u s i n g classified i n f o r m a t i o n from the US DOE. These p r o d u c t s are i n t e n d e d to be i n t e g r a t e d into e l e m e n t s , a s s e m b l i e s a n d s y s t e m s for sale into the f i l t r a t i o n / m e m b r a n e m a r k e t s . It is reported t h a t PCC E n t e r p r i s e s p l a n s to licence D e p a r t m e n t of Energy (DOE) technology to m a n u f a c t u r e these m e m b r a n e s . Ongoing development of these p r o d u c t s is taking place u n d e r several Cooperative Research a n d Development A g r e e m e n t s (CRADAs} which are s e p a r a t e l y s p o n s o r e d by Pall a n d Coors Ceramics. PCC E n t e r p r i s e s will be the first c o m p a n y to commercially m a n u f a c t u r e a n d sell inorganic membrane products using equipment and processes which are still considered classified by the DOE. A c c o r d i n g to Pall, the n e w m e m b r a n e s , w h i c h will begin hitting the m a r k e t by late 1998, a r e b a s e d on DOE technology u s e d to s e p a r a t e u r a n i u m i s o t o p e s for w e a p o n s a n d n u c l e a r power. Coors a n d Pall have t h u s far e n t e r e d into seven CRADAs (Co-operative R e s e a r c h a n d D e v e l o p m e n t Agreements) with O a k Ridge National L a b o r a t o r y (Oak Ridge, TN) on a p p l y i n g the i n o r g a n i c m e m b r a n e technology to key m e m b r a n e filtration m a r k e t s . The f o r m a t i o n of PCC E n t e r p r i s e s affirms the two c o m p a n i e s ' i n t e r e s t in p u r s u i n g highend filtration m a r k e t s . S p e a k i n g to a g r o u p of New York s e c u r i t i e s a n a l y s t s on M a r c h 3, Pall CEO Eric K r a s n o f f d e s c r i b e d the O a k Ridge m e m b r a n e s a s a "brilliant development" a n d outlined PCC's p l a n s to c o m m e r c i a l i s e the membranes by application and market. The first a p p l i c a t i o n will be p o r o u s m e t a l filtration t u b e s , d e s c r i b e d a s at l e a s t a USS1 billion m a r k e t . Krasnoff e x p e c t s p r o d u c t s from this p r o g r a m to r e a c h c o m m e r c i a l i s a t i o n by late 1998. In a d d i t i o n , v a p o r gap reverse o s m o s i s m e m b r a n e s for u l t r a - p u r e water, a US$250 million m a r k e t , s h o u l d be r e a d y for sale by late 1999. In all, m a r k e t s covered by the seven CRADAs, w h i c h PCC will p u r s u e , total US$2.6 billion p e r year. PCC E n t e r p r i s e s also p l a n s to p l a y a role in the DOE efforts to i n d u s t r i a l i s e s o m e US g o v e r n m e n t facilities. The c o m p a n y i n t e n d s to lease a p o r t i o n of the DOE facilities in the E a s t T e n n e s s e e Technology Park, O a k Ridge, T e n n e s s e e t h r o u g h the C o m m u n i t y Reuse O r g a n i s a t i o n of E a s t T e n n e s s e e . Eric Krasnoff c o m m e n t e d , "We a r e eager to c o m m e r c i a l i s e this i m p o r t a n t technology ........ The

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m a r k e t o p p o r t u n i t y for t h e s e new m a t e r i a l s is very large, a n d we expect to l a u n c h o u r first p r o d u c t within the next twelve m o n t h s . " For f u r t h e r information contact: Pall Corporation, 2 2 0 0 Northern Boulevard, E a s t Hills. IVY 11548, USA. Tel: + 1 516 484 5400; Fax: +1 516 484 3649.

Fluid Systems r e c e i v e s DWI

approval Fluid S y s t e m s , p a r t of the Anglian Water Group, h a s s a i d its RO m e m b r a n e e l e m e n t s for potable water a p p l i c a t i o n s are the first in the i n d u s t r y to receive a p p r o v a l from the UK Drinking Water I n s p e c t o r a t e (DWI). After a two y e a r verification process, Fluid s y s t e m s ' RO e l e m e n t s m a y now be u s e d for s u p p l y i n g w a t e r for drinking, washing, cooking a n d food production processes. UK r e a d e r s will know t h a t the DWI is a b r a n c h of the UK Secretary of State a n d regulates all p r o d u c t s t h a t come in to contact with potable water. Its function is similar to w h a t the National Sanitation F o u n d a t i o n (NSF) offers on a private b a s i s in North America. The DWI's rigorous approval p r o c e s s involves identifying, testing a n d obtaining certification for every c o m p o n e n t u s e d in the m a n u f a c t u r e of the RO elements. R a n d y Truby, P r e s i d e n t of Fluid S y s t e m s C o r p o r a t i o n said, "Until now, RO h a s h a d limited u s e in the UK for p o t a b l e w a t e r p r o d u c t i o n . O u r certification by DWI o p e n s u p a virtually u n t a p p e d m a r k e t to us." For f u r t h e r information contact: Fluid S y s t e m s Corporation, 10054 Old Grove Road, S a n Diego, CA 92131, USA. Tel: +i 619 695 3840 or 800-72-FLUID; Fax: +1 619 695 2176.

Ballard wins more contracts B a l l a r d Power S y s t e m s , developers of p r o t o n exchange m e m b r a n e fuel cell technology, h a s recently s e c u r e d two c o n t r a c t s with H o n d a a n d General Motors worth US$ 4.2 million (£2.7 M). P e r h a p s s u r p r i s i n g l y , the USS 1.7 milllion (£1.05 M) c o n t r a c t signed with H o n d a R&D Co. Ltd, a s u b s i d i a r y of the H o n d a Motor Group, is not for t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . Ballard will s u p p l y a 1 kW, low p r e s s u r e , p o r t a b l e fuel cell s y s t e m which H o n d a will i n t e g r a t e into p o r t a b l e power a n d s p e c i a l t y a p p l i c a t i o n s o p e r a t i n g on h y d r o g e n for d e m o n s t r a t i o n , t e s t i n g a n d p r o d u c t development. In addition, Ballard will also s u p p l y fuel cells a n d r e l a t e d e q u i p m e n t to the g i a n t General Motors Corp.,

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News & Views

in a U S $ 2 . 5 m i l l i o n (£1.6 M) deal. G e n e r a l M o t o r s will u s e t h e B a l l a r d fuel cells in its r e s e a r c h p r o g r a m for t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of a z e r o - e m i s s i o n fuel cell p o w e r e d electric vehicle. Some observers have speculated that the contract c o u l d i n d i c a t e t h a t GM w a s e n c o u n t e r i n g difficulties, which would increase the likelihood that Ballard w o u l d w i n t h e r a c e to d e v e l o p t h e first c o m m e r c i a l l y v i a b l e fuel cell. B a l l a r d P o w e r h a s s e c u r e d a n u m b e r of c o n t r a c t s w i t h b l u e - c h i p c o m p a n i e s in b o t h t h e t r a n s p o r t a n d s t a t i o n a r y p o w e r i n d u s t r i e s w i t h i n t h e l a s t 12 m o n t h s including alliances with Daimler-Benz and GEC Alsthom. Consequently, Ballards share price has s o a r e d to a h i g h of C 8 1 8 2 from C $ 3 2 . 5 0 in a 12 month period. For f u r t h e r information contact: BaUard Power S y s t e m s Inc., 9000 Glenlyon P a r k w a y , Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900; Fax: +1 604 412 4700.

Fastek m e m b r a n e s NSF listed O s m o n i c s h a s s a i d t h a t its F a s t e k m e m b r a n e s a r e n o w l i s t e d w i t h N S F u n d e r s t a n d a r d 58 for r e v e r s e o s m o s i s s y s t e m s . It s t a t e s t h a t for t h e first t i m e O E M ' s c a n c o n s t r u c t c o m p l e t e s y s t e m s u s i n g certified components and Fastek membranes, as the elements a r e certified for m a t e r i a l s a n d h a v e b e e n p e r f o r m a n c e tested. O s m o n i c s s a y s N S F a p p r o v a l of t h e F a s t e k m e m b r a n e s will g r e a t l y r e d u c e t h e c o s t of s y s t e m c e r t i f i c a t i o n or r e c e r t i f i c a t i o n . O s m o n i c s a l s o offers p r o g r a m s to s u b s i d i s e c e r t i f i c a t i o n c o s t s a n d e x p e d i t e the process. For f u r t h e r information contact: Osmonics, 5951 Clearwater Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343-8995, USA. Tel: +1 612 933 2277; Fax: +1 612 933 0141.

R i v e r w a t e r for process use H o e c h s t AG is d e v e l o p i n g a n u l t r a f i l t r a t i o n p r o c e s s to p u r i f y w a t e r f r o m F r a n k f u r t ' s River M a i n for i n d u s t r i a l u s e . In so doing, H o e c h s t e s t i m a t e s t h a t u p to 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 m a / y r of g r o u n d a n d d r i n k i n g w a t e r c o u l d b e s a v e d . H o e c h s t t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e S t a t e of H e s s e n E n v i r o n m e n t a l M i n i s t r y ( W i e s b a d e n ) will t e s t t h e p r o c e s s a t a f l o w r a t e of 8 - 1 0 m a / h , in a 2 y e a r , DM 259,000 (US$144,000) project. H o e s c h t h a s s a i d it h a s c a r r i e d o u t b e n c h - s c a l e t e s t s w i t h v a r i o u s m e m b r a n e s a n d p l a n s to p i l o t a

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d e a d - e n d f i l t r a t i o n s y s t e m , u s i n g h o l l o w fibre m e m b r a n e s . T h i s is e x p e c t e d to c u t c o s t s a n d u s e much less energy than conventional cross-flow filtration, w h i c h w o u l d r e q u i r e m o r e piping, a recirculation pump, and additional controls. In t h e pilot test, t h e river flow will p r o v i d e t h e p r e s s u r e for t h e s y s t e m . T h e w a t e r is p r e - c l e a n e d b y a gravel filter, a n d t h e m e m b r a n e s will b e b a c k - f l u s h e d p e r i o d i c a l l y to p r e v e n t p l u g g i n g . For f u r t h e r information contact: Hoechst AG, B r u e n i n g s t r a s s e 50, D-65926 Frankfurt, Germany. Tel: +49 69 3050; Fax: +49 69 303 665.

Millipore settles patent suit with Idexx Millipore Corp, h a s s e t t l e d two p a t e n t i n f r i n g e m e n t s u i t s b r o u g h t b y I d e x x L a b o r a t o r i e s Inc. b y t r a n s f e r r i n g its C o l i s u r e b u s i n e s s , w h i c h m a k e s t e s t k i t s to d e t e c t E, coli b a c t e r i a , to Idexx. T h e C o l i s u r e b u s i n e s s g e n e r a t e s a b o u t US$1 m i l l i o n in a n n u a l r e v e n u e s , a Millipore s p o k e s m a n s a i d . As p a r t of t h e s e t t l e m e n t , Millipore r e c o g n i s e d two Idexx p a t e n t s on t h e t e c h n o l o g y to d e t e c t E.coli b a c t e r i a in w a t e r a n d food. Millipore a l s o a g r e e d n o t to sell o t h e r m e d i a b a s e d t e c h n o l o g y p r o d u c t s u s e d to d e t e c t E.coli a n d o t h e r b a c t e r i a in food a n d water. For fitrther information contact: Millipore Corp., 80 A s h b y Road, Bedford, MA 01730-2271, USA. Tel: +1 781 275 9200; Fax: +1 781 275 5550.

TriSep's low fouling membrane element US C o m p a n y T r i S e p Corp., h a s d e v e l o p e d a s p i r a l w o u n d m e m b r a n e e l e m e n t for u l t r a c l e a n o p e r a t i o n s in b i o l o g i c a l l y s e n s i t i v e a p p l i c a t i o n s . T r i S e p s a y s t h e n e w T u r b o C l e a n m e m b r a n e e l e m e n t fits c l o s e l y i n s i d e t h e p r e s s u r e v e s s e l e l i m i n a t i n g t h e n e e d for b r i n e s e a l s . A c c o r d i n g to T r i S e p , t h i s d e s i g n a l l o w s t h e b y p a s s flow a r o u n d t h e o u t s i d e of t h e e l e m e n t to b e carefully controlled. S t a n d a r d s p i r a l - w o u n d e l e m e n t s do n o t r u n c l e a n l y e n o u g h for m o s t m i c r o b i o l o g i c a l l y s e n s i t i v e a p p l i c a t i o n s . B r i n e s e a l s t e n d to t r a p t h e b y p a s s flow a r o u n d t h e o u t s i d e of t h e e l e m e n t , c r e a t i n g a d e a d

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