NEWS The microporous hollow-fibre membranes in the contactors remove dissolved gasses from liquids. In the contactor, gas flows across one side of the membrane while liquid is on the other side. Because the membrane is hydrophobic and microporous, only gas can pass through the membrane pores. Lowering the partial pressure of the gas in the contactor enables the dissolved gasses in the liquid to transfer more easily through the porous wall of the hollow-fibre membranes. The pilot-plant tests showed that the LiquiCel contactor system was ideal for this application. The membrane contactors removed the dissolved gasses that cause water cloudiness. Using the system will also prevent corrosion of the piping, and reduce operating costs and lower capital requirements. In addition, it is also modular and can be easily expanded. Liqui-Cel membrane contactors have a long history of improving a variety of water treatment systems, used in many industries, by adding and/or removing dissolved gasses. Typically they are used in the semiconductor, beverage, pharmaceuticals, power-generating and digital printing sectors. Contact: Membrana-Charlotte, 13800 South Lakes Drive, Charlotte, NC 28273, USA. Tel: +1 704 587 8888, www.liqui-cel.com
Inge launches compact ‘plug-and-work’ membrane modules
erman ultrafiltration (UF) specialist Inge Watertechnologies Ag has launched a product which, it claims, promises to give new impetus to UF, enabling it to be used in small-scale treatment systems and for in-house water supplies. The company’s research and development team has developed a compact module that can be simply inserted into a standard pressure vessel and easily replaced whenever necessary. It says that compared with the elaborate proprietary systems marketed by many other manufacturers, this ‘plug-and-work’ design is not only easier to use but also significantly more cost-effective because it makes use of standard pressure housings. In the past, Inge Watertechnologies has primarily focused on mid-to-large-sized plants that produce drinking water and process water, and treat sea water and wastewater – supplying plant contractors all over the world with its own patented modules and rack systems.
But, by launching its range of Dizzer P modules, the company is now aiming to attract interest from companies in the small-scale treatment systems business and suppliers of pointof-entry units. The module is designed to be easy to use. Users simply insert a 6-cm or 10-cm (2.5-inch or 4-inch) Dizzer UF unit, with a membrane surface area of between 0.5 m2 and 6 m2 (5.4–65 ft2), into a standard pressure vessel. It is then ready to operate immediately. Service technicians and maintenance engineers can easily remove the module whenever necessary and simply swap it for a new one. Dr Peter Berg, Chief Technology Officer, Inge Watertechnologies AG, said: ‘By using the same standard pressure housings that are used for reverse osmosis units we can provide our customers with entirely new product positioning opportunities in the original equipment and exchange parts business.’ There is significant demand for UF technology for small-scale treatment systems and in-house water supplies – ranging from private households, looking to treat their own well, spring or groundwater, through to small industry, hospitals and hotels. Inge Watertechnologies says that it is anticipating strong demand from system constructors for its new product. Dr Berg continued: ‘Clean water is a major issue all around the world, and the companies engaged in building mid-to-large-sized treatment plants are already familiar with our products and know that we are a trustworthy and reliable partner. Small-scale applications, including point-of-entry and point-of-use – in other words, treating water close to or at the point of consumption – are an important market segment, and we are delighted that we can now offer our partners a superbly engineered product in this field too.’ Contact: Inge Watertechnologies AG, Flurstrasse 27, D-86926 Greifenberg, Germany. Tel: +49 8192 997 700, www.Inge.ag
ProSep awarded gas treatment contract worth $9 million
anada’s ProSep Inc has been awarded a $9-million contract to supply an additional gas membrane system to a large independent customer in North America. This system is designed to treat high gas volumes and inlet CO content. It is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2011.
In Brief Pall names Wolfgang Platz as president of its Industrial Business Wolfgang Platz has been elected as the group vice president and president of Pall Industrial. Platz reports to Roberto Perez, Chief Operating Officer, Pall. Platz joined the US-based filtration, separation and purification company in 1981 and has served in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as the president of the firm’s industrial operations in Europe. Prior to that he had global responsibility for Pall’s food and beverage market. The company says that he was also instrumental in leading its expansion into the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Book on membrane gas separation technology published The book ‘Membrane Gas Separation’ is now available from Research and Markets Ltd of Dublin, Ireland. This publication – by Benny Freeman (Editor) and Yuri Yampolskii (Co-Editor) – describes recent and emerging results in membrane gas separation, including highlights of nano-science and technology, novel polymeric and inorganic membrane materials, new ways in which membranes can solve environmental problems, aspects of membrane engineering and recent achievements in industrial gas separation. More information: www.researchandmarkets.com Black & Veatch selected to expand water reclamation plant in Singapore The Public Utilities Board (PUB), the national water agency of Singapore, has selected Black & Veatch to provide consultancy services for the expansion of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant. The expansion involves retrofitting an additional treatment process to the existing facility to increase its capacity. The company says that it will provide engineering design services covering the addition of a membrane filtration treatment process. Nitto Denko acquires Avecia Biotechnology Japan’s Nitto Denko Corp has acquired Avecia Biotechnology Inc through Nitto Americas Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary based in Teaneck, New Jersey, USA. Avecia Biotechnology provides services for DNA-based and RNAbased therapeutics to customers, from preclinical stages through to commercial product launch. In addition to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) manufacturing, Avecia Biotechnology’s services include the development of analytical methods, process validation, stability studies, quality control and regulatory support. Nitto Denko says the move aims to strengthen its business base in the domain of nucleic acid drugs.
NEWS Natural gas volumes and CO inlet concentrations can be difficult to predict and may vary over time, says the company. The modularity of ProSep’s gas membrane technology enables producers to quickly expand their gas-treatment capacity, while reducing opportunity costs associated with reduced oil and gas production. The technology is also an environment-friendly, cost-effective alternative to solvent-based treatment systems used for gas conditioning and enhanced oil recovery operations. This specific system is designed to provide a treatment capacity of approximately 350 mmscfd (9.9 mmscmd) of natural gas, down to pipeline specifications of less than 3% CO. Contact: ProSep Inc, 2015 Peel Street, Suite 630, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1T8, Canada. Tel: +1 514 522 5550, www.prosepinc.com
Millipore acquisition helps boost Merck’s revenues
ermany’s Merck Group reports that its total revenues for 2010 increased by 20% to a record E9291 million, from E7747 million in 2009 – boosted by the E5.1-billion acquisition of Millipore Corp in July 2010. Acquisitions – mainly Millipore – accounted for 8.4% points of the increase, with positive currency effects and organic growth contributing 3.7 and 7.9 percentage points to the increase, respectively. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 rose 26% to E2546 million, from E2029 million posted for the equivalent quarter a year earlier. ‘2010 was a transformational year for Merck with the acquisition of Millipore adding new capabilities, scale and innovative products, in line with our long-term strategy. Financially, 2010 exceeded expectations and raised our revenue and profitability profiles,’ commented Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board, Merck KgaA. Merck Group’s operating result for 2010 amounted to E1113 million, corresponding to an increase of 72% over 2009. For the fourth quarter, the operating result nearly tripled, rising to E129 million, from E44 million posted for the corresponding period a year earlier. The Merck Millipore division, which is a combination of the Millipore life science company that was acquired during July (see Membrane Technology April 2010, 4
page 1 and August 2010, page 2) and most of the former Performance & Life Science Chemicals division, recorded total revenues of E1681 million in 2010 – representing growth of 81%. The revenues and expenses of Millipore have been included since July 2010. Full-year organic growth of the division – excluding acquisitions and currency effects – amounted to 5.6%. The division’s operating result in 2010 was E44 million, a decline of 59% compared with 2009. The 2010 full-year operating result was reduced by transaction and integration costs of E87 million. Moreover, cost of sales and consequently the gross margin were affected by one-time expenses of E86 million, which relate to the purchase price allocation for acquired Millipore inventories. The Merck Millipore division’s full-year return on sales amounted to 2.6% compared with 11.5% in 2009. Core return on sales for 2010 was 18.6% versus 11.5% in 2009. The Merck executive board is assuming that the sales and operating result of the Merck Group will show growth in 2011 and 2012. Overall, the company expects business developments to be good. However, potential setbacks caused by economic cycles in individual countries, and negative effects caused by high national debt levels, cannot be ruled out, says the firm. The higher financial liabilities of the Merck Group that resulted from the Millipore acquisition will steadily decrease over the next two to three years, and also as a result of the firm’s high, free cash flow. This will continue to lead to solid balance sheet ratios, says the firm. Against the background of expected overall economic development and based on total revenues of E9291 million in 2010, the company’s executive board expects to see an increase in total revenues of between 13% and 18% in 2011, and further growth for 2012. Furthermore, it expects the group’s operating result of E1113 million in 2010 to increase by 35% and 45% in 2011 and also to increase during 2012. Profit after tax, irrespective of potential exceptional items, will likewise improve during this period. Contacts: Merck KgaA, Frankfurter Str. 250, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany. Tel: +49 6151 720, www.merck.de EMD Millipore, 290 Concord Road, Billerica, MA 01821, USA. Tel: +1 978 715 4321, www.millipore.com
Report analyses market opportunities in the global desalination sector
esearch and Markets Ltd of Dublin, Ireland, has added to its product range the report entitled ‘Desalination Market to 2020 – Technology Driven Cost Reduction in Membrane-Based Processes Set to Drive Sustainability Investments into the Market’. The company says that this study provides key information and analysis on the market opportunities in the global desalination market, and the latest information on the cumulative contracted desalination capacity of various geographies. The report also gives a detailed assessment of the market forces that influence the desalination sector and provides analysis of countries that rely on desalination, including Saudi Arabia, the USA, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Spain, Kuwait, Algeria, China, Qatar, Japan, Australia and India. It also provides information on the membrane and thermal-based technologies used for desalination. The global desalination market has shown an upward trend over recent years, says the report. The global, cumulative contracted capacity has grown from 46.6 million m (12 310.4 million gallons) per day in 2005 to 67.3 million m(17 778.8 million gallons) in 2009 – at a cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6%. GBI Research – the firm that produced the report – anticipates the global cumulative contracted capacity of the market to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% during the forecast period 2010–2020, to reach 195.8 million m(51 724.8 million gallons) per day in 2020. High population growth, increasing water shortages, limited freshwater supplies, rapid urbanisation, industrial expansion, growing tourist industries and increasing salt-water intrusion into aquifers are the main factors driving the need for the increase in global desalination capacity. As of 2009, more than half of the global desalination capacity is located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, says the study. Increasing water shortages, urbanisation and industrialisation, and high population growth rates in various countries in this region, such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Qatar and the UAE, are the main factors driving the adoption of desalination as a means of producing fresh water.