November/December 2012 | Volume 31, No. 6

AFS Conference Drills Into Fracking and Produced Water (full screen)

David Engle of Nexo Solutions, The Woodlands, Texas, discusses processing natural gas at the AFS Fall Conference.

The American Filtration & Separations Society held its 2012 Fall Conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa., October 15-18. The event was well attended with a diversified two-track varied program covering a wide range of new innovations and market trends. The focus of the conference was the timely topic of filtration, separations and coalescing in oil and gas recovery, including fracking and produced water, along with biotechnology and associated processes. Many of the fracking, oil/gas and produced water industry experts offered considerable insight from filtration media to filters along with emerging opportunities for suppliers of filtration and separation elements and equipment. The in-depth information into numerous inner-workings and unmet needs was an excellent educational experience for the uninitiated in this rapidly growing market.

Courses and Conference
Monday, October 15th began with a pre-conference Short Course day, with courses covering the subjects: Basics in Air/Gas Filtration, Basics in Liquid Filtration, Microporous Membrane Technology, Filtration & Separations Eight Principal Media and Markets, and Ultrafiltration Membrane Technology. The sessions were well attended as the AFS Short Courses continue to draw increased following. On Monday evening, the past AFS Chairman met once again to further develop and fine-tune the organizations Policy and Procedure Manual.

The main conference began Tuesday, October 16, with a plenary presentation by Antti Hakkinen from Lappeenranta University of Technology who offered a presentation on the subject of Design and Analysis of Filtration Experiments for those responsible for filter media and filter device R&D/product development. Tuesday's tracks consisted of 18 presentations covering Centrifugation, Coalescing, Filtration Media, Nanofibers, Membranes and Liquid Filtration on a variety of topics. Following the first full day of presentations was an Open Corporate Sponsors meeting where Corporate Sponsors and non-corporate sponsors learned of the progress made over the last two years, adding new benefit activities to drive end-users to AFS Corporate Sponsors and added emphasis in air filtration without diminishing AFS' historic emphasis on liquid filtration. A Networking Reception followed. As a result of the many new corporate benefits, AFS Corporate Sponsorships have increased from 21 in 2009 to 51 in 2012.

Wednesday began with a plenary session lead by Ron Bosch of Champion Technologies who provided detailed insight into the topic of Desalination of Unconventional Produced Water, which is a large and rapidly growing market in oil and gas production. The talk was a lead-in for the day's six sessions of four presentations each on the topics of Water Management, Pretreatment, Shale Gas and Produced Water along with the topics of Nanofibers and Membranes as used in specialty applications, in addition to two sessions on the keys to successful filtration and separations in Biotechnology. For the technologist, marketing or business development person, Wednesday was a very special day providing in-sight and specific detail into both emerging and existing higher-margin filtration business platform opportunities.

The conference concluded Thursday with a plenary presentation by Karsten Keller from DuPont on the subject of Smart Separations in Biotechnology. Additional sessions continued on the subjects of Biotechnology along with Filtration Media Testing and Procedures for several new and emerging industry filtration media coming to market.

Upcoming conferences
The AFS also announced its 2013 slate of conferences. In May, the Society will meet for its Spring Conference in Bloomington, Minn., with a continuation of Advancements and Innovations in Filtration covering a number of topics. The Fall Conference, next October in Cincinnati, Ohio, will concentrate on Innovations in Filtration Media and Market Applications. Both conferences will concentrate on innovations with the AFS emphasizing leading and emerging industry technologies. The stated objective of the AFS is to provide those attending conferences, along with Corporate Sponsors, first-hand and early technology awareness. Watch for further conferences notices and topics for 2014 and 2015 before the end of the year..

The American Filtration & Separations Society is the largest Filtration Society in the world and the principal educator of the industry. For those interested in learning more about AFS Corporate Sponsorship, please contact Ed Gregor at 1-704-442-1940.