Filtration Media and Membranes in Focus at AFS Fall Conference. (full screen)

AFS Fall Meeting on Filtration Media and Membranes

The 2013 AFS Fall Conference on the subject of Innovations in Filter Media and Membranes was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 14-16. Filtration media is the heart and soul of the filtration industry with membranes the most widely produced, and by far the largest use of media in the industry in terms of market dollar value. Global membrane media production is approaching $4.5 billion annually with North American-based producers supplying the lion’s share of the world market. Synthetic nonwoven fabrics follow with approximately $2.3 billion globally and as high as $3.5 billion, if wetlaid cellulose and glass are added. The conference was well attended and one of the widest array of innovative new filtration media introductions and updates in recent years. The conference co-chairs and organizers were George G. Chase, George Lu and Peter Tsai.

As with all AFS conferences (spring and fall), the Fall Conference began with an offering of nine short courses lasting either 4 or 8 hours, each presented by a leading industry expert on topics including: Introduction to Liquid Filtration; Microfiltration Membranes; Filtration & Separations Media Use and Markets; Nanofiber Technology in Filtration; Liquid Filtration Testing Basics; Ultrafiltration Membranes, Theoretical and Experimental Aspects of Designing Media and Filters for Air Filtration; Filter Media Design for Liquid Filtration; and Reverse Osmosis System Design. These C.E.U. credit courses are designed for both industry newcomers and journeymen who seek to sharpen their skills and knowledge base.

The main conference began with Steffen Schuetz of Mann + Hummel providing a plenary presentation on the Development and Application of Ceramic Hollow Fiber Membranes. This was followed by six sessions with four presentations each for the remainder of the day on topics including: Challenges in Fuel/Water Separations (two sessions), Membrane/Filtration of Produced Water and Water Treatment, Membrane Technologies for Water and Wastewater Applications, New Development of Nonwovens in Filtration and Industrial Process Filtration and Separations.

Following the main conference sessions on the first day, the Corporate Sponsors met and were updated on a new four-hour educational course on the subject of the Basics in Liquid Filtration, a recently distributed 150 page Market Landscape Report on Global Markets for Nonwoven Fabrics and a number of additional exclusive benefits provided by the AFS to all Corporate Sponsors. Following the meeting, an open networking reception was held for all conference attendees.

The final day’s plenary speaker was R. Vijayakumar of Aerfil, who gave an insightful presentation on his work and progress with NASA in creating air filtration systems for the International Space Station (ISS) and NASA’s planned five year trip to Mars and back. Six technical sessions followed, including: Innovations in Filter Media Technologies, Membrane and Filter Testing, Recent Trends in Liquid Filtration, Extreme Environments and Nano Scale, Self-Cleaning and Metal Filters, and Recent Developments of Micro and Nano Fibers.

Peter Cartwright of Cartwright Consulting gave a compelling keynote presentation titled Water for Everyone — What Does the Future Hold?

At the AFS Board of Directors meeting, the following officers were installed for 2014: Mark Willingham, Purolator-Facet as Chairman; Chris Wallace, Filtration Technology Corporation as First Vice Chairman; and Klaas De Waal, International Filtration News as Second Vice Chairman. New Board members for 2014/2015 were John Barbee, Hollingsworth & Vose; Ed Gregor, Edward C. Gregor & Associates, LLC; Kirsten Kirk, Filtration & Separation Technology; Felicia Littlejohn, Pentair; Wilson Poon, W.L. Gore & Associates; and Christine Sun, Textile Research Associates.

The 2014 AFS Spring Conference will be held March 24-26 at the Houston Marriott, Westchase, Texas, on the subject of Oil, Gas & Chemical Processing. Abstracts are due by January 24 with an early discount registration deadline of January 30.

The American Filtration & Separation Society is the largest Filtration Society in the world and the principal educator of the industry. For more information on corporate or individual membership, visit the AFS website: or phone Ms. Lyn Sholl, AFS Executive Manager: 615-250-7784.