JX Nippon ANCI launches Milife

JX Nippon ANCI, Inc. headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia, with manufacturing in Roanoke, AL and composite manufacturing in Dalton, Georgia, will launch, Milife®, their fine denier polyester nonwoven in January 2018 for filtration applications.

Milife is a continuous fiber product but is made by a propriety technology that is not like spunbond. It utilizes a nonwoven process with continuous, oriented filaments, with machine and cross direction fibers alignment. Milife is available as MD only or with MD and CD strands.  Milife is manufactured in Japan by a sister company under stringent quality procedures and is exclusively distributed by JX Nippon ANCI, Inc. – Kennesaw GA.

The technology allows very fine fiber sizes. Milife normally has fiber diameters of 10 microns (1 dpf) and Milife Microfiber has fiber diameters of 2.7 microns. This places Milife fiber sizes between spunbond and meltblown and with Milife Microfiber smaller/equal than meltblown. Milife fiber sizes fills a gap in the current nonwoven fiber sizes available.

Milife is a thin product, with exceptional narrow fiber size distribution, low elongation, dimensional stability, and excellent web uniformity. It is available with weights from 8 gsm to 60 gsm. Milife is currently used in luxury packaging, interior decoration, specialty tapes, medical and other industrial applications. Milife can be used in filtration products as a support material, as a filter media or as a fine denier component in a composite.

JX Nippon ANCI, VP Sales & Marketing, Gabriel Cuellar, notes “we are excited on the launch of Milife for filtration applications and believe Milife with its unique properties offers additional and new options to filter manufacturers.”

Evonik opens new membrane production facility in Schörfling (Austria)

Evonik Industries has opened another membrane production facility at its Austrian plant in Schörfling. The new hollow fiber spinning plant predominantly produces membrane modules for efficient nitrogen generation and for process gases. Nitrogen accounts for roughly 40 percent of the estimated global gas separation market, making it the second-largest market after natural gas.

Dr. Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of Evonik’s Executive Board, said: “The membrane business is an excellent example of how important innovations are for corporate success. Here, we are generating growth for Evonik with new products, and harnessing new markets in close cooperation with our customers.”

In Schörfling, Evonik currently produces gas separation modules predominantly for the biogas market and helium recovery. The new hollow fiber spinning plant doubles the existing production capacities for SEPURAN® membranes.

Dr. Claus Rettig, chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH, said: “The Schörfling investment expands our possibilities for placing the membrane portfolio on an even broader footing. Our aim is to offer our customers and partners custom-tailored membranes in the entire gas separation market.”

In total, Evonik has invested an amount in the mid double-digit million euro range in the expansion of the Austrian plant. Besides the new hollow fiber spinning plant, additional facilities have been created for technology development, application technology, membrane testing and quality assurance. Over 30 new jobs have been created in production and administration.

The company’s plant in Lenzing near the Schörfling site manufactures the source material polyimide, a high-performance polymer, which is spun and then further processed in Schörfling. The infrastructure in Lenzing is being correspondingly upgraded as part of site expansion.

SEPURAN® membranes are used for the highly efficient separation of gases such as methane, nitrogen, or hydrogen from gas mixtures. The innovative hollow fiber membranes made from high-performance plastic are at the heart of the separation process. They are highly resistant to high temperature and pressure, and can be adjusted to customer requirements. The advantages in using Evonik’s membrane technology for gas separation are down to the more precise separation of the gases and the greater productivity this offers.

The SEPURAN product family of Evonik’s Resource Efficiency Segment includes membranes for biogas processing, on-site nitrogen generation as well as for helium and hydrogen recovery. Within this Segment, the High Performance Polymers Business Line has been developing and producing high-performance plastics for more than 50 years that allow for resource-efficient innovations in a wide range of industries.

In 2011, SEPURAN Green membranes were successfully launched on the market for biogas treatment, and have been installed in over 100 biogas treatment plants all over the world.

Since then, the membrane technology has been continuously developed. Meanwhile, the SEPURAN Noble membrane for helium and hydrogen recovery has been added to the product range. Evonik expects the helium and hydrogen market to grow in the low double-digit percentage range in the next few years. In 2016, the specialty chemicals company and the technology group The Linde Group stepped up their collaboration in the gas separation market using membranes. The partnership has already resulted in a reference plant for helium recovery in Mankota (Canada) – the first of its kind in the world to combine both separation processes, membrane and pressure swing adsorption technology. The new plant processes more than 250,000 standard cubic meters of crude gas per day, and produces industrial-grade helium (99.999%).

The new hollow fibre membrane for efficient nitrogen generation – SEPURAN N2 – was added to the membrane portfolio in early 2016.

LANXESS offers new mixed-bed exchanger for demineralizing water

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has developed the Lewatit NM 3367 mixed-bed ion exchange resin to demineralize the water used to charge and top up modern hot water heating systems. “The custom-designed mixed-bed system not only prevents scale formation in the parts of a heating system that convey water but also provides lasting protection against corrosion,” explained Hans-Jürgen Wedemeyer, manager Technical Marketing at LANXESS Deutschland. “This can’t be achieved simply by softening the water,” he added.

Details of the innovation
Lewatit NM 3367 differs from other mixed-bed systems on the market in several respects. The specific mixing ratio takes into account the fact that anion exchange resins generally have a lower capacity than cation equivalents. Were this not allowed for, further anions could react with the hydrogen ions released by the still active cation exchange resin after total loading of the anion exchanger. Carbonic acid would thus be generated from hydrogen carbonate anions, and even more aggressive mineral acids from chloride, nitrate or sulfate. “The higher proportion of anion exchange resin ensures a long service life and thus highly efficient demineralization with the new mixed bed,” explained Wedemeyer.

The system also owes this high efficiency to a special process for reloading the anion exchange resin used, which results in a hydroxide ion loading of over 90 percent. “Because this high loading cannot be reproduced during conventional mixed-bed regeneration, we advise against using regeneration,” continued Wedemeyer.

To ensure this high OH- loading is maintained over a long period during transportation and storage, the anion exchange resin must be protected against carbon dioxide, as bound hydrogen carbonate would otherwise form. Toward the end of the exchange cycle, this would then be displaced by anions with a higher binding affinity, which in turn would enable acid to form. “We use special gas-tight aluminum-coated film packaging to prevent any such subsequent formation of bound hydrogen carbonate. We also offer the mixed-bed system in a handy, relatively small container size of 12.5 liters,” said Wedemeyer. Once containers are opened, the contents can thus be quickly transferred to smaller gas-tight units such as cartridges or used in their entirely to fill a standard exchanger container.

Effective demineralization
The main advantage of demineralization for treating water in the heating circuit is that it removes not only the hardening alkaline earth cations but also their counterions, thereby producing salt-free water with a very low residual conductivity. “Even in the presence of oxygen, there is normally no significant corrosion with conductivities in the 1 μS/cm range,” revealed Wedemeyer. With such low conductivities, however, pH measurements are no longer meaningful because most pH meters require the medium to have a minimum conductivity that would no longer be achieved in this case. Furthermore, even the tiniest quantities of carbon dioxide or ions – from the sides of the glassware, for example – would significantly interfere with any measurement in open systems. “Conductivity is clearly the all-important evaluation criterion in this range,” said Wedemeyer.

If the conductivity increases to a typical switch-off point of 100 μS/cm toward the end of an exchange cycle, however, relevant standards such as VDI 2035 stipulate that a pH window of 8.2 to 9.5 must be complied with to prevent any corrosion. “Our tests revealed that this is ensured when using Lewatit NM 3367,” confirmed Wedemeyer. If the parts of the heating circuit conveying water are made of aluminum, this pH window is even smaller, extending from 8.2 to just 8.5. In such cases, the switch-off point would need to be brought forward to a conductivity of around 5 μS/cm so as to remain within the pH tolerance referred to.

Detailed information about products from the LPT business unit can be obtained online at http://lpt.lanxess.com/en/home/.


Jowat SE founds new subsidiary in Vietnam

The adhesives specialist from Detmold is continuing to expand in the Asia-Pacific region

Jowat has established a new company in Vietnam, continuing the enterprise’s strategy to supply major markets in the Asia-Pacific region with innovative bonding solutions and advisory service for application technology. The adhesives specialist from Detmold founded the new subsidiary in Ho Chi Minh City in response to the growing demand from regional customers, which now can be met even faster and more effectively.

Jowat has expanded its global presence and has opened a new subsidiary in Vietnam with the objective to provide the optimum service for customers and an efficient supply with adhesives. This is a major step forward for the business development of the adhesives specialist from Detmold: The newly established company in Ho Chi Minh City comes in response to the rapidly evolving markets in the Asia-Pacific region and to the continuously growing demand for Jowat adhesives in the region, two years after Jowat increased its capacities by opening a new manufacturing site in Malaysia.

The newly established Jowat Vietnam Co. Ltd. is headed by Managing Director Sebastian Schäfers and continues Jowat Group’s strategy to supply the regional markets in Asia with superior adhesive products, innovative bonding solutions, and a comprehensive service with the customer in focus.

“By becoming actively and directly involved in the dynamic economy of Vietnam, we have opened up new, highly interesting business opportunities. This allows us to expand the international sales and support network of Jowat SE in the Asia-Pacific region and to further strengthen our business relationship with regional customers,” said Dr. Ralf Schelbach, Vice President Asia Pacific at Jowat SE.

For more information visit:

Cost-efficient, tailor-made water treatment for power plants

The appearance of the specialty chemicals group LANXESS at the annual “Chemistry in Power Plants” conference of VGB PowerTech e. V. and the trade exhibition held in parallel from October 24 to 26, 2017 in Koblenz will focus on cost-efficient, tailor-made solutions for water treatment in power plants. LANXESS can offer its customers ion exchange resins and membrane elements for reverse osmosis from its own production facilities.

“An intelligent combination of these two technologies offers powerful solutions. Our longstanding experience gathered from numerous reference projects with our premium products from the Lewatit and Lewabrane series is the key to success. Our customers benefit from this whenever we deal with cooling water and water-steam cycles,” explained Jean-Marc Vesselle, head of the Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit of LANXESS.

Energy efficiency is the key
The new membrane elements of the Lewabrane RO ULP (Reverse Osmosis – Ultra Low Pressure) series will be the highlight at the LANXESS booth in Koblenz. They are designed for an operating pressure of 7.6 bar. Compared with standard elements, a 40 percent lower operating pressure is being applied, which results in significantly lower energy and thus lower operating costs. “The membrane with high water permeability and resulting high flow rates that we offer with Lewabrane RO ULP also makes an effective contribution to reducing the investment costs for water treatment,” states Alexander Scheffler, who is responsible for the LPT membrane business at LANXESS.

In addition, the ULP membrane is characterized by the highest hydrophilic surface of all Lewabrane types. This hydrophilicity contributes to the formation of a thin, protective water film on the membrane surface. As a result, the adsorption of organic substances to the membrane – i.e. organic fouling – is reduced.

In addition, the ASD feed spacers used in the membrane elements, which create space for the flowing water between the membrane surfaces, reduce fouling. In this “Alternating Strand Design” (ASD), filaments of different thicknesses are used. They lead to an even water overflow and thus counteract organic growth. This results in lower operating costs, as fewer cleaning chemicals are required and longer intervals between cleaning operations are possible.

Ion exchange and reverse osmosis hand in hand
The efficiency with which ion exchange resins and membrane elements from LANXESS can be used in combination has been proven for several years by the treatment of the boiler feed water for the large lignite-fired power plant Lippendorf near Leipzig in the Federal State of Saxony. The membrane elements of the Lewabrane RO B400 FR type used there are characterized by long service life, good permeate yield and salt retention along with low energy consumption. In addition, uncharged organic impurities are removed to a great extent, so that the TOC (Total Organic Carbon) value of up to 700 ppm in the raw water from an adjacent lake can be reduced to well below 0.01 percent. Typically, TOC values of about 20 ppb are achieved in the RO permeate, which is far below the VGB/EU standard or the recommendation of the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute of less than 100 ppb. The RO system produces up to 1,200 cubic meters of water per day for the water-steam cycle.

Also in Lippendorf, ion exchange resins from LANXESS’s Lewatit product range have been used to treat boiler feed water before and after reverse osmosis for around 15 years. Separate cation or anion exchangers are used in the demineralization stage, while fine cleaning after reverse osmosis is carried out with a mixed-bed exchanger. At the end of the treatment process, the conductivity of the boiler feed water is below 0.06 μS/cm.

Reliable design on a practical data basis
At the VGB conference, Uli Dölchow, application engineer at IAB Ionenaustauscher GmbH Bitterfeld in the LPT business unit of LANXESS, will give a lecture on October 26, 2017 entitled “Performance evaluation of RO membranes using statistical Design of Experiment (DoE) and a silica containing multi-ion mixed feed”. He explained how modern methods of statistical experimental design in the laboratory can be used to capture the behavior of membrane elements very realistically. Raw water test mixtures are used for this purpose, containing not only common salt but also other ions such as silicate, borate, nitrate and/or ammonia in order to reproduce typical operating conditions realistically. The membrane behavior can then be reliably predicted over a wide pH and temperature range. This enables a design that is precisely adapted to the respective application. “A system tailored to the requirements helps to reduce investment costs. In addition, rapid commissioning is possible without time-consuming readjustment. We can offer the power plant operator exactly the solution he needs,” explained Dölchow.

All the results of these laboratory tests are incorporated into the LewaPlus design software developed by LANXESS, which is constantly updated. This makes it an ideal tool, especially for the design of combined reverse osmosis/ion exchange systems for water treatment.

LANXESS offers a comprehensive range of specially tailored ion exchange resins and membrane elements for the above-mentioned and other applications. Detailed information is available on the website http://lpt.lanxess.com.