Movers & Shakers – August 2020: University of Arizona researchers develop technology to optimize the desalination process

Solar-Powered Desalination System Developed by University of Arizona Researchers
Kerri Hickenbottom (right), assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, in front of a solar-powered desalination system with Mikah Inkawhich, a graduate student in environmental engineering and civil and architectural engineering and mechanics. Hickenbottom is leading a team of engineers and scientists to develop a solar-powered desalination system. Photo: Emily Dieckman/College of Engineering

In the dynamic and global filtration industry, news and information is breaking on a daily basis. International Filtration News is tracking stories relevant to our industry from air and gas filtration to liquid filtration and the various end-uses for filtration technology. Here we will post news stories relevant to filtration and its downstream applications on an ongoing basis. Please check back for regular updates. If you have news that you feel should be added to this summary report, please email it to Matt Migliore at

Most recent update: August 26, 2020

Eaton contributes to ZET Coalition clean air initiative with emission reducing and electric vehicle technologies

Eaton announced that it is a key contributor and supporter of the U.S. National Zero-Emission Truck (ZET) Coalition’s newly issued priority federal recommendations. The ZET Coalition is calling for the establishment of a national point-of-sale incentive program to drive the production of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), including clean trucks and buses. Eaton has partnered with CALSTART to provide the heavy-duty truck market with a suite of emission-reducing and electric vehicle technologies. 

Eaton’s new 4-speed transmission for heavy-duty electric commercial vehicles is the latest addition to its growing eMobility portfolio of electrified vehicle (EV) transmissions.

Eaton supplies technologies to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) SuperTruck teams that improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, including a high-efficiency transmission that achieves additional fuel savings by enabling engine-off coasting and waste heat recovery; a 48-volt mild hybrid electrically regenerative accessory drive that charges the vehicle’s batteries, runs the air conditioner and other accessories, and replaces the alternator in linehaul commercial vehicles; and exhaust gas recirculation controllers that enable simultaneous fuel and emissions reductions.


AFS announces two new virtual trainings on solid/liquid separation

The American Filtration and Separation Society (AFS) announced two virtual courses designed for people who are new to the filtration industry, either in technical, sales, or business functions. The courses are also appropriate for those who have been in this industry for a while to get a better understanding of correlating fundamentals to practical applications.

Wednesday, September 16
8:00 am – 12:00 pm – CT, USA
Introduction to Solid/Liquid Separation I – Principles

In Part I, simple underlining principles of key solid/liquid separation technologies, types of liquid filter and selection criteria will be presented. Technologies to improve filtration and separation such as filter aid, coagulation and flocculation are also part of the curriculum.

Friday, September 18
8:00 am – 12:00 pm – CT, USA
Introduction to Solid/Liquid Separation II – Equipment, Operation and Testing

In Part II, key types of solid/liquid separation equipment will be discussed individually, including all types of filters, gravity settlers and centrifugal separators. Basic operation principles, application guidelines and key testing and evaluation methods will be presented.

Register for Part I:
Register for Part II:

Donaldson Company announces 2019 patent recipients and inventor award winners

Donaldson Company Inc. is honoring 149 individuals who earned patents in 2019 and 5 employees who received Inventor Awards. The awards recognize employees’ innovative accomplishments and the role they play in Donaldson’s involvement in the filtration industry.

The Technology Achievement Award is given to an individual or team who has developed a material, product, process or method that has made an extraordinary contribution to Donaldson’s long-term success. This year’s winner is the Turbo-Tek Family of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) products for Gas Turbine Systems, awarded to Greg Tronnes, Senior Engineer, Media Technology; Jason Tiffany, Global Quality Manager, Integrated Venting Solutions; and Giancarlo Izzi, Data Science Engineer, Corporate Technology.

The Emerging Innovator Award recognizes innovative technical leadership from those with fewer than 10 years of experience at Donaldson. This year’s winner is principal scientist Brad Hauser.

The Richard M. Negri Manufacturing Excellence Award recognizes an individual who has created and implemented significant process technology/product improvements for manufacturing operations. This year’s awardee is Jeff Smith, Director of Operations, Liquid/Aerospace and Defense.

The Technology Champion Award recognizes an individual who advances a technology or process that challenged conventional practices, and proved to be both valuable and successful. David Gutman, EMEA Engineering Director, Industrial Air Filtration, is this year’s recipient.

The Frank A. Donaldson Award, named after the company’s founder, recognizes long-term engineering achievement(s). This year’s awardee is Steve Gieseke, Engineering Manager, Global Business Development, Engine Air.


Kaman Distribution names new Vice President of Corporate Accounts

Kaman Distribution Group (KDG), a leading value-added distributor of bearings, power transmission, automation, and fluid power products, has announced the appointment of Kevin Glorio as the Vice President of Corporate Accounts for the Kaman Industrial Technologies business unit.

Glorio has more than 26 years of industrial distribution and manufacturing experience. Prior to joining Kaman Industrial Technologies, Glorio served as Procurement Director at Georgia Pacific. He also held various roles at SKF and Applied Industrial Technologies. Glorio holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Ball State University.


Fibrix Filtration acquired by Branford Castle Partners

Branford Castle Partners LP, a New York City-based private equity firm, announced the purchase of Fibrix Filtration, a provider of high loft and pleat media air filtration products. Under terms of the deal, Branford is working with Fibrix’s existing CEO Keith White, who is one of the current owners and who will be investing in the transaction as well. The investment is the first transaction for Branford Castle Fund II, which had a first close in late 2019.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Fibrix Filtration has been manufacturing air filtration media products for over 50 years. With four facilities located in North Carolina and Texas, the company’s products are pivotal in optimizing the performance of commercial and industrial HVAC systems, leading to enhanced system efficiency, lower energy costs and improved air quality.

More info:

International Desalination Association announces 2021 IDA World Congress

The International Desalination Association flagship event, IDA World Congress, will be presented Sydney, Australia, Nov. 7-11, 2021, at the International Convention Center Sydney (ICC Sydney).

Supported by the University of Technology Sydney – Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater, Australian Water Association, the Government of New South Wales, Sydney Water, Sydney Desalination Plant, UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at University of New South Wales, and the Water Services Association of Australia, the 2021 IDA World Congress and exhibition will provide knowledge-sharing and interactive opportunities for participants on a plethora of both technical and business topics, related to the use of desalination and water reuse solutions to ensure a secure water future.

The World Congress will feature four days of technical sessions, lectures, high-level plenary sessions, Leaders Summit, an exhibition hall, business discussions, academy courses, and networking events.

The program will cover 12 topics:

  1. Seawater and Brackish Water Desalination
  2. Water Reuse, Potable and Non-Potable including Public Outreach
  3. Industrial Water and Wastewater Treatment
  4. Coupling Desalination and Renewable Energy
  5. Emerging Technologies, Emerging Issues, and Emerging Contaminants
  6. Membrane Science
  7. Environment and Sustainability
  8. Governance, Finance, and Project Delivery
  9. Thermal Desalination
  10. Pre-Treatment and Post Treatment
  11. Plant Operations and Digitization
  12. Brine Management and Resource Recovery


120Water’s Megan Glover named a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2020

Ernst & Young LLP announced finalists for its Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Midwest Award. Water entrepreneur Megan Glover, CEO of 120Water, is among the finalists for the award.

Founded in the wake of the Flint water crisis, 120Water is the only digital water platform to use a combination of cloud-based software, testing kits and services to manage complex drinking water programs.

Megan Glover, CEO of 120Water
Megan Glover, CEO of 120Water, is a finalist in the 2020 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program. Photo: 120Water

120Water solutions are used in 180,000 locations across the United States for clients including the city of Newark (NJ), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Chicago Public Schools, and Indiana Finance Authority.

The Midwest program celebrates entrepreneurs from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Now in its 34th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors successful business leaders whose ambitions deliver innovation, growth and prosperity as they build and sustain groundbreaking companies that transform our world. These 22 business leaders were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges from a competitive pool of nominations. The 2020 Midwest finalists are:

  • Megan Glover | (Zionsville, Indiana)
  • Bill Fenech | Barletta Boat Company LLC (Bristol, Indiana)
  • Dave Durand | Best Version Media (Brookfield, Wisconsin)
  • Tony Iannessa | BIG Construction (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Justin Christian | BCforward (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • Maria Christopoulos Katris | Built In (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Rachel Neill | Carex Consulting Group (Madison, Wisconsin)
  • James Mabie | Chicago Capital (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Arnav Dalmia and Shivani Jain | Cubii (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Raj Gupta | ESD (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Ahmed Shaaban | Fulcrum Global Technologies (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Justin Holland | HealthJoy (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Ekamdeep Singh | IKIO LED Lighting (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • Kimberly Moore | KDM Engineering, PLLC (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Matt Kunkel | LogicGate, Inc. (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Mihail Mihaylov | Montway Auto Transport (Schaumburg, Illinois)
  • Jace Mouse | PerkSpot (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Mike McTaggart | QuestFood Management Services (Lombard, Illinois)
  • John Redmond | Redmond Construction Corp. (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Greg Fenton | RedShelf (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Nick Deeter | WishBone Medical (Warsaw, Indiana)


Production ends at MANN+HUMMEL’s Ludwigsburg site

The MANN+HUMMEL Group has announced that the Ludwigsburg plant will no longer be accepting any new production orders. After review of its sites, it was determined that the competitiveness of the Ludwigsburg production facility cannot be maintained. Existing production activities will be phased out or relocated. The specific timetable for the closure will be agreed in cooperation with customers and employee representatives. The company will work in close cooperation with the negotiation partners to arrange socially responsible solutions for the staff at the Ludwigsburg plant. Around 400 jobs at the factory are currently set to be affected by the decision.

“As an international company, MANN+HUMMEL is not only responsible for the Ludwigsburg site. In order to remain competitive in the medium to long term and to safeguard the future of the company with 22,000 employees worldwide, we need to make this adjustment to our production network,” explained Hanno Höhn, Chief Supply Chain Officer and labor director of MANN+HUMMEL GmbH.

MANN+HUMMEL has been producing fuel, oil and air filter systems for automotive original equipment in Ludwigsburg since 1954.


University of Arizona researchers develop technology to optimize the desalination process

Reverse osmosis is one of the most common methods for purifying saline water, but the process produces limited results. About 20% to 50% of the water that enters the system remains as a concentrated waste stream.

There are several existing methods for handling concentrate streams, including injecting the waste into isolated underground wells and using ponds with very large surface areas to efficiently evaporate the water. However, most of these methods are expensive, time consuming and energy intensive.

Solar-Powered Desalination System Developed by University of Arizona Researchers
Kerri Hickenbottom (right), assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, in front of a solar-powered desalination system with Mikah Inkawhich, a graduate student in environmental engineering and civil and architectural engineering and mechanics. Hickenbottom is leading a team of engineers and scientists to develop a solar-powered desalination system. Photo: Emily Dieckman/College of Engineering

A team of University of Arizona engineers and scientists is developing a solar-powered desalination system that combines several types of technologies – including concentrated solar power, photovoltaics and membrane distillation – to recover water from these concentrated waste streams with maximum efficiency. The process uses less energy at a lower cost, and it could provide more water for resource-scarce inland regions such as Arizona. The work is funded by $500,000 from the Department of Energy’s Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment manufacturing institute.

The team is conducting research using the Optical Sciences Center solar testbed. They are also collaborating with the nearby Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center, or WEST Center, which houses a reverse osmosis system overseen by Achilli. The system produces the concentrate stream the team will use for testing.

The hybrid solar desalination system purifies the concentrate stream using a process called membrane distillation, which involves creating a temperature gradient across a hydrophobic microporous membrane. The concentrated waste stream on the hotter side of the membrane evaporates at the membrane surface, vaporizes through the membrane pores and condenses as purified water on the cooler side of the membrane – leaving the contaminants behind. This specialized membrane is similar to Gore-Tex fabric, which allows sweat to evaporate through the fabric but doesn’t allow water or other moisture in. Then, they’ll use a novel method to turn the remaining waste stream from liquid to solid.

Read the full story:

MANN+HUMMEL announces plan to target improvement measures of EUR 150 million

The MANN+HUMMEL Group announced the set up of a Performance Office as part of the company’s effort to achieve its vision of “Leadership in Filtration” and support its drive toward new revenue targets of EUR 150 million. Chief Supply Chain Officer, Hanno Höhn, will lead this new office in addition to his current role. The Performance Office will guide the organization in streamlining the existing product portfolio, make adjustments to the organizational structure and further optimize processes. The team will also promote cross-functional cooperation and agile work management. This development by MANN+HUMMEL is

In June, MANN+HUMMEL announced that it expects the fiscal year 2020 to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that it will continue with its transformation strategy, investing in restructuring, new strategic business fields, research and development in the area of highly innovative filtration solutions, as well as in digitalization.


SUNY ESF and Clarkson University to deploy new technologies to reduce algal blooms

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Clarkson University will deploy new technologies to combat harmful algal blooms, or “HABs,” in Lake Neatahwanta, New York, this summer. In 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo challenged these research institutions to use their scientific expertise in water quality to develop new and innovative technologies to reduce the impact of HABs. SUNY ESF and Clarkson University will demonstrate the effectiveness of their experimental inventions this summer. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will host a virtual public information session about the deployment of the experimental projects on Wednesday, August 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Clarkson University Research Working On Algal Bloom Technology
Clarkson students and Professor Yang Yang decontaminate lake water using a HAB Terminator on campus. Photo: Clarkson University

“New York is home to some of the nation’s best research institutions, so I challenged SUNY ESF and Clarkson University to develop new, nation-leading technologies to address the algal blooms that plague our waterways,” Governor Cuomo said. “Protecting our state’s precious water is a top priority, and this summer Lake Neatahwanta will serve as the testing ground for inventions that have the potential to be put to use across the state to reduce the threat of these harmful algal blooms.”

Lake Neatahwanta is a 715-acre lake near the city of Fulton, Oswego County, used for recreation, including swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake has widespread HABs each year. Recent lake water quality data, collected by DEC, indicates the lake is eutrophic with high levels of nutrients, algae, and toxins associated with HABs. HABs on Lake Neatahwanta have been documented since the start of DEC’s HAB monitoring program in 2012, and typically appear in May and persist throughout the summer into late October.

In March 2019, New York State designated Clarkson University and SUNY ESF to co-lead a new Center of Excellence (CoE) in Healthy Water Solutions to deliver synergistic problem-solving on the wide range of water issues impacting the Empire State. Clarkson’s world-class technical and engineering innovation expertise in healthy water systems and ESF’s renowned expertise in monitoring, watershed ecosystem management, and solution development uniquely position the CoE to create and leverage partnerships across the public-private sectors. Through the new Clarkson – SUNY ESF CoE in Healthy Water Solutions, New York State is creating an international model for protecting the public’s health and state’s ecosystems while serving as an engine for economic growth and vitality.

Challenged by Governor Cuomo in 2019, SUNY ESF and Clarkson University have each developed a novel HAB mitigation technology. The technologies are hydrodynamic cavitation with hydrogen peroxide and electrochemical oxidation filtration, respectively. While these technologies are currently in prototype status, DEC anticipates that both institutions will have full-scale, deployable devices ready for evaluation of the treatment of HABs this summer.

Read the full story: 
To register for the Aug. 12 virtual public information session, visit

Donaldson receives Bluetech Award for clean air technology development in China

Donaldson Company, Inc., a global leader in industrial dust, fume and mist collection, has received the 2019 Bluetech Award from the Bluetech Clean Air Alliance (BCAA), a nonprofit professional organization focusing on the development of clean air technologies and industries in China.

“We are proud to receive the Bluetech Award, which recognizes our technological capabilities and reflects our efforts to deliver on Donaldson’s purpose—Advancing Filtration for a Cleaner World,” said WeeSiong Kang, Donaldson Industrial Air Filtration Product Director, Asia Pacific. “Improving air quality is an increasingly important priority in China, and I am confident that our portfolio of advanced filtration solutions, combined with our strong brand recognition and knowledgeable sales, service and support teams, put us in an excellent position to meet the evolving needs of our customers in this strategically important market.”

Donaldson received the award based on its innovative solution for dust collection and emissions filtration. According to the BCAA, recipients are determined using the Bluetech Technology Assessment Methodology, which evaluates the technological, environmental, and economic performance of the technologies being considered. The BCAA established the Bluetech Awards “to bring leading international clean air technologies to the front and center of the fight against China’s air pollution.”


Lydall breaks ground on Filtration Center of Excellence

Lydall, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of value-added engineered materials and specialty filtration solutions that create a cleaner, safer and quieter world, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a major expansion of its production facility in Rochester, New Hampshire. The ceremony marked the beginning of construction on Lydall’s Filtration Center of Excellence, where the company will develop new, high-performing and environmentally sustainable media for air and liquid filtration. The new facility will also house two new production lines that will enable Lydall to dramatically increase production of fine fiber meltblown filtration media for N95 respirators, surgical masks and air filtration systems.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, mayor Caroline McCarley and Will Arvelo, Director of the State of New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, were also in attendance. “This celebration represents a turning point for our company and solidifies our position as the leading provider of specialty filtration solutions in both the U.S. and the world,” said Sara A. Greenstein, president & CEO of Lydall. “To address the immediate need for personal protective equipment, or PPE, and to support the wider need for improved air quality beyond COVID-19, Lydall is fully prepared to deploy our deep manufacturing experience and longstanding heritage in innovation to deliver the products that will keep people and places safe.’”

Lydall breaks ground on Filtration Center of Excellence
Lydall breaks ground on Filtration Center of Excellence. Photo: Lydall, Inc.

By May 2021, when both new production lines are fully operational, Lydall will increase its capacity of fine fiber meltblown filtration media to support the domestic production of 1.7 billion N95 respirators or 6.5 billion surgical masks per year. Lydall’s specialty meltblown media is also a key component for MERV-, HEPA- and ULPA-grade filters used to improve air quality in hospitals, airplanes, restaurants, office buildings and other public spaces.

To serve the European market, Lydall also manufactures meltblown filtration media at its facility in Saint Rivalain, France. Lydall’s investment in the expanded facility and new production lines is supported by a $13.5M commitment from the U.S. federal government. This commitment is a product of the ongoing collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, led by the Department’s Joint Acquisition Task Force and funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

For more information on Lydall’s COVID-19-related products, visit:

Previous High-efficiency filters and laminar air flow systems needed in the battle against COVID-19
Next Filter media pore size comparison between porometry and glass bead challenge testing