Movers & Shakers August 2023: Naomi Park from USA wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023

Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023 finalists with HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo: Jonas Borg
Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023 finalists with HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo: Jonas Borg

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 Ken Norberg:

Most recent update: August 24, 2023

Pall Water Announces Name Change to Aria Filtra™

Pall Water, the filtration partner of choice for municipal and industrial customers that need reliable access to consistent and high-quality water, announced that it is changing its name to Aria Filtra. This rebranding effort is in response to the brand joining Trojan Technologies Corp., following a separation from Pall Corporation.

Aria Filtra will continue developing, implementing, and maintaining water filtration solutions that help customers tackle tough water challenges just as the team has done for the last 30 years. Proven and reliable membrane technology is at the core of Aria Filtra’s water and wastewater systems. With a strong reputation for durability, consistency, and high performance, Aria Filtra’s ultrafiltration, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and mobile water treatment solutions are in use on six continents, delivering more than two billion gallons of installed capacity daily.

“Aria Filtra celebrates our decades of experience in filtration by combining the name of our industry-leading solutions (Aria) with the Latin word for filter (filtra),” said Daniel Benitez, general manager, Aria Filtra. “For our customers and associates, Aria is already linked to high performance, durability, and longevity, and now as part of our new name, it speaks to our reputation for delivering high-quality water through our proven filtration technologies and deep expertise.”

While the brand name has changed, Aria Filtra’s staff, solutions, and membranes are remaining the same. Customers can expect the same high-quality, durable, and reliable products and services that made Aria Filtra a leader in water filtration.

Dr. Ernie Mayer has Passed Away

Ernest Mayer
Ernest Mayer

Long-time contributor to International Filtration News and one of American Filtration & Separations Society (AFS) founding members, Dr. Ernie Mayer, passed away on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Mayer had made tremendous contributions to AFS in multiple capacities, including as a founding member, member of the AFS Board of Directors with multiple terms, Chairman of the Chapter Affairs/Users Committee since 1995, and a member of three other committees. He was an instructor in the AFS short course program since it started in the mid-1990s and served until recently. One of his significant contributions to AFS was that he presented multiple high-quality papers yearly at AFS conferences. He was also the conference chair for three AFS Annual/National conferences; Co-chair of the World Filtration Congress in 2004, and Chair of the 2008 Filter Testing Conference. With his great contributions and achievements, he was awarded the AFS Frank Tiller award in 1996, the AFS Fellow award in 2000, and the Lifetime Achievement award in 2005 (the first non-academic to receive it).

Dr. Mayer or Ernie as many called him, was a Senior Consultant with DuPont in Wilmington, DE, specializing in Solid-Liquid Separation technology, especially in the wastewater treatment arena, since 1980 and until his retirement. He received his B.S. and M.S. Chem. Eng. Degrees from Columbia University, New York City, NY, and his Ph.D. in Chem. Eng. From U. of Delaware, Newark.

In addition to AFS, Dr. Mayer was also a member of AWWA, AlChE, WEF and had a brilliant professional career; among his numerous awards are Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Deans’ Lists, 3 Eng. Excellence Awards, 7 Environmental Respect Awards. He has over 200 publications and two patents. In 1991, a remediation technology he developed was accepted into the EPA SITE program. At the request of President Jimmy Carter, he was asked to participate in the Three-Mile Island nuclear cleanup in 1980.

Ernie has left his legacy in AFS and the fluid/particle separation field and will forever be remembered and respected in AFS and the industry.

Parker Hannifin Starts New Membrane Test Rig for Fuel Cells

Left to right: Dr Valerii Danilov, Fraunhofer Institute, Simulations; Dr Gunther Kolb, Fraunhofer Institute, Head of Business Division Energy; Robert Jozsa, Parker EMFE, Product Manager Alternative Technology; Dr Jonas Schramm, Fraunhofer, Hydrogen Technology Group; and Burkhard Hartmann, Parker EMFE R&D Stuttgart Officer. Photo courtesy of Parker Hannifin
Parker Hannifin’s test rig and the development team, left to right: Dr Valerii Danilov, Fraunhofer Institute, Simulations; Dr Gunther Kolb, Fraunhofer Institute, Head of Business Division Energy; Robert Jozsa, Parker EMFE, Product Manager Alternative Technology; Dr Jonas Schramm, Fraunhofer, Hydrogen Technology Group; and Burkhard Hartmann, Parker EMFE R&D Stuttgart Officer. Photo courtesy of Parker Hannifin

Parker Hannifin announced its hydrogen filtration business reached a major milestone with the completion of a specialized test rig. The announcement signifies an important step towards the mass production of hollow fiber membrane technology for fuel cell humidification applications.

The test rig, which was specialized to validate products by Parker OEM customers, will enable Parker to test the membrane technology in advanced ways and will support the development of robust system solutions for fuel cells. By enabling optimal moisture levels, hollow fiber membrane technology is expected to allow fuel cells to last longer and perform more efficient and reliably.

Burkhard Hartmann, R&D Officer at Parker’s Engine Mobile Filtration Europe (EMFE) Division, said, “It moves us all towards better, more efficient, more reliable fuel cell electrical vehicles, a vital step towards a cleaner, better tomorrow.”

The technology was produced in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems (IMM).

Naomi Park from USA wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023

Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023 finalists with HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo: Jonas Borg
Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023 finalists with HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo: Jonas Borg

Naomi Park from USA received the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2023 for her research on the removal of carbon dioxide and oil products from the ocean. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the winner with her award during a ceremony at World Water Week in Stockholm.

The ocean absorbs nearly a third of airborne carbon dioxide emissions, and 1.3 million gallons of crude oil are spilled into oceans every year. Both issues continue to detrimentally affect marine biodiversity, and human health. In her research, Naomi Park has developed a method to simultaneously remove these contaminants.

For this, she was announced the winner of Stockholm Junior Water Prize, an international competition where students between the ages of 15 and 20 present solutions to major water challenges.

Speaking on winning the prize, Park said: “I did this project in my high school. I joined our research program as a freshman. It is just something that I wanted to do for fun. I never realized that I would get to this point. It is very much a shock right now.”

The Jury noted that “the winner is taking a troublesome waste product and using it to help solve a number of the most pressing issues we face in the modern world. By using Styrofoam and creating a ‘sponge’ that absorbs both carbon dioxide and oil products from the ocean, this student built a model and tested it – in multiple conditions, even simulating ocean waves – with impressive results.”

The winner was presented with her prize during an award ceremony at World Water Week by HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Prize’s Official Patron.

The Diploma of Excellence was awarded to Ayse Pelin Dedeler from Türkiye for her study on how to capture microplastics with magnetic nano-adsorbents and remove them from the water using strong magnets.

The People’s Choice Award went to Fernando de Silva Hernández and Carlos Erquizio from Mexico, completing the line-up of winners.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize has been organized every year since 1997 by the Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI, with Xylem as Founding Partner.

Orange County Water District Successfully Captures Rainfall from Storm Hilary

With the arrival of Tropical Storm Hilary, the Orange County Water District in California maximized water supply operations to capture 2.56 inches of rain, ensuring not a drop was lost to the ocean, and increase its water storage behind Prado Dam to more than 3.4 billion gallons of water.

OCWD was prepared to take full advantage of stormwater capture due to decades of sound planning, regional partnerships, and investments in water infrastructure. Located in the northern part of the county lies its managed aquifer recharge system where a series of rubber dams, pumps and percolation ponds work to get water into the Orange County Groundwater Basin. The Basin is a vital resource managed by OCWD which supplies 85% of the water for 2.5 million people.

Aquaporin and Singapore’s PUB Work on Biomimetic Low-energy RO Membrane Demo

Aquaporin membrane
Aquaporin membrane

Danish company Aquaporin A/S, an innovative water technology company dedicated to rethinking water filtration with biotechnology, announced that Aquaporin and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, are partnering to develop the world’s first low-energy Aquaporin Inside® membrane demonstration for NEWater.

A total of 504 CLEAR Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (BWRO) modules from Aquaporin will be implemented at one of PUB’s NEWater production facilities, with a capacity of 1.7 million imperial gallons per day. This will demonstrate the Aquaporin Inside® technology’s ability to save energy and validate the technology for implementation in PUB’s future membrane replacement projects.

Matt Boczkowski, Aquaporin’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with an exceptional and experienced partner such as PUB. The collaboration has been a rewarding journey, and we are excited about the prospects of our partnership. We will continue developing water solutions through innovation that will benefit PUB and the people of Singapore.”

The Aquaporin Inside® CLEAR products feature the world’s first and only biomimetic BWRO membranes. The Aquaporin Inside® technology inspires itself from nature’s way of filtering water by incorporating biotech-based protein water channels into a filtration membrane, offering best-in-class flow rates, high rejection of contaminants, and reliable long-term performance.

NEWater is one of Singapore’s four National Taps and a key pillar in building a diversified and sustainable water supply, producing ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water.

INDA and the Waterloo Filtration Institute to Partner for FiltXPO™ 2023

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced that it is partnering with the Waterloo Filtration Institute (WFI) to produce the 2-day FiltXPO™ conference program, October 10-11, Chicago, Illinois. WFI brings decades of filtration experience, resources, and a worldwide network to support the education and technical development of the global filtration industry.

Filtration and separation professionals from the global supply chain will connect at FiltXPO 2023 for advancements, innovations, and business development. The conference portion of the FiltXPO event will focus on advanced filtration technologies and science for products that create a cleaner, healthier, and safer world. More details about the conference will be released at a later date.

“We are excited to partner with INDA on the FiltXPO Conference,” said Christine Sun, Ph.D., President, Waterloo Filtration Institute. “WFI’s technical experience and reach will bring an added dimension to the event. Our team has already begun planning the conference and we look forward to sharing more details soon,” Sun added.

“INDA is proud to partner with WFI as they bring a wealth of filtration knowledge to the table,” said Tony Fragnito, President, INDA. “We are very fortunate to have their technical expertise in planning the FiltXPO Conference. Filtration professionals can expect a robust program developed with the industry expertise of WFI,” Fragnito continued.

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is a valued partner to INDA in bringing educational offerings to the nonwoven and engineered material industry. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Director, The Nonwovens Institute, and his team will teach the 2-day Filter Media Course in conjunction with FiltXPO, October 9-10, at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Professor Pourdeyhimi and his team will share the latest insights in the development, testing, and application of nonwovens in air, aerosol, and liquid filtration. Participants will gain knowledge about the physics of filtration, how nonwoven filter media is designed and used in air, aerosol, and liquid applications, testing standards, unmet needs in filter media, and the latest market trends and intelligence.

Sun Capital Affiliate to Acquire Koch Separation Solutions

An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm focused on the business services, consumer, healthcare, industrial, and technology sectors, is to acquire Koch Separation Solutions (KSS) from Koch Engineered Solutions, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

KSS is a specialist provider of membrane filtration, ion exchange, evaporators, dryers, and proprietary cheesemaking technologies for the industrial, food, beverage, and dairy markets.

Once the transaction is completed, KSS will operate as a standalone business that includes all its current operations and will continue under the existing management team.

Financial terms of the deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed.

Clark-Reliance Acquired John C. Ernst & Co.

Clark-Reliance announced that it has acquired John C. Ernst & Co., Inc., a leader in the manufacture and distribution of engineered measurement solutions and process observation equipment for liquid and steam applications.

John C. Ernst, headquartered in Sparta, New Jersey, manufactures and distributes sight flow indicators, sight windows, liquid level gauges and flow meter products used by customers in demanding applications across a broad range of end markets.

Clark-Reliance logo

Clark-Reliance, headquartered in Strongsville, OH, manufactures level instrumentation, process observation equipment, and filtration equipment for critical industries around the world. These technologies help end-users control, operate, and protect their facilities in a variety of liquid and steam management applications.

NUS Scientists Develop a New Class of Artificial Water Channels for More Efficient Industrial Water Purification

A team of scientists from NUS comprising (left to right) Prof Prakash Kumar, Prof Manjunatha Kini, Dr Li Jianwei and Dr Pannaga Krishnamurthy, has developed a new class of artificial water channels for more efficient industrial water purification. Photo courtesy NUSNews
A team of scientists from NUS comprising (left to right) Prof Prakash Kumar, Prof Manjunatha Kini, Dr Li Jianwei and Dr Pannaga Krishnamurthy, has developed a new class of artificial water channels for more efficient industrial water purification. Photo courtesy NUSNews

A team led by scientists from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Biological Sciences in collaboration with the French Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) has successfully synthesised a special protein-mimic that can self-assemble into a pore structure. When incorporated into a lipid membrane, the pores permit selective transport of water across the membrane while rejecting salt (ions). These protein-mimics, known as ‘oligourea foldamers’, represent an entirely new class of artificial water channels (AWC) that can be used to improve the energy-efficiency of current methods of industrial water purification.

Current methods of water purification involve the use of reverse osmosis and membrane distillation technologies. Reverse osmosis, however, is a highly energy-intensive process as high pressures are needed to pass seawater or wastewater through a series of semi-permeable membranes to remove salts and other pollutants. In light of climate change and the growing demand for fresh water, there is an impetus to develop more energy-efficient, water-selective membranes for large-scale desalination purposes. This invention represents an excellent contribution to these efforts. The relatively high water permeability of the pores formed by these oligourea foldamers suggests that overall energy requirement for water purification can potentially be reduced.

DuPont™ FilmTec™ Prime RO Wins Energy and Sustainability Award

DuPont Water Solutions announced it has received the 2023 Energy and Sustainability Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) for developing a family of energy-efficient reverse osmosis (RO) membranes that contributes to the decarbonization of water purification.

DuPont FilmTec Desalination Membranes
DuPont’s FilmTec membranes

DuPont™ FilmTec™ Prime RO is a new portfolio of reverse osmosis membranes for industrial applications that require up to 20 percent less energy while improving permeate quality by up to 60 percent, in turn reducing chemical usage in the water purification process. Analysis using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tools indicates that Prime RO products have the potential to reduce global CO2 equivalent emissions by approximately 85,000 metric tons each year compared to legacy products. These claims are compliant with ISO 14021 requirements and have been validated by Anthesis, a global sustainability advisory and solutions firm.

LiqTech Enters MoU with Nanjing Wondux in China

LiqTech International, Inc., a clean technology company that manufactures and markets highly specialized filtration products and systems, and Nanjing Wondux Environmental Protection Technology Corp, Ltd., have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the application of LiqTech’s advanced filtration system to industrial water treatment in China.

LiqTech's industrail water treatment systems
LiqTech’s industrail water treatment systems

Nanjing Wondux is an expert in intelligent environmental governance and resource utilization with a focus on garbage pollution control, zero discharge of industrial wastewater, recycling of waste salt, extraction of new energy materials, etc., and provides customers with advanced environmental technology equipment, system integration and overall solutions to environmental problems. Wondux has extended customer groups across China and a good reputation in environmental waste and water treatment area.

Fei Chen, CEO of LiqTech International, commented, “China is a significant market for industrial water treatment. Environmental and sustainability is coming higher and higher up at the agenda of the government and enterprises in China. LiqTech’s silicon carbide membrane-based ultrafiltration technology has demonstrated convincing results for the treatment of challenged industrial water and industrial processes in many countries. By entering this MoU, LiqTech will get a market reach through Wondux’s strong market position in China.”

Metso to Deliver Pressure Filters to Projects in India

Metso VPA filter
Metso VPA filter

Metso has been awarded orders to deliver concentrate dewatering filters and pumps to two iron ore projects in India. The combined order value exceeds EUR 10 million and was booked in the Minerals segment’s second-quarter 2023 orders received.

Metso’s scope of delivery consists of the engineering, manufacturing and supply of several VPA pressure filters and filter feed pumps as well as spare parts.

“We are pleased having been chosen to deliver the pressure filters to the two sites. The VPA filters are one of the most sustainable filters available and are classified as Planet Positive products because of their water and energy efficiency,” explains Vijay Dhar, Vice President for Minerals Sales in the Middle East and India market areas at Metso.

Metso’s filtration portfolio consists of 15 different filter types and a comprehensive service offering for various mining and industrial applications, with more than 5,000 installations globally.

Newterra Acquires Environmental Site Solutions, LLC (ESS)

Newterra Inc. has acquired the assets of Environmental Site Solutions, LLC, a Seattle area-based supplier specializing in filtration systems tailored to water treatment solutions. Founded in 2018, the company delivers solutions across several markets, including municipal drinking water, construction dewatering, remediation, food and beverage, power, microelectronics, and refining. Offerings include water filtration equipment, system rentals and leases, system integration, supply of filter media, and turn-key filter media change-out services.


“The acquisition of Environmental Site Solutions, LLC (ESS) is a win-win for both companies. ESS expands our reach into the drinking water, industrial, remediation and beverage sectors while strengthening our filter media supply and turn-key filter media change-out services on the West Coast,” said Newterra CEO Kevin Cassidy. “We enhance ESS’s system capabilities with complex system integration experience, packaged filtration systems and a broad range of technologies. We are extremely excited to welcome the ESS team to our Newterra family.”

“Newterra is the perfect complement to ESS, and we are very excited about the joint competencies. I am delighted the ESS team will now be part of a global company with strong capabilities,” said Mike Tallering, Environmental Site Solutions, LLC Founder.

Mann+Hummel to Acquire Majority Stake in U-Air

Mann+Hummel headquarters
Mann+Hummel has been particularly aggressive in making acquisitions and investments in recent years to help build its presence in key filtration markets. Photo courtesy of Mann+Hummel.

MANN+HUMMEL announced the expansion of its air filtration business with plans to acquire a majority stake in Suzhou U-Air Environmental Technology (“U-Air”) in China.

The transaction is expected to close during 2023, according to MANN+HUMMEL, subject to the satisfaction of customary regulatory approvals and other conditions.

The Chinese filtration manufacturer, which is part of Zisun Technology Co., Ltd, provides high-quality air filtration products, according to MANN+HUMMEL. The acquisition further strengthens MANN+HUMMEL’s presence in China and Southeast Asia, and will also serve customers globally, the company adds.

MANN+HUMMEL says it sees the rising demand for solutions for cleaner air and will continue to improve the availability of its air filtration products to meet the increasing application and customer needs.

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