Movers & Shakers July 2024: Kovalus to Invest $20M in State-of-the-Art Spiral Assembly Factory

Kovalus Separation Solutions
Kovalus Separation Solutions

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: July 11, 2024

Blueair Reveals New Air Purifier with Professional Grade Air Purification

Air wellness pioneer Blueair unveiled its most advanced and powerful air purifier to date – the Classic Pro. Building on the award-winning Classic family of air purifiers, the new model is re-engineered with first-of-its-kind multi-layer filtration technology to deliver 40% more performance than before1 and cleanse the air in rooms up to 1,413 square feet2 in as little as 30 minutes.

Blueair Classic Pro, the first and only air purifier with PhotonPure™ lighting technology that deactivates germs for an impeccably clean atmosphere. (Photo: Business Wire)
Blueair Classic Pro, the first and only air purifier with PhotonPure™ lighting technology that deactivates germs for an impeccably clean atmosphere. (Photo: Business Wire)

Blueair artfully engineered Classic Pro to provide long-lasting, advanced protection against indoor air pollutants that can adversely affect consumers’ quality of life. Equipped with Blueair’s proprietary HEPASilent™ dual filtration technology, the Classic Pro can quickly capture 99.97%3 of particles as small as 0.01 microns in size. The unique filtration process delivers more clean air faster while using less noise and energy than HEPA filtration alone4.

For an added layer of protection against particulates, the Classic Pro is the first air purifier to bring the patent-pending PhotonPure™ lighting technology to consumers’ homes. Previously only used in medical settings, this professional pioneering lighting technology targets the main filter’s surface with a safe violet light to reduce up to 91% of harmful viruses5 and bacteria6 trapped on the filter to prevent recirculation into the air. This visible protection is different from ultraviolet-C (UVC) lighting typically seen in air purifiers, as PhotonPure™ operates in a visible wavelength of 405nm compared with traditional UVC. The PhotonPure™ antibacterial lighting technology can ensure long-term, effective usage of the Classic Pro without degrading the air purifier’s filter materials and performance over time. The Classic Pro has a visible blue light that can be seen behind the filter, turning on every 10 minutes.

ZwitterCo secures $58.4m in Series B funding led by Evok Innovations

ZwitterCo, which is transforming water treatment through advanced membrane technologies, announced the successful close of its Series B funding round led by Evok Innovations. Evok was joined by DCVC, BHP, Munich Re Ventures, SiteGround, HG Ventures, and Blue Horizon Advisors. The oversubscribed $58.4 million round will accelerate ZwitterCo’s mission to unlock the potential of unconventional water sources, such as industrial wastewaters and more challenging surface waters or process streams, to meet the massive water demands of industries that underpin a low-carbon future.


“Climate change is simultaneously driving water scarcity and increasing demand for water in industries critical to the low-carbon transition,” said ZwitterCo Co-Founder and CEO Alex Rappaport. “This funding will allow us to rapidly scale our breakthrough membrane technology, empowering industries to reliably and affordably access unconventional water resources while ensuring the water used or recycled in these industries meets the highest purity standards.”

While membranes are ubiquitous in water treatment, there had been no breakthrough innovations in the field for half a century until ZwitterCo introduced membranes with novel zwitterionic chemistries. ZwitterCo’s technology creates unprecedented immunity to organic fouling, enabling ZwitterCo’s membranes to continue working efficiently and sustainably long after traditional membranes would have clogged.

The need for such advanced membrane technology is rising as the changing climate worsens regional water shortages. According to the United Nations, 2.2 billion people globally lack access to safely managed drinking water services, and by 2025, half of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed areas. Additionally, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence sees a 20-50% rise in global water demand by 2050. As conventional freshwater resources become increasingly strained, the ability to tap into unconventional water sources will be critical for meeting the growing demand for clean water.

Kovalus to Invest $20M in State-of-the-Art Spiral Assembly Factory

Kovalus Separation Solutions, formerly known as Koch Separation Solutions, is making a significant investment of over $20 million dollars in a new 140,000 sq-ft (14k m2) state-of-the-art facility for spiral membrane element assembly in Mexico. This new facility will enable a 50% expansion in spiral membrane production capacity, effectively addressing the growing market demands in the Food, Beverage, Life Science, and Industrial sectors.

Kovalus Separation Solutions
Kovalus Separation Solutions

“We are extremely excited about this investment in our growth,” said Manny Singh, CEO of Kovalus Separation Solutions. “Membrane technology allows our customers in food, beverage, dairy and industrial applications to significantly improve operational sustainability and profitability, through increased product yield, purity, and water reuse. The increasing demand for our products has prompted an exhaustive evaluation of potential locations for expansion. After careful consideration, we have chosen Mexico due to its proximity to key markets, availability of skilled labor, and rapidly improving infrastructure.

All core membrane technology for spiral products will continue to be manufactured at our Massachusetts headquarters using the same materials, machinery, and quality procedures. This alignment with our Quality Management and Membrane Development teams will ensure consistent product performance and help to support future innovations.

This investment underscores our commitment to enhancing our production capabilities and reinforcing our leadership position in the membrane technology market. It follows our earlier investment this year to expand production capacity at our RELCO facility in Willmar, Minnesota, USA.

The new facility in Mexico is expected to begin operational qualification in late 2024, marking a significant milestone in our expansion strategy.

Ahlstrom Introduces Fluoro-Free Filtration Materials

Ahlstrom is launching a new range of filtration materials that offers fluoro-free technology. Ahlstrom is extending its innovative fluoro-free technologies into a wide range of industrial air filtration applications to support filter manufacturers in creating products with long-lasting filtration performance without the use of fluorochemicals.

Gas turbines play a crucial role in modern society, enhancing daily life in the industrialized world. Photo Shutterstock
Gas turbines play a crucial role in modern society, enhancing daily life in the industrialized world. Photo Shutterstock

Ahlstrom’s new fluoro-free filtration materials are ideal for gas turbine air intake, air pollution control, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications. The new range of materials offers water-repellent properties, which increase the durability and stability of the final filter in wet conditions. In global filtration markets, hydrophobic properties are essential to maintaining the highest filtration performance in challenging environments.

In air pollution control applications, for example, hydrophobic materials save energy by limiting the pressure drop increase in humid conditions. Specifically, in gas turbine applications, water repellency prevents liquid water ingress and dissolved salt penetration through a filter, protecting the turbine from corrosion.

Grundfos Appoints Hamed Heyhat to CEO Water Utility Division

Hamed Heyhat
Hamed Heyhat

Grundfos has appointed Hamed Heyhat as Executive Vice President and Divisional CEO, Water Utility.

Heyhat, who will be part of Grundfos’s Group Management, brings more than 20 years of experience from the utilities industry gained at international companies such as Alstom, General Electric Company and most recently Honeywell. He joins Grundfos from a role as president of Honeywell’s Smart Energy business.

“Hamed Heyhat brings deep knowledge from the utilities industry, many years in senior leadership and a proven track record in roles with profit and loss responsibility, as well as mergers and acquisitions,” said Poul Due Jensen, CEO of Grundfos. “He has an ambitious, present and authentic leadership style, and I am confident that he is a great fit for Grundfos, and our Water Utility division.”

Heyhat has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology, and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

NX Filtration Receives Orders From Thermax for Projects in India

NX Filtration, a global leader in advanced hollow fiber membrane technology, announced that it has added Thermax Ltd., an Indian multinational engineering company involved in clean air, clean energy and clean water, to its customer base. Thermax has placed a sizable initial order for both hollow fiber nanofiltration and ultrafiltration modules from NX Filtration.

NX Filtration filtration modules.
NX Filtration filtration modules.

With over 40 years of history, Thermax is among the prime Indian companies focusing on water and wastewater treatment, with more than 20,000 water and wastewater treatment installations across various municipal, industrial and commercial applications.

After extensive successful piloting with NX Filtration’s hollow fiber nanofiltration technology, Thermax will now be scaling up to full-scale water projects. Thermax initial order involves hollow fiber nanofiltration modules with an aggregate total capacity of approximately 5 million liters per day, and ultrafiltration modules with a total capacity of approximately 25 million liters per day and will be used for various of its existing and new water treatment installations across India.

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