New Techniques & Trends in Industrial Uses of Filtration Systems
Water Works

New Techniques & Trends in Industrial Uses of Filtration Systems

Cutting edge water filtration systems are being developed using graphene to remove highly hazardous contaminants that are otherwise not efficiently removed by previous technologies.

Dhananjay Sharma

Dhananjay Sharma

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9 mins read

Pure water and clean air are the basic necessities of every part of the world, but obtaining this is difficult at times. Filtration is so important that it is found almost everywhere. Use of nonwoven filtration media provides us an opportunity to solve purification challenges and help us to create a healthier, safer and cleaner environment. Nonwoven materials in the global filtration market continue to enjoy steady growth and are expected to reach 747,000 million tons by the end of 2020, according to India’s Worldwide Outlook for the Nonwovens Industry report. With the expansion of human settlement and more pollutants reaching the environment there is a higher need for clean air and water. This need is felt not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries worldwide. This is leading to new innovation and interesting solutions being developed for filtration.

Environmental concerns all around the world are leading us towards more stringent regulations for clean air and water. This is creating a major need for innovation and improvement in filtration technologies around the world. Air quality is an issue of social concern worldwide in the backdrop of rising industrial and vehicular air pollution. In Global Burden of Disease 2010 (GBD), Outdoor Air pollution is among top 10 risks worldwide and among the top five risks in the developing countries of Asia. The alarming high levels of air pollutant emissions from automotive emissions has contributed to the development of the filtration sector as more stringent regulations are being implemented globally to reduce the discharge of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter into the environment. With new government regulations and public pressure many companies are responding with their efforts to either remove CO2 from the air or reduce their CO2 output to achieve carbon neutrality. There is an ever greater need to develop new and improved filters for vehicles. These filters help in removing contaminants from engine, hydraulic, transmission and lubricating fluids. Better filtration systems can also improve the air-fuel mixture, helping the engine to function more efficiently, minimizing ignition problems, lowering fuel consumption, and reducing emissions. Air Intake filters absorb dust, debris, and other solid particulates that pose a threat to auto cylinders and pistons, also better air filters for cabin can highly improve the air quality inside vehicles.Nonwoven filters plays a very important role for filtration in automobiles including motorcycle engines that create enormous pollution, but their cost is still a factor.

Global power generation and regulations by governments of various countries are fuelling growth in filtration for industrial and manufacturing applications. As manufacturers look to streamline their processes, higher levels of filtration is increasingly seen as a way to boost efficiency and reduce carbon footprints. Coal-burning electric power plants are major sources of the greenhouse gas, and control measures are required to keep them under check. To remove carbon dioxide from smokestack gases a Carbon Filter Process is designed to meet this need. It uses a simple, low-cost filter filled with porous carbonaceous sorbent that works at low pressures. Modelling data and laboratory tests suggest that the device removes 90 percent of carbon dioxide from smokestack gases.

The use of electrostatic charge can provide a higher efficiency on filtration products. Electrostatic charge is being embraced in Asia and other parts of the world because of the performance it provides. Electrostatic air filters work similarly to a magnet. Formulated fibres generate strong static charges when air passes through them they attract airborne particles and hold them until the filter is cleaned.

The indoor air filtration systems are one of the fastest growing sectors in air filtrations especially in Asia. There is an increasing desire to improve health by reducing the dangers from dust, mould, bacteria, pollen and allergens resulting in development and creation of high-performance filters that can capture submicron particles and improve the quality of air in homes, offices, buildings and public spaces. This result may be achieved by the use of membrane filter systems. Membrane filters are microporous plastic films with specific pore size ratings. Also known as screen, sieve or microporous filters, these membranes retain particles or microorganisms larger than their pore size primarily by surface capture. Some particles that are smaller than the stated pore size may be retained by other mechanisms.

Filtration systems play a critical role in public health and safety in hospital and operating room environments, medical applications such as dialysis and in the pharmaceutical industry. In blood filtration, Berry’s Meltex polyester meltblown media is capable of removing white blood cells to decrease leukocytes that cause infection. The media performs based on size exclusion to remove white blood cells so the red blood cells can be used in transfusions. Today’s biopharmaceutical process has six to eight stages of high-level filtration to remove viruses and certain proteins, requiring very absorbent and selective filtration. The industry is looking at creating single-use nonwovens membranes that can capture a significant amount of proteins through surface modification of the filter, which would reduce costs and liabilities.

The global demand for laboratory filtration is growing significantly over the decades and is one of the most important techniques used in laboratories for deriving precise results. Many new filtrations have been introduced as a result of research and fundamental pathogenesis of diseases. Microfiltration is expected to hold the largest share of this global laboratory filtration market. Microfiltration is widely used for cold sterilization of API and enzymes and also for the separation of solid-liquid phases in the various industries. Chemical resistance and high thermal stability are the main factors for increased adoption of microfiltration in this market.

Nanotechnology is the biggest emerging technology that will continue to impact the filtration industry that will drive future industry growth. Nanofibers can be used to drive down scale and to enhance filtration selectivity. The study and use of nanofibers in filters is on a rise, this will bring many commercial products in market in the near future. Solid-Phase Extraction (SPE) is an extractive technique by which compounds that are dissolved or suspended in a liquid mixture are separated from other compounds in the mixture according to their physical and chemical properties. Solid phase extraction can be used to isolate analytes of interest from a wide variety of matrices, including urine, blood, water, beverages, soil, and animal tissue. New trapping medias are being developed and tested like nanostructured materials, including carbon nanomaterials, electrospun nanofibers, magnetic nanoparticles and many others. These new materials and technologies are propelling us to a brighter future for the improvements of SPE for the extraction of different kind of materials; such as biological, environmental, pharmaceutical and food samples.

Two-thirds of the world's population may be facing water shortages. The inadequate water filtration system is a problem for 2.4 billion people. This can lead to deadly diarrheal diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses. For cleaning water, reverse osmosis is the key filtration process used for desalination, industrial process waters, municipal and industrial wastewater reuse.

However Graphene-based water filters have proven to be one of the effective ways for:

1. Separation of Oil from water

2. Domestic water filtration

3. Wastewater treatment

4. Desalination

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