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Innovations at IFAT: Plenty of Ideas in Water and Waste-Water Treatment

MUNICH, February 17, 2014 - Drinking water production and the treatment of waste water, plus all the associated transport, management and monitoring functions, are central themes at the world’s leading environmental technology exhibition, IFAT in Munich. In all segments of the water and waste-water industry, there is still plenty of scope for innovations, as the sector will be amply demonstrating at the Messe München exhibition center between May 5 and 9, 2014. Here are just some examples of what the exhibitors showcased ahead of the event, at the Media Dialog which took place on January 7 and 8, 2014.

Like the water cycle itself, the industry involved in the processing of water and waste water is always in motion. New products and solutions keep emerging, and the companies and the markets in these fields are constantly re-forming in new constellations. In November last year Siemens, for example, sold its "Water Technologies" business unit, set up to develop and market systems to treat water and waste water. The international environmental technology show IFAT, coming up in May this year, is an opportunity for this global enterprise to show the market that Siemens is now concentrating in the water sector on automation, control and drive systems for industry and municipal authorities. At IFAT one of the solutions Siemens will be presenting is its modular water-management software, Siwa. With the aid of simulations, for example, this product helps network operators optimize complex water and waste-water networks. Also, the "Leak" module, says the company, can identify and localize leaks in water transport systems.

Some are selling, others are buying: By acquiring the US-American company Ashbrook Simon-Hartley in 2012 Alfa Laval has rounded off its product spectrum for waste-water treatment in industry or by municipal authorities. One of the results of this teaming up is the new Iso-Disc, a disc filter launched by Alfa Laval but developed on the basis of the technology and know-how from the new acquisition. Iso-Disc is used, for example, in tertiary filtration, the treatment of process streams and surface water. The square or rectangular Iso-Disc filter plates, says Alfa Laval, fit easily into existing filter tanks and basins. They are therefore ideal for retrofits and require only a low driving force of a 30 cm water column.

The Rotamat screens and fine screens from manufacturer Huber SE have already been installed around the world many thousands of times in waste-water treatment. A new development in this product family to be on show at IFAT is the RPPS Star screen system. According to the company the star-shaped screen drum of this product delivers high separation efficiency and has a high throughput capacity. Also new in the Rotamat segment is the RoMem Liquid microscreen. Its large membrane screening surface removes algae, suspended material and hair from the waste-water streams in an energy-efficient way. In addition, according to the Huber experts, RoMem Liquid improves the operational stability of MBR plants (hollow fiber membrane plants).

Without pumps it is impossible to imagine modern water treatment systems. And indeed the market in pumps is very diverse and, not surprisingly, there are a large number of suppliers of pumps exhibiting at IFAT. Progressing cavity pumps give good performance in conveying media that has a high proportion of dry content, for example, dewatered sludge or manure, silage and biowaste for processing into biogas. The conveyancing principle is based on a rotor that oscillates in a fixed stator. In particular the design of the stator offers still further optimization potential. Manufacturer Netzsch, for example, is presenting a new stator which is easier to maintain. In the case of the iFD-Stator 2.0, the elastomer is not vulcanized into the stator, but is instead shaped perfectly to fit inside it. According to Netzsch, this means that when it needs to be replaced, it can simply be removed and disposed of as recyclable material. A new stator is quick and easy to insert. In addition the improved design reduces the torque required for start and operation, thus reducing energy costs.

Allweiler is using a new material for the stators in its progressing cavity pumps: Alldur was specially developed for conveying abrasive waste water. The formulation of this elastomer is designed for highest possible wear- and impact-resistance. This increases the service life of the stator and therefore of the whole pump.

In the treatment of drinking, process and waste water the aim is to remove unwanted substances as efficiently and as thoroughly as possible. For this job the Blücher Group manufactures high-performance adsorbers in the form of 0.2 mm to 0.7 mm spherical particles whose mechanical and adsorptive properties can be individually determined. In order to further improve the performance of the product established under the name of Saratech, the company is currently working on a continuous reverse flow adsorber. The new system conveys the adsorbents in a reactor in the opposite direction to the flow of water. Then, on site, an associated regeneration technology cleans the spherical particles that have collected the impurities, so that a closed adsorbency cycle is created. The advantages of the process, according to the company, include high filter speed, comparatively low space requirements, and a lower quantity of adsorbents, without any loss of mass. As a result, lifetime costs can be reduced. At IFAT Blücher will be presenting its continuous reverse flow adsorber – currently at the pilot stage – for the first time to a broad trade audience.

Zetag Ultra from BASF is a new flocculent for improved solid/liquid separation in waste-water treatment. Because of its very high bridging capabilities, this ultra-high molecular powder offers improved floc integrity and therefore advanced dewatering performance. According to this chemicals company, plant trials worldwide have shown that with the new product cake solids in dewatered sludge increase by an average of 15 percent. The higher solid component in the discharge from waste-water treatment plants saves energy on transport, disposal and incineration.

The broad field of measurement technology is also a part of the market in water and waste-water treatment. One aspect where improvements are being made here is in user-friendliness. Smartphones and tablets were the inspiration behind the intuitive operation and the icon-based menus of Macherey-Nagel’s new spectrophotometer Nanocolor UV/VIS II. According to the firm, even the untrained can carry out a UV analysis of water using this device. With its integrated color measurement and turbidity measurement function, plus a cuvette test program, Nanocolor UV/VIS II is suitable for many monitoring tasks in the area of drinking water and waste water.

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