International Filtration News / Vol. 1

Page 1 Issue 1 | 2023 AIR QUALITY: Attune Takes Air Quality Monitoring to the Next Level. FILTRATION: Particulate Filtration in Vehicles Gets Electrified. TM FILTECH SHOWFLOOR SHOWCASE: Contact us today for more information. 800.821.5373 • Rosedale Products Inc. 3730 W. Liberty Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48103 Email: Phone: 734.665.8201 • Fax: 734.665.2214 ©2023 Rosedale Products Inc. Single Bag Housings Multi-Bag Housings Polypropylene Housings Indicating Filter Centrifugal Separators Backwashing Systems Coolant Filter Systems High Capacity Elements Filter Bags LIQUID FILTRATION SYSTEMS
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26 24

Executive Q&A

Customizable Air Quality Solutions

Dr. Serene Almomen, CEO Attune

By Maura Keller

Solution Center: FILTECH

Showcasing Solutions for Success

Top 5 Reasons a Fine Fiber Performance Layer Filter is Worth It

By Chrissy Klocker

Filtering the Future

Benefits of New Nanofiber Technology

Keep the Industry Progressive

By Adrian Wilson, International Correspondent, IFN

Living Filtration Membranes

Composed of Bacterial Cellulose and Native Microorganisms, LFMs

Demonstrate Antifouling Properties

By Carson W. Bechtel

Electrifying Filtration

A Two-Pronged Filtration Focus for Audi

By Adrian Wilson, International Correspondent, IFN

Backflushable Stacked Disc Cartridges: Results From Wine Filtration Field Tests

By Dr. Ilona Schneider


Nanofiber – No Small Thing

By Caryn Smith, Chief Content Officer & Publisher

Tech Spotlight

A New Filter is 99% Efficient at Removing Microplastics From Water

Tech Notes

New Technology Briefs

True Cost Filtration 3F Market Guide

By Bob McIlvaine, President, The McIlvaine Company

Tech Talk

Prognostication on Nonwovens in the Coming Year

By Matt O’Sickey, Director of Education & Technical Affairs, INDA

Movers & Shakers Industry News & Notes

2 IFN ISSUE 1 2023
2023 | VOL 42 | ISSUE 01
46 40
On the Cover: Images from 26 31 34
31 34 6 42 8
Don‘t miss the biggest Technical Textile and Nonwovens industry event in the Americas. REGISTRATION IS LIVE! May 10 - 12, 2023 Atlanta, Georgia Scan to Register Co-located with Incorporated with
Bob McIlvaine President, The McIlvaine Company +1 847.784.0013 Caryn Smith Chief Content Officer & Publisher, INDA Media Maura Keller Freelance Writer 612.720.4694 Adrian Wilson International Correspondent, IFN +44 7897.913134 Matt O’Sickey Director of Education & Technical Affairs, INDA 1+ 919.459.3748 Chrissy Klocker Applications Engineering Manager, Donaldson Dr. Ilona Schneider Team Leader Product Management Eaton Technologies GmbH Carson Bechtel Environmental Consultant

CSMITH@INDA.ORG +1 239.225.6137

Nanofiber – No Small Thing

needs no introduction. As an industry insider, you understand the power of nanofiber. The short answer to ‘Just what are the applications of nanofiber?’ is, well … ‘Tell me where it isn’t used.’

I am no scientist who can offer deeper analytics or data, but I can offer some backstory. I was surprised to read in Wikipedia that this miracle fiber has been in development for four centuries: “English physicist and astronomer William Gilbert (1544-1603) first documented the electrostatic attraction between liquids by preparing an experiment in which he observed a spherical water drop on a dry surface warp into a cone shape when it was held below an electrically charged amber.” His pursuit to understand the earth’s electricity and magnetism led him to experiment and discover nanofiber as a thing.

The explorers of science who followed pushed the boundaries of nanofiber, made possible by the discovery of electrospinning –attributed to American inventor John Francis Cooley (1861-1903) who filed the first modern electrospinning patent in 1900.

What drove these scientists to investigate the potential of nanofiber is likely what drives the industry today… curiosity. Pushing this fiber solution to the max is no small feat, as it is a key ingredient to the success of new technological advancements. So let us celebrate nanofiber with more curiosity.

A respected entity in nanotechnology, Donaldson’s Chrissy Klocker shares why nanofiber is the way to go if you want performance fibers, on page 22.

On page 24, International Correspondent Adrian Wilson speaks to Joshua Manasco, director of business and application development for Elmarco, who introduces us to the company’s new Infinity nanofiber technology.

Wilson then delves into nanofiber and electric vehicle filtration on page 30. He notes, “In the Audi e-tron vehicles on which it has been tested, the filter has proved effective at passively capturing even the smallest of particles by means of the movement of the vehicle as air flows through the filter system.”

A recently published paper by Carson W. Bechtel, a recent grad and environmental consultant, caught our eye. His study shows how adding living organisms to nanofiber will increase performance and promote sustainability. His article is on page 26.

Nanofiber will continue to evolve as technology expands. Curious minds will see to that, and in the meantime, this versatile fiber gets our admiration for longevity and growth!

Lastly, if you are heading to FILTECH, we will be there, too! We would love to meet you and hear your thoughts on hot topics and trends for 2023. Our booth is in HALL 7, Booth No. M53. See you in Cologne, Germany.

Caryn Smith

Chief Content Officer & Publisher, INDA Media, IFN

International Filtration News Editorial Advisory Board

Edward C. Gregor, Chairman

E.C. Gregor & Assoc. LLC

Tel: +1 803-431-7427


Haluk Alper

MyCelx Technologies Corp.

Tel: +1 770-534-3118


Eugene Beck

Rensa Filtration

Tel: +1 630-797-2165


Rahul Bharadwaj, Ph.D.

Lydall Performance Materials

Tel: +1 603-953-6318


Robert Burkhead

Blue Heaven Technologies

Tel: +1 502-357-0132


Peter S. Cartwright, PE

Cartwright Consulting Co.

Tel: +1 952-854-4911


Wu Chen, Ph.D.

The Dow Chemical Company

Tel: +1 979-238-9943


James J. Joseph

Joseph Marketing

Tel/Fax: +1 757-565-1549


Wenping Li, Ph.D.

Agriltech Research Company

Tel: +1 337-421-6345


Ernest Mayer, Ph.D.

E. Mayer Filtration Consulting, LLC

Tel: +1 302-981-8060


Robert W. McIlvaine

The McIlvaine Company

Tel: +1 847-784-0013


Thad Ptak, Ph.D.

TJ Ptak & Associates

Tel: +1 414-514-8937


International Filtration News is published by INDA Media, the B2B publishing arm of INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. +1 919.459.3700 | News & Press Releases to

INTERNATIONAL FILTRATION NEWS (ISSN: 1078-4136x), is published bi-monthly by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, +1 919.459.3700. Subscription price is $125 per year for non-U.S. subscribers. Periodicals postage paid at Novi, MI, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to International Filtration News, PO Box 158 Cedar Rapids IA 52406-0158 USA.


International Filtration News covers the topics and technologies that will shape the future of filtration and separation. Using subject matter experts from all parts of the industry, IFN is the leading source for the dialogues, debates and innovations across the full spectrum of filtration and separation applications and processes.

R. Vijayakumar, Ph.D.


Tel: +1 315-506-6883


Scott P. Yaeger

Filtration and Separation Technology LLC

Tel: +1 219-324-3786


6 IFN ISSUE 1 2023
“Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creating a cleaner world.™














Microfiber Glass




Appliance Filtration


Indoor Air Quality

Industrial Filtration

Mechanical Power

Process Liquids

Respiratory & Medical


H&V is a global leader in filtration and energy storage solutions. Our advanced materials are used in nearly every industry and touch every aspect of modern life – helping to make indoor air healthier, water cleaner and energy greener.

For more than 200 years, H&V has been known for continuously innovating to meet the world’s needs. Today, with more than 100 scientists and 13 R&D and manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, we’re able to serve the unique requirements of our customers efficiently, accurately and cost effectively – wherever they are.

See for yourself what makes H&V a valuable partner and a true worldwide leader at Hall 7 Stand H2 and at


Microplastics Filtration Innovation

Researchers at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) in Korea have developed a photothermal porous polymer capable of ultra-fast adsorption and removal of phenolic microplastics and VOC contaminants in water. The polymer has the potential as a next-generation water purification material made of inexpensive raw materials, and ultra-high removal efficiency through solarbased purification process.

DGIST Department of Energy Science and Engineering Professor Park Chi-Young’s team successfully developed an ‘atypical porous polymer material that can completely remove phenolic organic contaminants in water at ultra-high speeds. The porous material developed this time can efficiently remove not only microplastics in the water, but also very small-sized VOCs based on photothermal effect. At the same time, it is expected to be utilized as a high-efficiency adsorption material that can be commercialized in the future as it has cost competitiveness based on raw materials and enables solar-based water purification process.

Water pollution caused by the rapid development of the chemical industry is a factor in environmental pollution. Various water purification technologies and materials have been developed to solve this problem. Carbon-based porous materials using existing adsorption mechanisms have limitations in that the adsorption rate is slow and high thermal energy is required for recycling. Various materials have been developed to improve contami-

nant removal efficiency, but it has been difficult to develop materials that simultaneously satisfy excellent recyclability, high efficiency, economic efficiency of raw materials, and industrialization potential.

The DGIST Department of Energy Science and Engineering team succeeded in synthesizing a porous polymer with excellent adsorption performance and photothermal properties by reacting an inexpensive and effective precursor. Also, an additional oxidation reaction was experimented on the polymer, and based on the results, a hydrophilic functional group was introduced to enable fast adsorption of micropollutants in the aquatic environment.

convert the absorbed light into heat. As a result, it was confirmed that the water treatment membrane coated with the oxidized polymer could purify phenolic contaminants through sunlight.

DGIST Department of Energy Science and Engineering Professor Park Chi-Young said, “The technology we developed here is an unrivaled water purification technology with the world’s highest purification efficiency, removing more than 99.9% of phenolic microplastics and VOC contaminants in water at ultra-high speeds. We expected that it will be a universal technology with high economic efficiency that can purify contaminated water and supply drinking water even in areas where there is no power supply.”

Furthermore, it was confirmed through experiments that the polymer developed by the research team does not require high thermal energy for recycling and can be used multiple times without loss of performance. The research team produced a water treatment membrane capable of evaporating water using solar energy as a driving force through the developed polymer’s ability to absorb light broadly and

Meanwhile, this research was conducted with the support from the National Research Foundation of Korea’s Leading Researcher Support Project and Nano and Material Technology Development Project, and Cho Wan-soo from the DGIST Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Choi Gyeong-hyeon in the master-doctoral combined program, and Lee Dong-joon in the master’s program participated as the lead authors. The research results were selected and published as the cover paper for the 50th edition of Advanced Materials, the most prestigious academic journal in the field of materials in 2022.

u For details on how to submit your company’s technology for consideration as a “Technology Spotlight” in IFN , contact Ken Norberg at or +1 202.681.2022.

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A New Filter is 99% Efficient at Removing Microplastics From Water p Water purification through adsorption and photothermal capability of porous macromolecules. DGIST







new horizons with nonwovens plore


Sulzer Separation Technologies Selected for the World’s First e-Methanol Plant

Sulzer Chemtech’s advanced separation technologies are being used to enable the world’s first commercial scale e-methanol plant, constructed by European Energy.

The innovative facility, in Kassø, Aabenraa, Denmark, will produce 32,000 metric tons of carbon neutral fuels per year, helping to decarbonize the heavy transportation sector. As a lightweight fuel produced from solar and wind, e-methanol enables the effective storage and transport of renewable energy.

European Energy is applying an innovative process to convert renewable electricity into e-methanol. The Kassø plant will be supplied with power from the adjacent 300 MW solar park owned by European

Novozymes Invests in New UV Technology from Danish Lyras

Biotech group Novozymes has invested in a new and energyfriendly filtration replacement from Danish company Lyras. Following a thorough test course, the group purchased its first UV system based on the raslysation technology for inactivation of microorganisms. Raslysation is going to improve work environments and reduce energy consumption for the global market leader in industrial enzymes.

Novozymes’ new raslysation system is going to replace laborintensive filtration processes that previously caused physical strain on the company’s employees in connection with manual handling of filters. At the same time, the investment is expected to provide increased safety with regard to unwanted microbiology and reduced energy consumption.

Lyras has developed the groundbreaking raslysation technology, which inactivates microorganisms in drinks and other opaque liquids by way of UV light.

Energy, and it represents the first step in bringing this e-fuel to market at scale.

Sulzer Chemtech will deliver two distillation units with a customized design to the facility. This key technology will enable the production of e-methanol of extremely high purity for use in combustion engines and as a chemical feedstock. Half of the total plant output, 16,000 metric tons per annum, will be delivered to AP Moller – Maersk to fuel the company’s first container ship capable of operating on green methanol.

Panasonic’s “nanoe X” is a portable air purifier that can be perched in a cup holder to clear a vehicle’s interior of unwanted smells, including new car smells that may not be the best for your health, as they may contain volatile organic compounds being emitted from plastics and vinyl in the vehicle still offgassing after manufacturing.

Panasonic promises the USB-powered air purifier designed to sit in most cup holders can clean all the air in a car’s cabin in about two hours.

The purifier relies on the company’s nanoe X technology, which it has used in other purifying products earlier. Those namesake ‘nanoes’ are “nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles produced by applying a high voltage to water collected from the air and contains hydroxyl radicals that easily act on various substances.” Not only can they reduce the intensity of odors, but can also help “inhibit viruses, bacteria, mold, and allergens, both air-borne and on surfaces.”

Panasonic says its nanoe X products have been certified by organizations like the California Air Resource Board, the Underwriters Laboratories, and the Electrical Testing Laboratory, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until we’re able to go hands-on with the device, but pricing and availability aren’t known yet.

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Panasonic Cup Holder Air Purifier Cleans Car Smell

Innovative Cutting System from Roth Composite Machinery

Roth Composite Machinery will present an innovative, swiveling length cutting system for its knife pleating machines for the production of filters at FILTECH 2023.

The new length cutting system enables an increase in production output, as the maximum width of the filter material is fed into the machine and the filters are cut in individual widths lengthwise to the material web.

“If our customer wants to produce tencentimeter-high filters, he will get ten times the amount of filters in one production run with a filter material of one meter width compared to production with only one filter height. Therefore, length cutting systems have established themselves in the market. For better and riskfree handling in the production process, we have further developed the positioning of the cutter in the machine. This brings a number of advantages for our customers,” said Senior Sales Manager at Roth Composite Machinery, Winfried Schäfer.

The machine design developed by Roth

Composite Machinery features the length cutter directly in front of the folding knives. “For safety and ergonomic reasons, we have designed the complete infeed table, including the cutter, to swivel. The operator can swivel the table by 90 degrees in a position provided for this purpose, so that the cutter practically swings out of the machine. The swivel position is deliberately chosen at the center of gravity of the infeed table so that the swiveling process can be carried out easily,” Schäfer said.

The operator can make the necessary adjustments on the length cutter directly and without physical exertion. Alternatively, the knife shafts could simply be removed by loosening two screws each and replaced with preset shafts. This saves adjustment and setup times, Schäfer continued.

Compared to standard cutting systems, the new process from Roth Composite Machinery increases the safety of the machine operator, as adjustment work is considerably

simplified. The upper cutter in particular has sharp knives that pose a risk of injury to the operator during machine set-up.

The cutting system is based on the principle of scissor cutting and works with round lower and upper knives.

- Cabin air filtration in aircraft, agricultural and landfill vehicles

- Odour removal in households, such as in kitchen hoods, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners

- Surgical smoke purification

- Purification of contaminated breathable and process air

- Filtration of hazardous substances in air conditioning systems

- Indoor air purifiers

- Solvent recovery systems

14. - 16. February 2023

Meet us at Booth E38, Hall 8 FILTECH 2023 in Cologne

Foam filter

- Variable dimensions, shapes, and adsorbent content

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- Combined solutions with particle filters or different covers Customized coating of sorptive composite materials

- Variable layer structure and widths

- Carrier, cover material and roll size according to customer specifications

- Provision of the required materials possible: spherical and granulated activated carbon, ion exchangers, zeolite, superabsorber etc.

materials for customized filtration solutions
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p For better and risk-free handling in the production process, Roth Composite Machinery has further developed the positioning of the cutting system in the machine.

Founders of this Award-Winning Start-up Stayed True to Mission and Proved Critics Wrong

When Dr. Serene Almomen, CEO of sensor-based monitoring systems leader Attune (formerly Senseware), and co-founder Dr. Julien Stamatakis first founded their company, they certainly had a vision for what their company would hopefully become, but today, Attune has made a name for itself by developing a unique air quality monitoring solution platform with 45 patents, that is causing industry experts to take notice. International Filtration News connected with Almomen to learn more about her ever-expanding company and the impact it is having on challenges within the air filtration space.

CUSTOMIZABLE Air Quality Solutions Q+A

women-led startups. Undercapitalization has been a persistent foe, but it didn’t stop us from implementing our vision of a ground-breaking IoT platform solution.

My co-founder and I laughably admit that Attune was founded before we ever knew that the Internet of Things (IoT) was even a “thing.” Of course, VCs actively discouraged us from building a horizontal IoT platform. They were wrong. Billiondollar companies now discard their own inferior solutions and adopt Attune’s modular IoT technology stack.


International Filtration News: What is your background that has led you to a fastrising career in air filtration, being named in 2022 as one of Forbes’s top 50 womenled startups in the technology industry?

Serene Almomen: Every startup faces challenges and encounters obstacles in

product development and go-to-market strategies. Our startup also needed to break through with minimal funding. It is well known that only about 2.3% of venture capital (VC) funding went to

Funding shortfalls have been a classic “blessing in disguise.” We did not have the luxury of pursuing market initiatives that would not pay off; we had to fail fast and not waste resources. Our modular IoT technology gives us an advantage to do more with a lot less than our competitors. We can now outperform our peers in meeting the challenges of new markets with superior agility. Attune’s fast rise in the air filtration market is one example of our success.

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IN DR. SERENE ALMOMEN CEO , Attune iStock/Natalia Bodrova

IFN: Tell us about your air quality sensor product, and how it originated? What is the technology that makes your sensor work?

Almomen: Attune’s IAQ product line is an example of the power of our modular IoT technology. Many in the industry think that we are an IAQ company because of our leadership in the IAQ market. Our IoT solutions go far beyond IAQ, however, and include real-time solutions in energy metering/submetering, HVAC asset condition monitoring (ACM), and remote facility management.

Our IAQ-specific innovations came about because our customers asked us for a solution. The evolution of our IAQ product line (see Chart 1 on page 14) shows Version 1 of our IAQ solution was created in 2014 with our standard wireless Node that integrated a temperature and humidity sensor. In 2016, a building engineer came to us with a need for a wireless solution to measure carbon dioxide (CO2). It only took a few weeks to integrate a CO2 sensor into our wireless hardware and a new product was born.

In 2017, we were asked for a solution to measure Particulate Matter (PM) due to the problem of wildfires in California. After a few weeks’ time, we were the first company to release a wireless IAQ device that measured Temperature, Humidity, CO2, PM, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in a single enclosure. The sensors in this IAQ model configuration became relatively standard in the industry just last year (2022); Attune happened to have released it five years before most of the competition!

Our IAQ innovation didn’t stop there. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we integrated next-generation PM sensors that featured sub-micron particle sensing and released a proprietary Ventilation Performance Index and Infection Risk Index to aid the industry in re-populating public spaces. Sub-micron PM sensors are close to cleanroom grade PM sensors. The integration of a sub-micron PM sensor has proven to be particularly valuable in the air filtration industry because it enables facility managers (FMs) to assess

the sub-micron particle filtering efficacy of MERV 13-15 air filters.

As the old adage goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” That theme led to our 2021 development of the IAQ-I product, which integrated an ion sensor to determine the efficacy of NeedlePoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) systems. The official CDC position of NPBI is as follows: “Consumers should request efficacy performance data that quantitatively demonstrate a clear protective benefit under conditions consistent with those for which the consumer is intending to apply the technology.”

Attune has developed a leadership position in IAQ because we have applied our innovative technology to address realworld problems faced by the industry.

IFN: What is the science behind your technology? How was it developed and tested? How long did it take to develop?

The architectural flexibility we developed was groundbreaking. The no-code sensor reconfiguration of IoT hardware enabled us to target under-performing buildings in desperate need of real-time sensor data. The pivot was natural, as we recognized the opportunity of using technology originally designed to diagnose the health of a human body to now diagnose the health of buildings.

IFN: As an entrepreneur in the air filtration space, what challenges have you overcome to bring your product to market?

Almomen: One of the primary challenges that we faced was skepticism, both in the capital markets and the CRE industry.

VCs actively discouraged us from pursuing a horizontal IoT platform strategy. Instead, they wanted us to focus on going to market with a purpose-built, vertical product. For years, we heard the

Almomen: An interesting fact about our company history is that our technology is grounded in Attune co-founder Julien Stamatakis’ use of accelerometer sensors to help doctors objectively diagnose the severity levels of Parkinson’s disease patients. He faced a problem, however, in that the integration of additional sensors (e.g., gyroscope) to improve the Parkinson’s diagnosis would take too long, making it impractical.

We solved that problem and created a novel IoT architecture based on modular industrial design principles. This new architecture enabled the integration of next-generation sensors on the fly. Key benefits of Attune’s modular IoT architecture is the ability to greatly increase the number of product variations, while drastically reducing the time to market.

same opinion from the investment community. It was humorous to see the VC community do a “180” a few years later, admitting that they hadn’t seen much success with IoT business models built around a vertical product strategy.

I’m really glad we didn’t take their advice. If we hadn’t stuck to our beliefs and built our modular IoT platform architecture, we would have been unable to develop the products we have today to meet the challenges in the IAQ and air filtration space.

The CRE industry was also skeptical, but surprisingly more adaptable and pragmatic than the investment community. When we first began applying our technology to the CRE market, we were told that the market is historically very slow to embrace change. While some rightly ques-

Funding shortfalls have been a classic “blessing in disguise.” We did not have the luxury of pursuing market initiatives that would not pay off; we had to fail fast and not waste resources. Our modular IoT technology gives us an advantage to do more with a lot less than our competitors.

tioned whether wireless IoT products would “work,” many building engineers were open to the idea because they had real problems to solve in a building. Today, the value proposition of wireless IoT products has largely been accepted. They need solutions to meet their needs. The CRE fact that “one size does not fit all” has further validated our pursuit of a horizontal IoT platform strategy over a purposebuilt, vertical product strategy.

IFN: What challenges did you and co-founder Dr. Julien Stamatakis overcome in product development in general?

Almomen: The major hurdle we faced was committing to build our horizontal IoT platform technology. While we did a market pivot early on from focusing on the medical industry to focusing on the CRE industry, we have had no such pivots from a technology standpoint. Our technology has stayed true to our original vision we had since the founding of the company.

One of the reasons I believe we haven’t pivoted is because we had a focus on solving a practical technology problem in creating a Universal Sensor Interface that enables us to rapidly connect to new sensors without redevelopment. We weren’t trying to solve a sales and marketing problem, which will shift like the wind.

One of our company values is that “Ambiguity Fears Us.” Can’t find a solution? No worries, we’ll invent one. Innovation is at the core of Attune. Many tout their own innovation, but we understand that innovation doesn’t happen without hard work and a willingness to get it done. The very ethos underpinning the company demands engineering future-proof solutions. Attune’s innovative Universal Sensor Interface reflects that vision in providing a sensor framework that enables rapid addition of future sensor functionality.

IFN: Tell us about your company’s work during the coronavirus, which caught the attention of national news – how did that come about?

Almomen: Like everyone else, we were also hit hard by the realities of COVID-19. Many of our customers in the CRE industry were coming to grips with the changes forced upon them by the pandemic. We knew that isolation and containment was a response, not an answer. As engineers and data scientists we proceeded to look for answers on how IoT environmental sensing could be used to reopen spaces.

The airborne transmission of COVID-19 pathogens led to our investigation of how real-time sensing could be used to assess the health of interior spaces and to discover the efficacy of ventilation systems used to mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19. While the public had accepted a measure of responsibility by wearing masks, we also recognized that the CRE industry bore some responsibility in doing what they reasonably could to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in their spaces.

We wanted to give them various tools to do so.

Sensor technology evolves rapidly, and our modular IoT platform is particularly suited to integrating with sensors as soon as they are released from development labs. We did manage to integrate our platform with a sensor that could detect the actual COVID-19 pathogen, but the price tag of those COVID-19 sensors (~40k-50k) made wide scale deployments questionable.

Our previous work in IAQ was also quite beneficial. We developed a proprietary Ventilation Performance Index and Infection Risk Index based on the analysis of realtime IAQ measurements of the changing levels of airborne pollutants. This enables FMs to assess actual ventilation system performance.

Additionally, we integrated with next-generation sub-micron PM sensors to assess the performance of MERV 13-15 sensors, which were designed to filter sub-micron particles with higher efficiency. Droplets of sub-micron particle sizes were known to carry the COVID-19 virus pathogen.

The major change that has happened since COVID is awareness about what they might be breathing. For the last couple of years people who enter any building (e.g., office, school, store, hotel, etc.) have been conditioned to question the impact of the environment on their well-being. FMs can’t guarantee that no one will get sick when entering their facility, but they can demonstrate to the public that they are taking responsibility for their space. We give them the tools to do so because “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

IFN: What was the motivation to rebrand the company from Senseware to Attune?

Almomen: The rebrand reflects the company’s evolution of success in the marketplace, having established what we believe

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u Chart 1. The evolution of Attune's IAQ product line.

is the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible IoT sensor platform to now partnering with our customers in delivering needed real-time data for digital transformation.

Just as we have outgrown our startup basement workspace, so too has Senseware outgrown its name. We have come a long way. More than our ability to rapidly integrate sensors via our modular IoT hardware platform, we have become known for our ability to connect customers to the critical data they need, all

on one platform. We have rebranded as Attune because we are a platform that’s attuned to all our customers’ needs, configured to their specifications. We continue to help our customers tune in to the data and achieve new levels of awareness of the environments and spaces we occupy. See the unseen. Know the unknown.

IFN: Can you explain the impact of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Air Quality Summit, as well as the administration’s Clean Air initiatives?

Key Findings

The “State of the Air” 2022 report finds that despite decades of progress on cleaning up sources of air pollution, more than 40% of Americans – over 137 million people – are living in places with failing grades for unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone. This is 2.1 million more people breathing unhealthy air compared to last year’s report. Nearly 9 million more people were impacted by daily spikes in deadly particle pollution than reported last year. In the three years covered by this report, Americans experienced more days of “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” air quality than ever before in the two-decade history of “State of the Air.”

The “State of the Air” report looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, fine particles and ozone. The air quality data used in the report is collected at official monitoring sites across the United States by the federal, state, local and Tribal governments. The Lung Association calculates values reflecting the air pollution problem and assigns grades for daily and long-term measures of particle pollution and daily measures of ozone. Those values are also used to rank cities (metropolitan areas) and counties. This year’s report presents data from 2018, 2019 and 2020, the most recent quality-assured nationwide air pollution data publicly available.

“State of the Air” 2022 is the 23rd edition of this annual report, which was first published in 2000. From the beginning, the findings in “State of the Air” have reflected the successes of the Clean Air Act, as emissions from transportation, power plants and manufacturing have been reduced. In recent years, however, the findings of the report have added to the evidence that a changing climate is making it harder to protect human health.

The three years covered by “State of the Air” 2022 ranked among the seven hottest years on record globally. Spikes in particle pollution and high ozone days related to wildfires and extreme heat are putting millions more people at risk and adding challenges to the work that states and cities are doing across the nation to clean up air pollution.

Almomen: The primary impact is awareness. Indoor air quality is increasingly a public concern because we all wonder what we might be breathing.

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is a step in the right direction because it points to a glaring hole in the technology infrastructure of buildings world-wide. It is a fact that many of the most advanced Class A office buildings that have been commissioned last year have little to no real-time IAQ monitoring as part of the Building Management System (BMS).

The combination of policy-driven reductions in emissions on the one hand and climate change-fueled increases in pollution on the other hand is resulting in a widening disparity between air quality in eastern and western states. Fifteen years ago, in the 2007 “State of the Air” report, 136 counties in 36 states got failing grades for spikes in particle pollution, including 31 counties in seven states west of the Rocky Mountains. In 2022, 96 counties in 15 states got failing grades for short-term particles, and 86 of them were in 11 western states.

Historically urban, industrialized eastern and midwestern states like New Jersey, New York and Ohio, which in 2007 had 21 counties on the list between them, are now getting passing grades. A similar story can be told for annual particle pollution. In 2007, 73 counties in 18 states got failing grades for annual particle pollution, and all but eight counties in California and one in Montana were east of the Rockies. In 2022, all of the 21 counties that got a failing grade for annual particle pollution were in five western states.

Again this year, “State of the Air” finds that the burden of living with unhealthy air is not shared equally. Close to 19.8 million people live in the 14 counties that failed all three measures. Of those, 14.1 million are people of color. People of color were 61% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one pollutant, and 3.6 times as likely to live in a county with failing grades for all three pollutants.

In “State of the Air” 2022, Fresno, California displaced Fairbanks, Alaska as the metropolitan area with the worst short-term particle pollution and Bakersfield, California continued in the most-polluted slot for yearround particle pollution for the third year in a row. Los Angeles remains the city with the worst ozone pollution in the nation, as it has for all but one of the 23 years tracked by the “State of the Air” report.

Read the full report at

Copyright © American Lung Association® and/or its licensors, 2022, all rights reserved.

“State of the Air” 2022

We call those buildings functionally obsolete because while they are technologically new, they are not designed with the functions you need, i.e., performing real-time measurements of airborne pollutants such as PM, VOCs, ozone, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, etc.

Digitization of buildings is at its infancy; the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge highlights that fact. Wireless IoT technology that promotes health and wellness through real-time IAQ monitoring is available today. The ROI isn’t a question because for less than the cost of an annual gym membership for a single individual, you can implement real-time IAQ monitoring covering 3,500 sqft of CRE space.

The air filtration industry is firmly taking up the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as they increasingly implement MERV 13-15 air filters. What they need is real-time sub-micron PM data to determine when those air filters are dirty and need to be changed.

IFN: We noticed your company is in the Washington DC area, does this give you any strategic advantage to work with the Biden administration on its initiatives?

Almomen: I’m sure proximity to Washington, DC hasn’t hurt us, but our technology credibility has been our key strategic advantage. We are recognized as a market leader because we have released groundbreaking IoT products and solutions at an

unprecedented market breadth, spanning Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), energy metering/submetering, HVAC asset condition monitoring (ACM), remote facility management, and more. That we have impacted as many industries as we have at a company of our size has been possible only because of our technology advantage. We’ve been delighted to have been awarded 48 patents on our modular IoT architecture so far with plans for much more.

IFN: Buildings are falling short, especially in schools, public buildings, and buildings in low-income communities. In your opinion, what must the indoor air quality and filtration industry do to respond to meet higher standards in this infrastructure?

Almomen: Yes, buildings are falling short; they are functionally obsolete, as I mentioned. Digital transformation is disrup-

tive and “only about one in three companies successfully evolves in the face of industry disruption.” The rest went out of business, got bought, or stagnated.

Today, business leaders are also interested in sustainability practices (e.g., ESG). In addition to a focus on environmental sustainability (e.g., greenhouse gas reduction and increased usage of renewable resources), increasing focus is being placed on health and wellness, a key component under the social component of ESG. The well-being of our employees and customers matter, and employee expectations have shifted to the impact of the workplace on well-being.

In my opinion, these macro trends are playing out amongst the general public and represents the impetus for industry change. The CRE industry in particular will increasingly come under pressure of “digital assetization” as their properties are relatively graded in desirability based on their digitally listed technology features of IAQ, air filtration, etc. This will ultimately impact property values directly, in addition to the indirect impact on property values through increased lease and occupancy rates.

The industry will continue to evolve and the successful companies will survive.

IFN: From our research, you are passionate about the air quality in our schools. How is your company contributing towards solutions in this area in particular?

Almomen: During the pandemic we talked with many industry representatives about the re-population problem. When it comes to decision-making for technology investments, the ROI question often arose. It was acknowledged back then that every industry would have a different threshold for ROI analysis because it depended on the particular necessity of having people back in the space.

If we’ve learned anything, remote education hasn’t lived up to the hopes and promise; kids need to be back in the classroom. It isn’t negotiable. My kids needed to be back in the classroom. I’m passionate about that. Combined with the fact that real-time IAQ monitoring in class-

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The air filtration industry is firmly taking up the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as they increasingly implement MERV 13-15 air filters. What they need is real-time sub-micron PM data to determine when those air filters are dirty and need to be changed.

rooms is easily attainable and affordable, I knew that schools could benefit from our technology.

We’ve won significant RFPs to provide district wide IAQ monitoring with Denver Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Schools. Our IAQ solution is also installed in all DC Public Schools. The question for me is not whether a school district should implement real-time IAQ monitoring, the question is why not.

We’ve seen studies that demonstrate that cognitive performance declines with CO2 levels over a 1000 ppm (parts per million). We’ve seen data from poorly ventilated classrooms that had CO2 levels over 4000 ppm! Every school should have the data to assess the ventilation performance in their classrooms. The issue isn’t cost, it’s awareness and commitment.

IFN: What excites you most about the future for your company and the industry in general?

Almomen: What excites me the most is that billion-dollar companies come to us looking for IoT solutions they can’t find on the market. This validates what we’ve known for a while that many of our partners have a dilemma because they can’t buy their needed solution and have no interest in building their own solution.

Often times, potential partners scour the web looking for help with their digital transformation problem and stumble upon our unique modular IoT platform. We love having those conversations to see how we can partner together.

The industry increasingly knows the value of real-time data. They have many plans to produce operational efficiency; they just need access to real-time data.

IFN: What is the next phase of development for your company?

Almomen: We are constantly on the lookout for new and more accurate IAQ sensors

to integrate with our IoT platform. This is what our platform was designed to do from the beginning, integrate next-generation sensors faster than the industry.

We’ve been fortunate to have found significant success in winning large RFP contracts for IAQ in the schools and CRE market (e.g., Boston Properties). As the IAQ market is at its infancy, we plan to firmly establish our IAQ brand leadership to take our IAQ solutions to the market at scale. Our technology innovations assure us that we can bring new product variations to market faster than the competition; we’ll always be ahead of the curve in integrating next-generation sensors before the rest of the industry. We are now poised to establish our business credibility on top of our technology credibility.

Maura Keller is a Minneapolisbased writer and editor. Reach maura at or 612.720.4694.

With our extensive knowledge in production of the innovative SOLTECH “Mini Pleat” Systems, and over 20 years of contract pleating with our revolutionary glue bead technology.

We offer the following services to our customers:-


Mini-Pleat: H.E.P.A., ULPA & ASHRAE

Pleat heights 1/2” to 12” upto 39” wide. Interrupted beads, many configurations.


Mini-Pleat: H.E.P.A. & ASHRAE

Pleat heights 3/4” to 4” upto 25” wide. Interrupted beads, many configurations.

We can incorporate the following features in your elements: Edge Seal - allowing economical frame sealing Slitting/Perforating - multiple packs


Filter Manufacturing Machinery Solent Technology Inc A service of South Carolina, USA. Tel. +1(803)739-0770 Fax:+1(803)739-0814
retardant glue

Another Innovation from A2Z Filtration

A2Z Filtration Specialities is a designer and manufacturer of complete Customer Centric Automation solutions for Filter production & Assembly. A2Z’s customer base includes Industry Leaders in over 75 Countries. The Company excels in providing superior value, durable and globally serviceable production lines. The components are sourced from leading global suppliers to ensure an ease of availability and trouble-free maintenance. A2Z Equipment is easy to use, efficient and offers excellent value for money, with features such as pictorial manuals and remote access for service and up-gradation.

Flexible Customizable Mini Pleat Technology

A2Z Filtration is showcasing the latest in “Mini Pleat” Technology at the FILTECH in Cologne Germany.

represents the FUTURE of Flexible Mini Pleat Technology.

The equipment consists of A2Z Intelligent Blade Pleater, Inline Slitter, Servo Driven Mini Pleat section and Foamed Hotmelt Applicator. The line runs at the speed of 8 metres per minute / 27ft. per minute.

A2Z Automated Intelligent Filter Framing Lines

After converting rolls of Glass Fibre and Synthetic media into Mini Pleat packs with Foamed or regular Hotmelt on an A2Z Mini Pleat Blade & Rotary Pleating Lines, the packs are automatically cut to the required size or pleat count, then conveyed to A2Z Intelligent Servo Filter Framing Lines where packs are framed with Hotmelt Laminated Frames having ‘I’/ ‘L’/ ‘C’ shape configurations and cut to size filters are pro-

duced online. After two sides are framed, the packs are conveyed and the same process is adopted to provide a complete four- sided fully framed filter. Based on the options chosen, the Line has production rate of five to six filters per minute & requires only one operator.

A2Z Filtration Provides:

• Fit To Purpose manufacturing, assembly & automation Solutions

• Value prices for quick return on Investment.

• Ability to Integrate various automation solutions and processes including online quality validation systems

• Globally serviceable lines

• Latest state of the art manufacturing & automation Solutions

• IoT & Industry 4.O compliant systems

Visit us to see the Live Demo of our Servo Mini Pleat Line with Foamed Hot Melt system at FILTECH 2023 in Cologne Germany from February 14-16, 2023. Our stand No. A9, Hall 8

For Further Information Contact A2Z Filtration Specialities at:

Come and See the Live Demo of our Mini Pleat Line with 300mm (12 inch) pleat depth, Foamed Hotmelt having foaming ratio up to 50% and the ability to have options of various glue patterns such as continuous, intermittent, spot and other customizable patterns and pleat pitches.

The ability to Mini Pleat a range of synthetic, glass fibre media including multiple layer laminated substrates.

This A2Z Servo Mini Pleat Line truly

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ADVERTORIAL | SHOWFLOOR SHOWCASE: FILTECH 2023 u Visit us at Filtech 2023 No. A9, Hall 8
p Mini pleat line with 300mm pleat depth. q A2Z Intelligent Servo Filter Framing Lines.

Beverlin – We Are at The CORE of What You Do

For 47 years Beverlin has been the leader in perforated filter cores & welded assemblies for companies around the globe. Supporting industries such as Industrial, Aerospace, Power Generation, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Medical and Defense.

We are vertically integrated with the capital and processes to best serve the needs in our niche segment. This allows us to provide our customers with products of virtually any diameter, length, material type, perforation pattern including end margins, thickness and in either straight weld seam or spiral weld seam.

Adding value – we provide our customers with welded assemblies where we make or machine components and provide a fully welded assembly, making things easier for our customers.

Our cores are 100% ready for our customers with surface treatments and finishes such as Wash or Tin Plating, Zinc Plating, Nickel Plating, Passivation, Electropolish, Heat Treatment, Anodize, etc... This allows our customers to take our parts right out of the box and do their filter assembly.

To maintain the highest in On Time Delivery to our customers, we offer Kanban stocking agreements. With stocking agreements, we can provide better value based on volume and better handle fluctuations in material cost.

We are “Customer Fanatics’’

such as being an excellent communicator, responding quickly, doing the right thing, even when it isn’t always easy and collaborating with our customers.

Culture is key. All of our employees are united in embracing these values that we hold sacred.

We are blessed with an incredible and devoted team that knows customer satisfaction is paramount.

Our support staff far exceeds others within our segment. If customers are going to entrust us with such critical components and their precious portfolios, they should expect it is backed up by a strong & broad group of professionals rather than a 1- or 2-person skeleton support staff built on a house of cards. We see it all too often.

Our desire is to be more than a supplier, we want to be a “trusted supplier partner’’ for life.

For us to succeed, we realize it’s most important that our customers grow and be successful first. We help by embracing a “We could if” approach instead of a “We can’t because” mindset. This creates the most productive environment to achieve a “Win-Win’’ for both our customer and Beverlin by working together.

As a committed partner, we work hard to identify opportunities to lower costs and or minimize cost impacts through VAVE and other means. On time delivery to our customers is KEY! Having a Supplier

that you can count on is more important than it ever has been before.

During the pandemic everyone scrambled. Is your supplier 100% back on top of their game? If not – their problem is now yours and it won’t go away on its own in 2023 & will impact your sales & OTD.

Was you supplier there for you when you needed them most?

Do you really have a working “Partnership’’ with them that you can bank on and grow with?

We have been taking care of our customers & investing in the future For our customers. It wasn’t easy. We kept all of our staff through the pandemic, invested in equipment when sales were low & now while inflation is high & being willing to significantly grow our inventory to make up for the supply chain. Holding inventory has become crucial to mitigating risk & supporting the customer.

• In late 2022 we added:

• A second facility – giving us 60% more room for Mfg. & Inventory

• Another Perforating Press

• A TRUMPF Punch Press

• Another Spiral Welding Machine

• And we have more equipment arriving in early 2023 to stay ahead of our customers needs

If you’re seeking a fresh start with a “supplier-partner’’ for filter cores who will not let you down and offers a full range of process solutions, please contact us.

We and work to provide unparalleled customer service –
to identify opportunities to lower costs through VAVE and other means.

Hollingsworth & Vose

Brings Advanced Filtration Expertise and Solutions to FILTECH 2023

Hollingsworth & Vose is a global leader in filtration and energy storage solutions.

The company’s advanced materials are used in nearly every industry and touch every aspect of modern life. Wherever you work, live or travel, chances are an H&V solution is close by, contributing to a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable world. In the world of filtration, H&V’s innovative materials and solutions – including synthetic filter media, microfiltration membranes, microfiber glass, nanofibers and more – meet and exceed the exacting demands of customers. H&V helps clean and filter everything from air and water to fuel and industrial liquids across a wide range of industries and applications, including appliances, cleanrooms, process liquids, health care, heavy industry and mechanical power.

At FILTECH 2023, H&V will be spotlighting all its filtration solutions and be represented by an experienced team, including: Jochem Hoffstetter, vice president EMEAI; Kristen Fischer-Ptak, business development manager, microfiltration; Olivier Huss, global product director; Ben Hall, global marketing director; and Dave Healey, vice president, technology.

H&V’s innovative filtration technology meets customer expectations across a range of sectors and industries. For each sector, the company has a unique filtration solution, as illustrated in the following examples:

• Cabin Air – Health, comfort and safety are all key for operators of and passengers in all kinds of vehicles. From cars and heavy-duty trucks to off-road vehicles and agricultural and aerospace applica-

tions, cabin air needs to be free of dangerous contaminants to ensure a healthy, safe and comfortable environment. Advanced filtration systems reliably filter out dust, allergens, odors, VOCs, and microbes to ensure cabin breathability and optimal functionality. H&V carries an array of cabin air filter media, united under the CabinPro™ brand, from entry-level solutions to the highest performing composite structures.

• Liquid – Microfiltration facilitates the growth of many industries, including food and beverage, bioprocess, industrial and water treatment. Improving microfiltration makes it possible to bring new products to market, makes existing fluid streams safer, reduces dependence on additives and improves processing times for products. H&V’s Trupor™ filter media brings membrane reliability and maximum performance with the thinnest possible efficiency layer, which is made possible by superior pore size uniformity. Its composite design delivers long life and stable performance.

• Indoor Air Quality – More and more, indoor spaces can become polluted with organic and inorganic materials, such as VOCs, molecular contaminants and harmful particulates. Spending extended

periods in indoor spaces with poor air quality can result in health concerns like irritation of the eyes, throat and nose, allergies, headaches and even fatigue and reduced productivity. H&V manufactures air filtration media for high-quality control of contaminants, temperature and humidity to maintain safe and comfortable indoor air quality. Our innovative filtration media, including NanoWave®, are made from the highest-quality materials to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC components and remove air contaminants.

• Innovation has allowed H&V to evolve and thrive for more than 200 years. Today, more than 100 scientists conduct cutting-edge research at H&V. This expertise, and the ability to innovate in every aspect of the company, has made H&V a global leader.

• H&V’s advanced materials contribute to a greener and more sustainable planet. We are determined to go beyond that by supporting global efforts for healthier air and water.

• H&V serves the global market with 13 R&D and manufacturing facilities strategically located in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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Join the world’s largest Filtration Event Platform for your success Choose and reserve your space or register as a visitor: Your contact: Suzanne Abetz· E-mail: More Space · More Exhibitors · More Solutions for all F+S Tasks More U.S. Companies are cordially invited to join the U.S. Pavilion

TOP 5 REASONS a Fine Fiber Performance Layer Filter is Worth It

Fine fiber technology is the manipulation of matter at near-atomic levels, where unique phenomena enable novel applications.¹ One example of fine fiber technology is the use of fine fibers as a performance layer for industrial air filtration applications. To produce a fine fiber layer, an electro-spinning process creates a very fine, continuous, resilient fiber of 0.2 – 0.3 micron in diameter that is then applied to a filtration media substrate material. The fine fibers form a permanent web with very fine interstitial spaces on the surface of the substrate. The web collects dust, dirt and contaminants on the surface of the filter; this offers many benefits over conventional filters built with cellulose, cellulose/synthetic, spunbond, or meltblown commodity filtration media.

Although the cost to purchase premium fine fiber performance layer filters for a dust collector can be higher than commodity media filters, a strong argument can be made that the fine fiber layer filters are well-worth the higher buying price. Following are the top five reasons a premium fine fiber performance layer filter is worth it:

1Higher initial and ongoing efficiency. A primary function of a dust collector is to control and minimize emissions generated by a manufacturing process. Clean, new filters typically have lower efficiencies (and, therefore, higher emissions) compared to filters with a build-up of dust on them. When clean, a fine fiber layer on the surface of the filtration media captures dust particles better than clean filters without a fine fiber layer, see Figure 1.

This performance is made possible through several filtering mechanisms including interception, diffusion and impaction, see Figure 2.

But initial efficiency is only a small part of the whole story. Most industrial dust collectors utilize some method of filter cleaning to manage the build-up of dust on the filter surface over the life of the filter. Each time a filter is cleaned (typically by a reverse-pulse of compressed air), the dust deposited on the filter media is disrupted and an emission-producing event can occur. With a fine fiber performance layer filter, the collected dust accumulates on the surface of the filtration media rather than within the media and is cleaned off with fewer pulses. Fewer pulses results in fewer potential emission-producing events.

2 Lower pressure drop across the filtration media saves energy. Most dust collection systems rely on a fan to

draw dust-laden air from a contaminant source to a collector and then through the filtration media. The energy (static pressure) required to move the air through the filtration system defines the necessary fan size and, therefore, the effective energy required to operate the system. The restriction created by a filter media and the captured particulate can be a significant contributor to the overall fan energy requirement of a system. In commodity media filters, much of the filtered dust

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p Figure 2. Mechanisms of filtration. p Figure 1. Magnification of fine fiber layer filtration media compared to cellulose, spunbond, cellulose/synthetic, and meltblown fibers. ULTRA-WEB TECHNOLOGY
MELTBLOWN 1 micron = 1/25,400 of an inch (1/1,000 of a millimeter)

particulate can be driven deep into the media’s pores. This depth-loading of the filtration media cannot be cleaned as well as the surface-loaded particulate with a fine fiber performance layer filtration media, see Figure 3. When the captured dust cannot be cleaned from the media depth, higher stable pressure differentials are created across the filtration media and energy demand goes up. Because the fine fiber layer media captures dust on the surface reducing depth loading, it cleans more completely and operates at a lower pressure differential across the filtration media reducing energy demands.

Lower restriction across the filtration media results in lower overall system energy requirements and smaller fan requirements when designing a new system and selecting components. Even greater energy savings are possible if the system fan is configured with a variable frequency drive control system.



Less compressed air consumption required for pulse-jet cleaned dust collection systems. Score another advantage for a surface-loading fine fiber layer media! As mentioned above, when dust is captured on the surface of a filtration media, it requires much fewer compressed air pulses to clean than a depthloaded media, see Figure 4. Fewer pulses of compressed air results in lower overall compressed air consumption, which in turn, reduces the energy demands on the compressor and the costs for compressor operation.

5 Flexibility in filter configuration to help solve problems. Fine fiber performance layer media can be produced on a variety of substrate materials and built into many different filter configurations. A fine fiber layer can be applied on cellulose, synthetic, and spunbond media substrates improving the performance of each of these media. The substrates can be selected for their unique anti-static, temperature, or moistureresistant properties while still obtaining the advantages of the fine fiber performance layer. Fine fiber performance layer filters have been available as cartridge filters for years, but manufacturers are now offering these media in pleated bag and fluted filter configurations.


Longer filter life. Most dust collector filters reach an end of life when the filtration media is fully depth-loaded and can no longer be cleaned to an acceptable degree to allow design airflow with the available fan in the system. Because of the fine fiber efficiency layer and surface loading characteristics, fine fiber layer filters last significantly longer than traditional commodity filter elements. Longer filter life means buying new filters less frequently, saving considerable money over time. Additionally, longer filter life reduces the frequency of costly operation downtime for filter change maintenance activities.

The expansion of filter configurations and the availability of premium fine fiber performance layer filters for a broader variety of applications means more dust collector operators can make the switch from commodity filters, reducing their emissions, saving energy, and improving their bottom line.

1National Nanotechnology Initiative (

Chrissy Klocker is an experienced applications engineering manager at Donaldson, a global filtration solutions company. She is a go-to resource for insights and commentary on dust collection systems, products and how to properly manage combustible dust applications in industrial manufacturing facilities. She's a frequent presenter on webinars and regular contributor to industry trade publications. Chrissy can be reached at

airflow particle substrate filters airflow particle substrate filters Nanofiber layer
p Figure 3. The effect of a fine fiber layer on a filter. p Figure 4. Fine fiber media is loaded with ISO fine dust. Dust particles collect on the surface of the media and clean off easily while the substrate stays clean. A depth-loading filter would allow dust particles to penetrate deeply into the substrate where they build up and choke off the airflow. Clean Fine Fiber Layer Filter Surface-Loaded Fine Fiber Layer Filter

Filtering the Future

Benefits of New Nanofiber Technology Keep the Industry Progressive

At the recent Filtrex 2022 conference organized by EDANA (the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association) and held in Berlin from November 8-9, Joshua Manasco, director of business and application development for Elmarco introduced the company’s new Infinity nanofiber technology.

The free-surface technology utilizes a spinning solution delivery method that produces continuous jets, effectively eliminating critical membrane defects, to enable the production of high-performance nanofiber membranes for use in HEPA and liquid filtration.

“If you look around at all the technology that’s rapidly advancing today, whether it be green energy, or pharmaceuticals and whether it’s the clean air or water that we need – all of these things require advanced membranes and separation layers,” Manasco said. “A lot of people don’t think of that but our customers certainly do, and they come to us to help solve those issues and provide those membrane solutions. They also know that within the next five years we should see a 17% CAGR for nanofibers. The Infinity line is the key to unlocking some of those applications that our customers need and helping to solve their issues and provide them with solutions with nanofibers for advanced membranes and separators.”


Applications for the Infinity line, he added, can be broken down into three categories – high-end air filtration, liquid filtration and separators.

“When we think about high-end HEPA and ULPA air filters, they can be applied

in the pharmaceuticals industry, they can be used for semiconductor manufacturing and even for improving indoor air quality and they cannot afford to have any issues with defects or allow any contamination through,” Manasco said. “The same thing applies for liquid filtration which can be in pharmaceuticals as well, where you want to make sure you separate what you want from what you don’t want.

“And then if you think about separators, you’re looking at cell phones, computers and electric vehicles – all of which are very important applications. If you have a failure in the membrane then that can even cause a fire, as people have seen in the past. Defect-free materials in those applications are a must.”

The Infinity process delivers a way to make little-to-no defects in the membranes in such stringent applications.

It takes advantage of Elmarco’s Nanospider free surface electrospinning technology that can already deliver high throughput and homogeneous webs at industrial scale, but in a different way. On Infinity lines, the jets are not interrupted during the spinning process.

“What that does is prevents defects from being formed in the membrane and that allows the membranes to be used in such applications that can’t afford to have defects,” Manasco said.


The Czech Republic has led the field in the development of nanofiber-based materials for many years.

From their origins as filters for Russian gas masks in World War II, electrospun nanofibers came to be widely explored

in laboratories around the world as their full potential came to be realized with the advent of the scanning tunnelling microscope at the start of the 1980s.

The drive to perfect the high-speed, industrial manufacturing of nanofiber nonwovens remains ongoing, but Elmarco, headquartered in Liberec, Czech Republic, remains a front runner in the field.

Its needle-free Nanospider technology differs from conventional electrospinning in which jets are emitted from spinnerets by achieving the formation of charged polymer jets from a free liquid surface.

In other markets such as performance apparel, for example, it is necessary to develop materials that offer different levels of breathability and water resistivity to meet the diverse range of end-uses and consumer needs. Nanofiber webs can be engineered with the required porous structure from a range of polymers. This, in combination with the high specific surface area, flexibility and low basis weight allows for the optimization of the water resistivity level, air permeability and water vapor transmission rate.

For air filtration, meanwhile, nanofibers provide a high specific surface area and a small, interconnected pore structure. These allow a very low basis weight coating to achieve high filtration efficiencies while maintaining a low pressure drop.

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u Elmarco’s director of business and application development Joshua Manasco. Elmarco


In other notable developments during Filtrex 2022, Oerlikon Nonwoven received the Filtrex Innovation Award for its HycuTEC inline charging technology for meltblown nonwovens.

HycuTEC is described as the market’s first industrially-manufactured hydrocharging solution that can also be seamlessly integrated into the production process. It is also easily retrofitted to existing systems as a plug and produce component – a first within the market. This new technology for charging nonwovens is also said to enable the filter efficiency to be increased to more than 99.99%, which, as a result, provides meltblown producers with considerable material savings along with a greater filtration performance.

Whereas classical hydro-charging processes charge the finished nonwoven material the hycuTEC concept is based on the all-round charging of each filament. Through controlled atomization, a charge is evenly transferred to the fibers from the water spray. And a special additive is used to permanently bond the charge to the surface of each fiber. The result is filter media with a uniformly stable charge over the entire cross-section and an effective fiber surface area about 10 times greater than that of surfacecharged media.

HycuTEC hydro-charging can therefore reduce the pressure loss in typical FFP2 filter media to less than a quarter. Filtration efficiencies of more than

99.99% are easily achieved in typical filter media of 35 g/m² at 35 Pa, the company says, citing tests at pilot customers manufacturing FFP2 face masks who report confirmed quality increases due to the improved filtration with a simultaneous reduction in material usage of 30%.

For end users, the consequence is noticeably improved comfort resulting from significantly reduced breathing resistance.


Around 100 filtration media professionals gathered in Berlin in November for the Filtrex 2022 program which addressed issues from sustainability to testing and standardization, as well as providing insights on future trends in the health and the automotive industries.

The Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies provided a keynote presentation on the first day of the conference, concerning a proposed move from curative to preventive healthcare. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers today are increasingly aware of the quality of the air we breathe, which has a key impact on health. As such, filtration will only continue to grow in importance, as society looks to improve living and working conditions to ensure healthy lifestyles. Several of the speakers addressed this

by showcasing product developments in filter media that can be used in domestic and institutional building filtration systems.

Euromonitor gave the keynote on the second day, addressing the rate of transition to electrically-powered vehicles. This is extremely relevant for the filter media industry, given the different nature of filters used in traditional combustion engines compared to electric ones. Despite many challenges that slowed down the roll-out of electric vehicles, such as cost and infrastructure for charging, a recent Euromonitor study predicts that by 2031, 50% of new passenger car registrations will be electric globally.

Adrian Wilson is an international correspondent for International Filtration News . He is a leading journalist covering fiber, filtration, nonwovens and technical textiles. He can be reached at
“If you look around at all the technology that’s rapidly advancing today, whether it be green energy, or pharmaceuticals and whether it’s the clean air or water that we need – all of these things require advanced membranes and separation layers.”
– Joshua Manasco, Elmarco
 Oerlikon Nonwoven received the Filtrex Innovation Award for its HycuTEC inline charging technology for meltblown nonwovens. Oerlikon p Elmarco’s new Infinity nanofiber system. Elmarco

LivingFiltration Membranes

Composed of Bacterial Cellulose and Native Microorganisms, LFMs Demonstrate Antifouling Properties

As the need for safe water continues to expand across the world, membrane filters continue to be excellent prospects for increasing access to safe drinking water. However, the operation of membrane filters is limited by fouling (particularly, biofouling), and accessibility is limited by expensive and non-sustainable fabrication techniques.

Fouling plagues membranes by reducing effi ciency and increasing maintenance and costs. Biofouling is particularly problematic due to the self-replicating nature of microorganisms and their secretion of extracellular polymeric substances, a sticky microbial matrix that make biofilms difficult to remove. Living filtration membranes (LFMs) are a sustainable membrane technology grown using symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast (SCOBYs), popularized by the fermented tea beverage, kombucha.

An LFM was compared to a commercial mixed cellulose esters (MCE) filter with a similar nominal pore size. Although the MCE membrane was more hydrophilic and had a smoother surface, surface properties that, in general, may improve fouling resistance for certain particles, more rapid flux decline and live biomass were observed with the MCE membrane for all three water sources tested.

We suggest that the LFM’s resistance to biofouling may be due to the proliferation of native bacteria, Acetobacter, which produces acetic acid, a known antibiofilm and antibacterial agent. Here are the highlights of the study, but the full article may be read for free online at https://pubs.acs. org/doi/10.1021/acsestwater.1c00169.

The Need for Safe Water

Globally, contaminated drinking water is linked to the deaths of nearly 2,000 children per day. Membrane filters are a promising technology for increasing the access to safe water because they are compact, versatile, and provide a physical barrier for many contaminants. The ultrafiltration category of membranes is of particular interest for rural settings and developing countries because they can effectively remove turbidity, bacteria, parasites, and some viruses while still operating at relatively low pressures.

The Hurdles of Membrane Filtration and Biofouling 101

Access to membrane filters is severely limited by chemical use during manufacturing and cost, while the operation of membrane systems is hindered by fouling, specifically biofouling. In filtration, biofouling describes the deterioration of performance due to the attachment and growth of microorganisms as a biofilm.

Ultrafiltration membranes primarily filter water by size exclusion: straining suspended particles larger than their pores. Inherently these pores eventually become “clogged” in several ways. This phenomenon is known as fouling, which is widely considered to be the most substantial issue in the design and operation of membrane filtration processes. As fouling occurs, hydraulic resistance is increased, making the process drastically less efficient. This can result in lower flux, decreased permeate quality, higher energy and chemical costs, and more frequent membrane replacement. Foulants can be biological (e.g., bacteria), colloidal (e.g., clays), organic (e.g., oils) or inorganic (e.g., minerals). Larger particles can plug pores and accumulate on the membrane surface, forming a cake layer – while smaller particles may adsorb and constrict the pore from within.

Though all types of fouling usually play a role, biofouling often becomes the dominant mechanism after long-term opera-

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Bechtel, 2021

tion. Biofouling is also particularly unique from other types of fouling because the self-replicating nature of microorganisms makes the biofilms exceptionally persistent, even with the pretreatment of feedwater. These microorganisms also secrete extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which provides most of the biofilm matrix’s cohesion, adhesion, and mechanical strength that makes them especially difficult to remove. EPS is responsible for many of the challenges involving biofouling. For example, EPS actually promotes the bulk of hydraulic resistance, not the microbes themselves.

Attachment of microorganisms is one of the first steps in biofilm formation. Membrane surface properties can influence attachment and the initial subsequent fouling. It has been demonstrated that smooth, hydrophilic, and net-neutral surfaces tend to best resist biofouling. A large portion of membrane research has focused on developing materials, techniques, and chemical treatments that allow for these antiadhesive and antifouling surface properties. While several of these technologies show promise, many of them are complicated and chemical-intensive, which makes them expensive, unsustainable, and inaccessible for the people that need them

the most. Additionally, since most surfaces are eventually colonized, it has been suggested that more focus should be placed on materials which inhibit growth rather than adhesion.

There is a demand for simple solutions for biofouling control, which could include shifting the paradigm away from the killing of biofilms to the coexistence with biofilms.

Enter Living Filtration Membranes

Living Filtration Membranes (LFMs) were recently developed at Montana Technological University. They are composed of bacterial cellulose and native microorganisms from a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). The SCOBY is produced in the brewing process of the popular fermented tea beverage, kombucha. LFMs can be grown within 10 days using only tea, water, sugar, vinegar, and a starter culture. All materials for producing LFM’s are not only inexpensive and widely available, but also biodegradable and safe for human consumption – a huge difference from how most other filtration membranes are fabricated.

As water filters, LFMs have demonstrated performance in the range of commercial ultrafiltration membranes, with a 90% rejection of 30nm particles. LFMs also displayed a multitude of unique properties, including the means to heal after being damaged. Many of these distinct features can be attributed to the living native microorganisms. The majority of prokaryotes comprising the LFM SCOBY are reported to be from the genera Acetobacter and Gluconobacter. These strains belong to the family Acetobacteriaceae, which are characterized by their unique ability to oxidize various sources of organic carbon and produce acetic acid.

u Illustration of several types of pore blocking that can occur during membrane filtration. Bradley Ladewig, 2016 p A living filtration membrane after being grown and harvested. Eggensperger, 2019 p A living filtration membrane “coupon” after a filtration test. Note the brown biofilm on the membrane’s surface. Bechtel, unpublished, 2020
Wageningen University & Research
p A biofouled reverse osmosis membrane (left), and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of the biofilm (right).

Relevance of Acetic Acid

Acetic acid is present in relatively high concentrations within kombucha and has been used for thousands of years as an antimicrobial agent, dating back to the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates. Acetic acid has not only been shown to restrict the growth of a broad array of both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, but has also exhibited the ability to completely eradicate foreign biofilms in some cases.

Method Synopsis

Raw water was collected from each of Butte, Montana’s three drinking water treatment plants: Basin Creek Reservoir, Moulton Reservoir, and The Big Hole River. The water was pretreated to imitate plant conditions at the time of filtration. Immediately following pretreatment, the water was sampled for a suite of analytes, including temperature, conductivity, and pH, as well as nutrients such total and dissolved carbon, nitrogen, nitrate + nitrite, and phosphorus.

Living Filtration Membranes (LFMs) were produced using a method from prior publications (Eggensperger, 2019; Holland, 2020) and the bench scale ultrafiltration experiments were carried out using the same schematic. Mixed cellulose esters (MCE) membranes were purchased from Millipore Sigma. New membranes were used for each test. After each test, the initial stages of biofilm formation on the LFM and MCE membrane surfaces were quantified using confocal laser scanning microscopy and the software COMSTAT 2.1.

Three biofouling-critical physical surface properties were assessed for both the LFM and MCE: wettability/contact angle (a measure of surface hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity), surface topography (a measure of surface roughness), and zeta potential (a measure of surface charge). For the LFM only, DNA was also extracted, sequenced, and analyzed.

Key Findings and Discussion Surface Properties

Both membranes were found to be hydrophilic, but the LFM was significantly more hydrophobic than the MCE membrane. More hydrophilic ultrafiltration membranes are generally considered to have an increased resistance to fouling due to the hydrophobic nature of many foulants (thus, foulants may be repelled). Because the LFM was significantly more hydrophobic than the MCE membrane, it was surmised that the LFM could actually be more susceptible to fouling.

Surface topography of LFM and MCE membranes was analyzed qualitatively via SEM to determine if topography could play a role in fouling (Figure 1, A and B). These images indicate that LFMs have a

substantially rougher and more heterogeneous surface, while MCE membranes appear much smoother. MCE membranes may also appear to have smaller pores. However, due to LFM nanofibers growing in dense, stacked sheets: the LFM experiences a more selective nominal pore size of 30 nm compared to the MCE membranes 50 nm. Rough membrane surfaces have demonstrated increased fouling compared to smooth surfaces, especially by colloids. Similar to the results of membrane hydrophilicity, surface topography results appear to indicate that the LFM could be more susceptible to fouling.

The MCE membrane exhibited a more electronegative surface charge than the LFM (Figure 1, D). However, both surfaces still had a relatively negative charge. Some surface water foulants like proteins, microbes, and natural organic matter are negatively charged in solution, and charge repulsion between the membrane and negatively charged particles may occur on the membrane surface. Due to the pHs of the feedwater, charge repulsion was unlikely in Big Hole and Moulton experiments but more likely in Basin Creek.

Based on the surface topography and hydrophilicity of the membranes, it was expected that the LFM would experience more exacerbated fouling than the MCE membrane.


Flux is one of the most important operating parameters for membrane filters because it represents performance in terms of volume of water filtered per area of membrane. Despite the indication of fouling-unfavorable surface properties, overall, the LFM’s flux outperformed the commercial membranes for the three water sources tested by approximately 19%, 33%, and 40%. When the literature was reviewed,

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p Figure 1: Membrane properties: (A) scanning electron micrograph of LFM; (B) scanning electron micrograph of MCE; (C) deionized water captive bubble contact angles; and (D) zeta-potential. Bechtel, 2021 q Dead-end membrane filtration schematic used in Montana Tech’s bench-scale testing. Eggensperger, 2019

Biofilm Analysis

 Normalized permeate flux during (A) Basin Creek, (B) Big Hole, and (C) Moulton filtration experiments Bechtel, 2021

fouling for MCE membranes appeared consistent with that of the commercial polymer membranes used in other studies, whereas the LFMs appeared to have a resistance to fouling.

Microbial Communities and Feed Water Analytes

The LFM bacterial genus was 97% Acetobacter and 2.4% unclassified, with several other taxa <0.2%. Acetobacter are commonly reported as the dominant genus within kombucha, reaching especially high concentrations at a pH near 3 .

Acetobacter are characterized by their ability to perform oxidative fermentation: a process in which a variety of organic carbon sources (sucrose, glucose, ethanol, etc.) are partially oxidized in the presence of oxygen into acetic acid and other metabolites. Acetic acid has a long history of use for its antimicrobial properties, and has more recently exhibited the ability to mitigate and eradicate biofilms. The predominance of Acetobacter suggests that the potential for acetic acid generation in the LFM may contribute to its anti-fouling effects.

When the post-filtration biofilms were analyzed using a confocal microscope, it was shown that LFMs had less live biomass than MCE membranes for all three water sources. These differences were statistically significant in Big Hole (p < 0.001) and Moulton (p = 0.042), but not in Basin Creek (p = 0.074). This finding is consistent with the flux data, which showed that, while the LFM outperformed MCE in all waters, the performance difference was most profound when filtering water from Big Hole and Moulton. The Moulton water had a significant difference in live biomass between membranes (p = 0.042); however, it is important to note that biofouling is not the only type of fouling that can occur: in ultrafiltration with natural waters, organic fouling can contribute significantly to fouling.

In this study, dead biomass appeared to be less influential on membrane performance than live biomass, which may be due to dead biomass not being able to reproduce or generate new EPS, the material that mainly increases hydraulic resistance. In Moulton water, where the membrane flux difference was most drastic, there was no statistical difference in dead biomass between the two membranes (p = 0.958).

u Biovolume of biofilms on membranes treating water from (A) Basin Creek, (B) Big Hole, and (C) Moulton. Biofilms were stained with live/dead stain and imaged using confocal microscopy. Biovolume calculated using Comstat2.1. Bechtel, 2021

Putting It All Together

Thousands of people per day die globally from drinking contaminated drinking water. Membrane filters are great prospects for combating the water crisis, but their application is limited by biofouling and their accessibility is restricted by expensive and chemical-intensive fabrication. LFMs can overcome some of these challenges by being inexpensive and sustainable to produce while still treating water effectively. Despite several fouling-unfavorable membrane-surface properties, the LFM’s flux outperformed the commercial membranes for the three water sources tested by approximately 19%, 33%, and 40%. LFMs experienced less live biomass on membrane surfaces, indicating a resistance to biofouling. We suggest that the large population of native Acetobacter within the LFM may

discourage the growth of biofouling bacteria: Acetobacter oxidize organic carbon and produce acetic acid, an effective antibiofilm and antimicrobial agent. In waters with higher concentrations of TOC, the LFM’s experienced larger performance differences and significantly less live biomass than the MCE membranes.

Further, a publication using preliminary LFM and MCE data suggested that this resistance to fouling may reduce lifecycle environmental impacts of ultrafiltration considerably compared to commercial polymer membranes (Jiang et al., 2020). In addition to filtration membranes, bacterial cellulose is also being investigated as a wound dressing, where fibers grown from Acetobacter specifically might be useful for mitigating biofilms and infections within the field of medicine.

Carson Bechtel was raised in Idaho, where his love for nature, fostered by loving friends and a supportive family, fueled his passions for science and the environment. He received a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Montana Tech in 2021, and now works as an environmental consultant in Washington, DC. He can be reached at The research used as the basis for this article was completed with the help of Katherine Zodrow, Francois Pereault, Jungyu Park, Mohammed A. Bashammakh, and Daqian Jiang.

1Flux, one common performance metric for membrane filters, is the volumetric flow rate of water per surface area of membrane (e.g., liters per square meter). 2(p < .001) based on a 95% confidence interval. 3pHs of the feedwaters were near 3.0. Please read the entire article for more information on the feedwater characteristics.

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Membrane filters are great prospects for combating the water crisis, but their application is limited by biofouling and their accessibility is restricted by expensive and chemical-intensive fabrication.


A Two-Pronged Filtration Focus for Audi

Car giant Audi, headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, and part of the Volkswagen Group, has recently been addressing the problem of emissions generated by both its vehicles in urban areas and in operations at its car manufacturing plants.

In a pilot project with supplier Mann+Hummel, the automaker has developed a filter for electric cars that collects particulate matter from its surrounding area. Both while driving and charging, it’s aim is to help improve air quality in cities.

Regardless of a vehicle’s drive system, 85% of fine dust in road traffic is caused by brake, tire, or road abrasion. The smallest

dust particles – hardly noticeable to the naked eye – are only a few micrometers in size with a diameter of only 10 micrometers and can therefore be easily inhaled.


This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended significantly lower particulate matter limits than in the past but according to experts, it would be impossible to comply with these new values in many urban areas in Germany.

The new filter, designed for the front end of electric vehicles such as the Audi e-tron on which it is being tested, functions in a similar way to the stationary Filter Cube systems that have been devel-

oped by Mann+Hummel and are already in use in some German cities. The mobile version ensures not only that the car’s own particulate emissions are absorbed, but that those of other vehicles can be absorbed as well, in the vicinity of where they are generated.

The pilot project was launched in 2020 and will run for a period of four years.

“This particulate filter is an example of our pursuit of innovation for everyone’s benefit and a successful collaboration with specialized suppliers,” said Fabian Groh, project manager of attachment system development at Audi AG. “We are already doing a lot today on our own initiative, but anticipate it will also become a legal requirement in the future.”

q Krajete direct air capturing module at the Austrian Audi plant. ©Audi


The filter is integrated into the vehicle’s existing airflow in front of the radiator so that only a few modifications to the car are necessary, keeping costs down. The filter element is controlled via the switchable cooling air inlet and its mechanical function is comparable to that of a vacuum cleaner. By a similar principle, the fine dust particles remain stuck in the filter and the air can still flow through it.

In the Audi e-tron vehicles on which it has been tested, the filter has proved effective at passively capturing even the smallest of particles by means of the movement of the vehicle as air flows through the filter system.

Another possibility is filtering during stationary charging. A fan that is already built into every electric vehicle conveys ambient air through the radiator and the system takes advantage of this process and can actively filter the air flowing through it, using the fine dust filter even when stationary.

The assessments conducted on the test vehicles were not only used to analyze the effectiveness of the filters, but also to determine whether the technology affects overall vehicle usage.

Endurance Tests

After over 50,000 kilometers of endurance tests on the Audi e-tron, the filters were shown to have no negative effect on the operation of the electric vehicle, including on hot summer days or during fast charging.

The system is so effective that, depending on the usage scenario, the Audi e-tron particles are completely filtered out in a highly polluted city such as Stuttgart. In even more polluted cities, fine dust emissions can be actively and passively absorbed by up to three vehicles in a typical customer scenario.

To make the system even more efficient, Audi is working with Mann+ Hummel to connect with existing sensors such as weather stations and also plans to develop a display logic in the vehicle,

allowing passengers to determine when the system is active and how much has already been filtered.

The filter is easy to maintain and needs to be replaced only when the regular service interval has been reached. A lifecycle analysis of the entire filter system has shown that it will account for 14.9 kilograms (32.8 lbs.) of CO2 equivalents. Additionally, the filter itself consists of 15% recycled material and the entire system is 60% recycled.

Direct Air Capture

Meanwhile, Audi has also been working with the Linz, Austria-based green tech company Krajete GmbH on the development of new technologies for filtering emissions – initially CO2 – from ambient air in industrial plants.

In addition to robust adsorber materials, the so-called direct air capturing technologies (DACs) are based on new processes that make far-reaching energy and cost reductions possible.

At an Audi plant in Austria, the partners are using an inorganic filter material that can hold a very high load of molecules and is also very insensitive to the effects of moisture.

As a result, it is not necessary, or only necessary in particular cases, to pre-dry the ambient air to be filtered. This increases efficiency and reduces costs. The temperature and pressure conditions for absorbing CO2 molecules and subsequently removing them from the adsorption surface are very similar and this significantly shortens the adsorber’s loading and discharge cycles – more CO2 can be removed from the ambient air in a short period of time.

The filtered air is released back into the environment after the adsorption step and the recovered CO2 is then available in a highly concentrated form as a raw material for permanent storage or for a wide range of industrial applications. The largescale plant near Linz, which is currently in the process of going into operation,

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p A row of Mann+Hummel’s stationary Filter Cube systems battling particulate pollution at a busy junction in Stuttgart. ©Mann+Hummel p The particulate filter is integrated into e-tron’s existing airflow in front of the radiator. ©Audi

can filter 500 tons of CO2 per year. By the end of the year, another module will increase the plant’s capacity to 1,000 tons. The electricity required to operate the plant comes from a photovoltaic system on the company’s premises.


“We started from the premise that, for reasons of efficiency, we would let the process run at ambient pressure, then we modified the adsorber materials and the physical conditions in the plant until we found the optimal flow rate, meaning we filtered the maximum amount of CO2 per unit of time,” explained Alexander Krajete, CEO of Krajete GmbH. “This made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of sequestration, which is already down

to the low three-digits range in Euros per ton of CO2. The long-term goal is to make carbon dioxide usable for industrial purposes. In doing so, Krajete GmbH and AUDI want to facilitate breakthroughs in the necessary applications.

“This technology makes it possible to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, regardless of location, and is therefore an important decarbonizing measure,” added Hagen Seifert, head of sustainable product concepts at Audi. “In addition, the system technology can be expanded in a variety of ways thanks to its modular design.”

Larger Scale

As a next step to the existing large-scale plant in Linz, Audi is currently looking

into the possibility of using sources with higher concentrations of CO2 and filtering additional emissions such as nitrogen oxides. In addition, DAC technology could be implemented on a much larger scale at Audi’s site in Gy ő r, Hungary. A plant with a capacity of 25,000 tons per year is conceivable.

By 2025, the Volkswagen Group aims to reduce the ecological footprint of its passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 40% over their entire life cycles, as compared to 2018. Each particular measure is contributing to achieving carbonneutrality throughout the company, by 2050 at the latest.

Adrian Wilson is an international correspondent for International Filtration News . He is a leading journalist covering fi ber, fi ltration, nonwovens and technical textiles. He can be reached at

ROTH_Azg_210x148_2022-01_PleatingSlogan_Messehinweis_edit.indd 4 19.12.22 17:40
The system is so effective that, depending on the usage scenario, the Audi e-tron particles are completely filtered out in a highly polluted city such as Stuttgart.

Backflushable Stacked Disc Cartridges: Results From Wine Filtration Field Tests

For more and more wine producers, stacked disc cartridges are becoming a real alternative to traditional sheet filtration solutions. In the first part of Eaton's article series, it was shown that the use of backflushable, hermetically enclosed systems extend service life and enable a higher, more hygienic level of quality. These stacked disc cartridges are particularly robust because they contain an additional, honeycomb-structured polyester fabric between the filter cells. Buffers are formed between the filter cells, which separate them spatially and thus ensure that the filter cells remain stable and intact even during backflushing (Figure 1). Thanks to the backflush effect, both the amount of filtered wine and the service life can be significantly increased without risk of compromising the quality of the valuable wine ingredients. The tests

described here also showed that the BECODISC® R+ backflushable stacked disc cartridges exceeded the service life of other backflushable stacked disc cartridges on the market by about 30%.

In the second part of the article series, we now look at how powerful the backflushable stacked disc cartridges with BECOPAD® premium cellulose sheets are and whether performance can be further optimized. For this purpose, both one- and two-step test series were conducted.

Field Test of One- and Two-step Filtration Concept with Stacked Disc Cartridges

With the aim of developing an optimized filtration concept with stacked disc cartridges for fine filtration prior to filtration before bottling using membrane filter cartridges, industry-related con-

ditions were initially defined. Different national and international white wines should be filtered at a flow rate of 3,700 to 4,755 gal/h (14,000 to 18,000 l/h). The wines were first pre-filtered by means of tangential filtration. Fine filtration was subsequently carried out using the BECODISC R+ range backflushable stacked disc cartridges, before the filtered white wines were finally fed into storage tanks or to the bottling system.

In-line filtration, i.e., continuous filtration with fully automated cleaning and sterilization processes, is considered to be particularly important to optimize performance. During testing, the stacked disc cartridges were initially flushed back twice a week with warm water at 140°F (60°C) for 15 to 20 minutes. The entire system was then sterilized with sterile saturated steam for 20 minutes.

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KEY: Inlet: Unfiltrate in flow direction Outlet: Filtrate in flow direction

Inlet: Backflushed water in the opposite direction to the flow Outlet: Water in the opposite direction to the flow

One-step Wine Filtration with Backflushable Stacked Disc Cartridges (field test 1)

The first results were obtained using the BECODISC R+ (type B1C6) backflushable stacked disc cartridges with the BECOPAD Premium depth filter sheet for microbial removal (type 115 C) in a fourmonth study. A total of eight stacked disc cartridges were used. International white wines, 56% of which came from non-EU countries, 40% from Germany and 4% from other EU countries, were to be filtered (see Figure 2). The non-EU countries included Australia, Chile and New Zealand, while the other EU countries included Italy, France and Spain.

The flow velocity was between 3,700 to 4,755 gal/h (14,000 to 18,000 l/h). At a flow of 3,700 gal/h (14,000 l/h), this meant a filtration flux of 11.6 gal/ft²/h (472 l/m²/h), while at 4,755 gal/h (18,000 l/h) it meant a filtration flux of 14.9 gal/ft²/h (606 l/m²/h). The tests documented the differential pressure, the hourly output and the cleaning and sterilization process (see Figure 3).

Taking into account the differential pressure, it can be seen that the pressure in the first 125 lots has moved between psi 1.5 and 4.4 psi (0.1 and 0.3 bar). Between wine lots 80 to 125, the pressure fluctuated very consistently between 1.5 and 2.9 psi (0.1 and 0.2 bar). From wine number 125 onwards, a clear increase in pressure can be seen within a few lots. From the maximum pressure difference of 2.9 psi (0.2 bar)

in almost 50 wine lots previously, this rose to psi 7.3 psi (0.5 bar) and did not fall below 2.9 psi (0.2 bar) again, despite the more frequent backflushes for cleaning. Up to around wine lot 150, the pressure difference could be maintained in the range between 2.9 and 5.8 psi (0.2 and 0.4 bar), but from batch 155 the highest value of the test was already measured at 10.2 psi (0.7 bar). Subsequently, the differential pressure no longer dropped below 4.4 psi (0.3 bar) and was subjected to large fluctuations of up to 5.8 psi (0.4 bar) between two cleanings. After around 165 lots and a total of 24 backflushes, the test was complete.

During the four-month practical test with the one-step filtration concept under industrial conditions, more than 4,185,938 gallons (15,845,500 liters) of wine were filtered through a total of eight BECODISC R+ B1C6 stacked disc cartridges. Converted to square meters, this results in a filtration volume of 13,138 gal/ft² (535,320 l/m²) with a filter area of 8 × 39.8 ft² (3.7 m²).

Two-step Wine Filtration with Backflushable Stacked Disc Cartridges (field test 2)

Due to the excellent filtration performance of the BECODISC R+ B1C6 stacked disc cartridges, the main focus was subsequently placed on extending the service life, which can improve most business key performance indicators. For this purpose, backflushable stacked disc cartridges with different separation areas were tested and adapted to the practi-

Spacing elements

Depth filter sheet

Drainage body

Depth filter sheet

Honeycomb polyester fabric

Edge molding of a filter cell

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p Figure 1b. Detailed view of the reinforced design of the BECODISC R+ backflushable stacked disc cartridge. p Figure 1. Filtration and backflushing principle and detailed view of the structure of the BECODISC R+ backflushable stacked disc cartridges reinforced with additional honeycomb-structured polyester fabric.

cal requirements. Fine filtration was the most promising due to a two-step depth filtration concept with a total of eight BECODISC R+ stacked disc cartridges. In the first step, four BECODISC R+ stacked disc cartridges (type B586) with BECOPAD 580 premium depth filter sheets were used for pre-filtration. In the second step, microbial removal filtration was carried out using four BECODISC R+ stacked disc cartridges (type B176) with BECOPAD 170 premium depth filter sheets.

At a minimum flow velocity of 3,700 gal/h (14,000 l/h) to the BECODISC R+ type B176, the filtration flux is 10.7 gal/ ft²/h (437 l/m²/h). At the maximum speed of 4,755 gal/h (18,000 l/h), it was just over 13.8 gal/ft²/h (563 l/ m²/h). As in field test

1, the differential pressure, hourly output and cleaning and sterilization processes were determined and recorded.

Again, different national and international white wines were filtered at a flow velocity of 3,700 to 4,755 gal/h (14,000 to 18,000 l/h).

44% of the wine lots came from non-EU countries such as the USA, Chile, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand and 34% from

Germany. Another 23% were from other EU countries such as Italy, France or Hungary (see Figure 4).

Once again, the differential pressure constantly moved between 1.5 and 4.4 psi (0.1 and 0.3 bar) for the first 126 batches (see Figure 5). Wine lot 127 caused a pressure difference of 7.3 psi (0.5 bar). Subsequently, backflushing was more frequent and the pressure differences fluctuated between 2.9 and 5.8 psi (0.2 and 0.4 bar). So far, the results have been almost identical with the one-step tests with type B1C6 from the BECODISC R+ range. The big difference, however, is the length of time for which this range, which

is still profitable for wine production, can be maintained. While the one-step filtration process had to be completed after around 160 lots of wine and four months due to the increasing differential pressure and the fluctuations between the cleanings, two-step fine filtration can maintain the level from 2.9 and 5.8 psi (0.2 and 0.4 bar) until the end of the test after six months.

During the field test, the combination of the two BECODISC R+ stacked disc cartridges with graded separation areas was able to filter a total of 5,954,863 gal (22,541,610 liters) of wine. A total of 233 wine lots were filtered and 34 backflushes were carried out. Converted to square meters, with a filter area of 8 × 43.1 ft² (4 m²) for fine filtration, this results in a filtration volume of about 17,288 gal/ft² (704,425 l/m²).

Efficient Alternatives in Wine Filtration

In practice, wine filtration is dependent on many factors. Alongside product-specific factors, i.e., which wines with which properties are to be filtered, many technical factors also come into play. The choice of filtration technology – that is, traditional sheet filtration or modern stacked disc cartridge filtration – is fundamental. Once a technology has been chosen, it is

p Figure 2. Overview of the countries of origin of the filtered wine lots in fiield test 1. p Figure 3. Recording of the differential pressure and hourly output as well as the backflush and sterilization processes for the fine filtration of different wine lots with the BECODISC R+ B1C6 stacked disc cartridges in field test 1.

important to consider what is most economical for the respective manufacturing process. The two field tests with international white wines have shown that filtration with backflushable stacked disc cartridges, such as those in the BECODISC R+ series, achieves a long service life.

The service life can be further extended if fine filtration is carried out in two steps. Here, of course, the correct grading in the optimal separation areas is important. In the two field tests, the change from one-step to two-step filtration concept clearly extended the service life and showed an increase in filtration volume. The filter area was increased from just under 323 to 344 ft² (30 to 32 m²) – an


increase of around 6%. The service life could thus be extended from the original four months to the end of the test, i.e., to at least six months (66.6%). During this period, the total filtration volume was increased by around 1.8 million gallons (6.7 million liters).

As these results prove, BECODISC R+ backflushable stacked disc cartridges with BECOPAD Premium depth filter sheets are well suited for fine filtration of white wines, regardless of their origin. In addition, the field tests show that continuous, automated and – thanks to the enclosed system – particularly hygienic filtration of large quantities of wine is possible. Through regular backflushes, critical blocking can be avoided for a relatively long time. In the case of two-step filtration, this was actually until the end of testing – after six months and an impressive 5.9 million gallons (22.5 million liters) of filtered wine.

Both the one-step filtration with the

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p Figure 4. Overview of the countries of origin of the filtered wine lots in field test 2. p Figure 5. Recording of the differential pressure and hourly output as well as the backflushes and sterilization processes for the pre-filtration and microbial removal filtration of different wine lots with BECODISC R+ types B586 and B176 in field test 2.
stacked disc cartridges are particularly robust because they contain an additional, honeycomb-structured polyester fabric between the filter cells.
p Backflushable, extra robust BECODISC R+ stacked disc cartridges with BECOPAD premium depth filter sheets from Eaton with significantly longer service life for wine filtration that preserves color and aroma.

BECODISC R+ type B1C6 microbial removal and the two-step concept of prefiltration and microbial removal filtration with the BECODISC R+ types B586 and B176 showed impressive results. Wine producers who opt for fine filtration with stacked disc cartridges should take their individual requirements and options into account. The use of only one stacked disc cartridge can prove to be the most economical solution, especially for smaller and medium filtration quantities. For large filtration quantities over a long period of time, the two-step concept is likely to be the preferred choice.

Dr. Ilona Schneider, oenologist (Dipl.-Oenologin), Team Leader Product Management Beverage Treatment and R&D, Eaton Technologies GmbH, Langenlonsheim, Germany, IlonaSchneider@

85 Old Barnwell, W. Columbia, S.C. USA 29170 | Tel: +1 (803) 739-0770 | Fax: +1 (803) 739-0814 | | Many useful options offered 106 Mini-Pleat systems High-speed, manual ALSO AVAILBLE: 105 Extension Conveyor The World Renowned SOLTECH Mini-Pleat Systems Since 1985. These compact Systems have been engineered for reliability, and are user friendly with "Touchscreen" operation Have you tried our “Contract Pleating” service? Give us a call and we will rush you a quotation Filter Manufacturing Machinery Solent Technology Inc Compliant for our European Customers 212 Mini-Pleat Systems - Hybrid of our two successful machines H.E.P.A. ASHREA - GLASS & SYNTHETIC H.E.P.A. ASHREA - SYNTHETIC 202 Mini-Pleat Systems - Computerized H.E.P.A. ASHREA - GLASS 102 Mini-Pleat Systems - Computerized Overview of technical data BECODISC R+, type B1C6 BECODISC R+, type B586 Step 1 BECODISC R+, type B176 Step 2 Filter area per stacked disc cartridge [ft² (m2)] 39.8 (3.7) 43.1 (4.0) 43.1 (4.0) Water throughput [gpm/ft² (l/m2/min)] 0.6 (26) 87.6 (3,571) 1.9 (77) Nominal retention range [µm] 0.1 – 0.2 8.0 – 10.0 0.2 – 0.4 Filter media BECOPAD 115 C BECOPAD 580 BECOPAD 170 Overview of field data Field test 1 Field test 2 Step 1 Step 2 Filter area x number of stacked disc cartridges [ft² (m2)] 39.8 x 8 = 318.4 (3.7 x 8 = 29.6) 43.1 x 4 = 172.4 (4.0 x 4 = 16.0) 43.1 x 4 = 172.4 (4.0 x 4 = 16.0) 344.8 (32.0) Service life [months] 4 6 Total filtration volume [gal (l)] 4,185,938 (15,845,500) 5,954,863 (22,541,610) Filtration volume [gal/ft² (l/m2)] 13,138 (535,320) 17,288 (704,425)
© 2020
p Table 1. Overview of the individual stacked disc cartridges used and their key figures.
Eaton. All rights reserved.

McIlvaine Company

Bob McIlvaine is the president of The McIlvaine Company, which is helping filter suppliers understand the true cost of their products and the impact on the Serviceable Obtainable Market. He can be reached at rmcilvaine@ or +1 847.226.2391.

Filtration 3F Market Guide

The Filtration Industry Can Improve EBITDA with the 3F Guide (Facts, Factors and Forecasts)

If the same amount of effort to prepare financial statements is also placed into gathering all the market facts, determining all the factors, and then making reliable forecasts, the benefit will far outweigh the costs.

In the last two decades major league baseball has incorporated the structured approach of facts, factors, and forecasts to the performance of the players, the competition and any fact or factor which can influence success.

The third base coach no longer just relies on his experience to signal a steal, but on mountains of facts and factors relative to the success forecasts. Facts involving the pitcher, catcher, and runner are tabulated and factors are created to guide the best decision.

The number of baseball club performance facts and factors can equal those in the financial statements.

Filter manufacturers can obtain similar benefits from comprehensive use of facts and factors.

There can be many thousands of relevant facts. It is essential that they be organized and updated. Considerable expertise is needed to develop the appropriate factors which in turn lead to actionable forecasts to cover each key niche.

As an example, let’s focus on leaders in air pollution control fabric filters. How can they best use the 3F guide? The following companies are in the top 10 in some aspects of fabric filtration. The scope is cleanable dry filters used for air pollution control and process particle capture.

Fabric filters are not the leading product for any of these companies even though they are market leaders.

Donaldson and CECO are the only two on the list where fabric filters are more than 10% of sales. It is big for Parker but not compared to all the other products.

From a vertical perspective, none of the companies is complete starting with media and then up through systems.

None of the companies except Andritz is active in wet microfiltration. None of the companies is a top player in microfiltration and RO.

Two of the companies also supply scrubbers which compete with fabric filters in some cases and are used with them in others.

The conclusion is that all these companies see fabric filters as complementary rather than the core product. The first planning priority is to organize all the facts, factors and forecasts for the core products and then see how fabric filter initiatives will be attractive.

This question in revenue is what are the industry, geographic and process strengths for fabric filtration and how do they complement other products.

• Countries: the fabric filter market can be divided into 80 geographical segments including 72 countries and 8 sub regions.

• There are 15 major industry categories, one of which is waste to energy (WTE).

40 IFN ISSUE 1 2023
Filtration Markets for Fabric Filter Leaders Alkegen Andritz Donaldson Filtration Group Parker CECO FF Media x x FF Elements x x x x FF Equipment x x x x x FF Systems x x x LF Macro x LF Micro & R.O. LF Cartridge x Scrubbers x x FF= Fabric Filter, LF= Liquid Filtration

The WTE market can be used as an example of 3F. The facts include:

• Waste generation quantities in each country

• % of waste combusted in each country

• Regulations relative to disposal

• Local system designers

• International systems suppliers and operators

• Various removal technologies for particulate, VOCs, acid gases, and toxic metals

• Potential for valuable metal recovery

• Potential for CO2 capture and sequestration

• Integration with broad biomass combustion initiatives

Factors include:

• World political and economic developments

• Climate change impacts

• GDP growth and ability to fund waste disposal

• Changing perceptions about biomass and carbon negative aspects

• Changing ratio of dry versus wet scrubbers by country

• Increasingly stringent regulations for both particulate and gases

• Client challenges such as dealing with third world governments and international owner-operators

• Keeping up with technology developments

Thousands of facts need to be gathered and hundreds of thousands of factors applied to maximize EBITDFA from WTE.

At first glance only Andritz, Alkegen and Filtration Group should be extending major effort in this application. Only Andritz should clearly be extending maximum effort. The test should be if you cannot justify gathering all the facts and applying the factors then it is better not to halfheartedly pursue the market.

Andritz is an air pollution systems supplier with experience in WTE and with other biomass combustion systems.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe is looking at biomass combustion as an alternative energy source.The 4000 MW Drax plant in the UK has switched to biomass and will be sequestering the CO2 in the North Sea. This will make this plant

the largest carbon negative producer in the world and will offset a significant percentage of the UK CO2 emissions.

Alkegen and Filtration Group have developed fabric filter elements which are ceramic candles with embedded catalyst. Systems using these elements and direct sorbent injection can remove particulate VOCs, NOx, and acid gases.

Andritz also supplies scrubbers which can be utilized to recover valuable metals from the incineration exhausts.

A few international WTE BOO companies are on the one hand big potential customers and on the other potential competitors.

This listing of facts and factors applies to only one industry and to the equipment. Alkegen, Parker, and Filtration Group supply filter elements to end users and OEMS. Filter elements are replaced depending on the application from quarterly to every 5th year. Invaluable metal mining the filter is often a product recovery device with a positive ROI in just weeks.

So, the facts and factors for filter element producers are different than for equipment suppliers.

The organization of large numbers of facts and factors may seem daunting but as major league baseball has proven the benefits outweigh the costs.

1Air, Water, Energy Markets published by The McIlvaine Company

Matt O’Sickey, PhD is Director of Education & Technical Affairs at INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. Matt was previously Director of Technology for RKW-North America and Global Director of Market Development for Tredegar Film Products and may be reached at mosickey@inda. org or +1 919 459-3748.

Prognostication on Nonwovens in the Coming Year

One is often asked as a new year begins, what do you see on the horizon for the coming year? At INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics industry, we are asked more specifically what we see occurring in the markets for nonwovens, filtration and fibers. There are a number of challenges and opportunities on the horizon including potential logistic and supply chain issues, legislative changes, regulatory challenges, and market shifts.

Supply Chain

Issues pertaining to logistics and supply chain are largely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturers of nonwovens installed or took commitments to install significant capacity globally, particular for melt blown nonwovens used in medical applications. Additionally, capacity was added, debottlenecked, or optimized for both the substrates and converted finished goods for disinfecting wipes. While demand has not dropped back to pre-pandemic levels, there has been a sig-

nificant softening in demand and increasing availability of imported nonwovens and finished goods. In some cases, there is appreciable on-hand inventory of both nonwovens and finished goods. While manufacturers are adjusting manufacturing strategy – decommissioning older, less efficient assets and rebalancing supply chains, there continues to be significant pressure as imports are increasingly available and at lower landed costs than during the pandemic.

Container prices from Asia, which climbed to unheard of levels during the peak of the pandemic, have significantly decreased. Asian manufacturers added significant capacity to meet pandemicdriven demand, much as their counterparts in North America and Europe did. All are aggressively searching for outlets for this added manufacturing and converting capacity. Potential logistic challenges, such as railroad strikes, have been mitigated and avoided by intercession of the government. Taken together, these factors make for a very competitive nonwoven supply environment. Certainly,

As director of education and technical affairs, Matt presents regular training related to nonwovens and filter media from INDA’s headquarters in Cary, NC.

For more information about upcoming training opportunities, visit

42 IFN ISSUE 1 2023
of Education & Technical Affairs, INDA * International Fiber Journal is owned by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry ( iStock/Tetiana Lazunova

there will be additional decommissioning or mothballing of assets put into place solely to meet pandemic driven demand. This is likely to be especially true for companies that added technologies not central to their core capabilities.

Pressure for Plastics Changes

On the legislative front, there is growing pressure for government intervention around so-called single-use plastics. Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic commenced, the EU issued the Directive on Single-Use Plastics which attempts to reduce the amount of renegade plastics in the environment from ten products categories:

• Cotton bud sticks

• Cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers

• Balloons and sticks for balloons

• Food containers

• Cups for beverages

• Beverage containers

• Cigarette butts

• Plastic bags

• Packets and wrappers

• Wet wipes and sanitary items

Where sustainable alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products cannot be placed on the markets of EU Member States. This applies to cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, and sticks for balloons. It will also apply to cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic. For other single-use plastic products, the EU is focusing on limiting their use through:

• Reducing consumption through awareness-raising measures;

• Introducing design requirements, such as a requirements to connect caps to bottles;

• Introducing labelling requirements, to inform consumers about the plastic content of products, disposal options that are to be avoided, and harm done to nature if the products are littered in the environment; and,

• Introducing waste management and clean-up obligations for producers, including Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes.

The European approach has been noted by U.S. municipal, state, and federal level legislators. While it has not yet resulted in similar bans for nonwoven containing products, a blanket reapplication of the European approach would have significant impact upon consumer and manufacturers of wet wipes and sanitary items. To some extent, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted momentum in this direction and also created time for alternative nonwoven raw materials to gain traction.

It is safe to say, that there is not a nonwoven conference or event that does not have a significant focus on naturally sourced fibers, biodegradable fibers and nonwovens, and/or circular economy elements such as advanced recycling. This has certainly been true at the World of Wipes, RISE, and Hygienix con-

ferences hosted by INDA in 2022. Additionally, the pandemic slowed momentum towards blanket legislative proscription of single-use plastics, as it has been noted and publicized that many of the wipes, masks, gowns, and drapes endemic to the pandemic response are indeed single-use plastics. But, as legislative and regulatory activities resume, there is more opportunity to provide a tailored response that protects those sub-categories of single-use plastics that are critical to public health and wellbeing. INDA is actively coordinating efforts to support logical and fact-based responses to these challenges.

Air Quality Concerns

A second regulatory initiative that is impacting some of the nonwoven industry is the rapid actions being taken to limit and/ or eliminate use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). These chemicals are commonly used as treatments on nonwovens to prevent staining and penetration of hazardous substances. There are in excess of 15,000 different Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances encountered in the market today. Due to the almost unique nature of the incredibly stable carbon-fluorine bonds, these substances are exceptionally durable in the environment and have gained the reputations as being “forever chemicals.”


Throughout the years, Wallner Expac has partnered with filter manufacturers to supply them with expanded metals. Whether the need is residential, commercial, industrial, HEPA, microfiltration, or other type of filtration, we pride ourselves on providing strong and sustainable solutions that help deliver optimal air quality and contribute to a healthier environment.

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A number of the PFAS have also been identified as being probable causes of severe aliments including:

• Liver effects (serum enzymes/bilirubin, cholesterol)

• Immunological effects (decreased vaccination response, asthma)

• Developmental effects (birth weight)

• Endocrine effects (thyroid disease)

• Reproductive effects (decreased fertility)

• Cardiovascular effects (pregnancy induced hypertension)

• Tumors (liver, testicular*, pancreatic*)

• Cancer* (testicular, kidney)

While only a relatively small number of the overall 15,000+ PFAS have been thoroughly investigated, the severity of the “bad actors” has led to public pressure to eliminate these chemicals. Investors striving to mitigate risk are pushing manufactures to cease production of these chemicals and companies are beginning to respond. Most notably, 3M announced in December 2022 that it would cease production of PFAS by 2025.

The unique chemistry associated with the highly electronegative fluorine atom and its bonding behavior with carbon results in physical properties is not easily replicated via other, less onerous chemistries. This is resulting in a broad and rigorous search for single or combinations of chemicals to serve as replacements.

Recently, Brian Rosenstein discussed these challenges in an opinion column for Textile World, in which one statement was particularly poignant, “I was always taught not to present a problem without a suggestion on how to solve the problem. PFAS seems to have become an exception to that ‘rule.’” As legislative regulatory efforts to limit or eliminate PFAS increase, there will likely be certain applications excepted, but there will be fewer and potentially no suppliers willing to provide these chemicals. There will certainly be an innovation sprint to identify and implement the best possible alternatives to PFAS in a wide range of applications including nonwovens and textiles.

To Tell the Truth

Lastly, there are opportunities created by changes in consumer behavior. Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency around product compositions that are informing their views on issues related to single-use plastics and the presence of additives such as PFAS, which is creating pressure to change product designs. This pressure is the “stick” that drives innovation. They are also expressing desires for products that are sustainably and ethically sourced, more “natural,” and with greater ability to recycled and part of a circular economy. This continues to create opportunities for products comprised of innovative raw materials and designs. This consumer demand, and willingness to pay for the innovation, is the “carrot” that counterbalances the aforementioned stick.

The coming year brings with it an abundance of pressure points and positioning opportunities. The increasing need is obvious for agile innovators to rise to the occasion in the nonwovens space to find new outlets for excess capacity, find alternatives to increasingly proscribed materials and additives, and to meet growing consumer desire for products that consider both raw material sourcing and endof-life considerations. Companies first to find viable solutions will surely be touted as market leaders, and savvy-consumer favorites.


1. European Commission, “Single-use plastics,”, https://environment., Accessed 04-01-2023.

2. Interstate Technology Regulatory Council, “PFAS Fact Sheets,”, https:// 508.pdf Accessed 06-01-2023.

3. Rosenstein, Brian, “PFAS Regulation Challenges,” Textile World, November/December 2022,

44 IFN ISSUE 1 2023
As legislative regulatory efforts to limit or eliminate PFAS increase, there will likely be certain applications excepted, but there will be fewer and potentially no suppliers willing to provide these chemicals. There will certainly be an innovation sprint to identify and implement the best possible alternatives to PFAS.


Sonobond Ultrasonics President Retires

Janet Devine, president of Sonobond Ultrasonics, Inc. announced that she will retire effective January 3, 2023. 2022 began with her decision to retire as president of Sonobond at the end of the year. General Manager, Manning Smith IV, will be taking over as president and Devine has happily agreed to continue in a technical advisory position during a transition period.

Earlier this year Devine announced that Sonobond had become a part of Inductotherm Group’s Welding Division. Although Sonobond has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Inductotherm Group’s parent company for over 30 years, the company now has greater access to advanced power supply technologies through the Welding Group’s global service contacts and expanded supply chain resources.

“I leave Sonobond Ultrasonics after starting as a junior member of the team that invented ultrasonic metal welding, as well as participating in the many other ultrasonic innovations the company has achieved. These include being part of the company’s successful development of ultrasonic welding equipment for the non-ferrous metals industry, and the growing market for EV vehicles. It has been an interesting journey!

“I am confident Sonobond’s success will continue under Manning Smith’s and Inductotherm Group’s expert technical and management capabilities,” Devine said.

Sartorius names Maurice Phelan as new President for North America

Sartorius, a leading international partner of life science research and the biopharmaceutical industry, announced Maurice Phelan has assumed the role of President of Sartorius North America. He succeeds Mary Lavin, who has retired after nearly 35 years.

Sartorius North America, headquartered in Bohemia, New York, currently employs more than 3,000 employees across 17 sites in the United States and Canada.

Phelan has spent many years in the industry and recently rejoined Sartorius from Repligen, where he was Vice President of Fluid Management. Before that, he served as Head of Operations of the Sartorius site in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Previously, he held leadership roles at GE Healthcare and Merck Millipore. Mr. Phelan holds degrees in chemistry and experimental physics from the National University of Ireland.

Koch Separation Solutions Partners with Aqana on Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

Koch Separation Solutions (KSS) is partnering with Aqana to offer anaerobic wastewater treatment technology to industrial customers in North America.

The partnership will focus on moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR), membrane bioreactors (MBR), and reverse osmosis (RO) to meet the demands of a variety of industrial wastewater treatment challenges.

“We are delighted to be working closely with Aqana, one of the most innovative suppliers of high-rate anaerobic wastewater technology. The synergies between our technologies will allow us to offer a full scope of wastewater treatment systems,” said Manny Singh, president of Koch Separation Solutions.

“This partnership will enable many industries in North America to include a profitable anaerobic wastewater treatment step where previously this seemed unfeasible or did not bring them the expected benefits,” said Olaf Teunissen, CEO of Aqana.

Ingersoll Rand Acquires SPX Flow’s Air Treatment Business

Ingersoll Rand Inc. has completed the acquisition of SPX Flow’s Air Treatment business in an all-cash transaction of approximately $525 million.

The Air Treatment business, which is now part of Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Technologies and Services (IT&S) segment, brings a highly complementary product portfolio of energy efficient compressed air dryers, filters and other consumables, with brands including Hankison, Pneumatic Products, Jemaco, Deltech and Delair.

Nearly 50% of the business’s expected 2022 revenue of approximately $180 million is from aftermarket sales to its installed base.

46 IFN ISSUE 1 202 3

Fibertex Corp.’s North American Fiber Operations acquired by Stein Fibers

Stein Fibers, LLC, a leading distributor of textile products, announced that it has acquired Fibertex Corporation’s North American fiber operations.

The combination of Fibertex and Stein Fibers will expand the leading fiber product portfolio in North America and allow each company to better serve its customers.

Ernest Elias, president of Fibertex, said, “I am excited to partner with the Stein Fibers organization, which shares the same core values and believe the combination will provide an opportunity to grow our relationships with both customers and suppliers.”

Jaren Edwards, president of Stein Fibers, said, “It is a privilege to partner with such a well-respected industry expert in Ernest, who takes so much pride in customer service and business integrity.”

Robert Taylor, chief operating officer of Stein Fibers, added, “We are truly excited to work with Ernest as Fibertex and Stein Fibers have similar histories rooted in a deep family commitment to the textile industry that has stretched generations. We look forward to continuing to be the premier textile partner for our customers and suppliers.”

Hollingsworth & Vose to invest $40.2 million in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V), a global manufacturer of advanced materials used in filtration, battery and industrial applications, will invest $40.2 million to expand its operation in Floyd County, Va.

The company will add over 28,000 square feet to its facility at 365 Christiansburg Pike Northeast to accommodate new production equipment to meet increased demand. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia for the project, which will create 25 new jobs.

“Hollingsworth & Vose has generated positive economic impact and job opportunities in Floyd County for more than four decades, and this significant investment further solidifies the company’s commitment to Virginia,” said Gov. Youngkin. “Businesses with a long history of expansion in the Commonwealth offer powerful testimonials on why a Virginia location is a foundation for success, and we look forward to a continued partnership with H&V.”

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Articles from International Filtration News / Vol. 1

6 min read