NEWS demonstrated steady progress in this area as evidenced by the achievement of the first of the four milestones in our collaboration agreement. Because of this progress, Dow is pleased to continue its collaboration with Millennium Cell, and we look forward to working towards the achievement of the next milestone,’ On achievement of each of the milestones, Dow is entitled to certain equity grants from Millennium Cell and, provided it has made all prior minimum investments, will have the right to purchase additional equity in the firm through cash investments up to a total of $5 million over the four milestones. Contacts: Millennium Cell Inc, One Industrial Way West, Eatontown, NJ 07724, USA. Tel: +1 732 542 4000, www.millenniumcell.com The Dow Chemical Company, 2030 Dow Center, Midland, MI 48674, USA. Tel: +1 989 636 1000, www.dow.com
Siemens introduces new Vantage M83 RO systems US-based Water Technologies, a division of the Siemens Group Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S), has introduced the Vantage M83 packaged 20-cm (8inch) reverse osmosis (RO) systems, which produce high-purity water. These units, a USFilter technology, are designed for a variety of industrial applications. All units are pre-engineered, pre-assembled and factory tested for easy installation and low start-up costs. With simple utility connections and controls that are easy to set up, the Vantage M83 system is ready for quick online service, says the company. The Vantage M83 is available in five different sizes with nominal flow rates from 0.1 m3 to 0.4 m3 (30–100 gallons) per minute. There are three different models, offering customers a wide choice of options. The Economy unit is controlled by a microprocessor, while the Plus and Deluxe models are controlled by a Siemens programmable logic controller (PLC), complete with a
Membrane Technology August 2006
user-friendly touch-screen human– machine interface. The Deluxe model also includes a variable frequency drive feed-pump for flow control, and an on-board clean-inplace system. Other features and benefits of the Vantage M83 include a compact footprint, which saves valuable floor space; fast delivery times so that customers can quickly begin making process water; and clean-in-place connections, which make it easier to service the systems. Contact: Siemens Water Technologies, 181 Thorn Hill Road, Warrendale, PA 15086, USA. Tel: +1 724 772 0044, www.industry.siemens.com
Distillation and absorption discussed The 8th Distillation & Absorption Conference is being held in London, UK on 4–6 September 2006. The event will showcase the latest distillation and absorption technology from all over the world, presented in plenary lectures, scientific talks and posters. Numerous sponsors and companies are also exhibiting outside the session lecture theatres. The event is organized be the UK’s Institution of Chemical Engineers, working in close collaboration with the European Federation of Chemical Engineers’ Working Party on Distillation, Absorption and Extraction, with sponsorship from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Distillation and absorption are hugely important industrial separation technologies, say the organizers of the event. They are used to produce the world’s petroleum fuels, treat large volumes of natural gas, and are involved in a host of processes that make the chemicals and other products that the world needs. Large in scale, and heavy in energy usage, there are enormous incentives to introduce new and improved methods and equipment to improve the sustainability of these operations. Contact: Institution of Chemical Engineers, Davis Building, 165–189 Railway Terrace,
Rugby CV21 3HQ, UK. Tel: +44 1788 578214, Email: [email protected]
US scientists produce 3D images of fuel cell interior In the US, a research team led by Scott Barnett, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois, has produced what is believed to be the first threedimensional (3D) images of the interior of a fuel cell — providing a new tool for the study and development of such devices. The researchers’ 3D reconstruction of a solid oxide fuel cell anode was reported in a paper published this month by the journal Nature Materials. ‘Much like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces a view inside the human body, we now can look inside fuel cells,’ said Professor Barnett. ‘The dual-beam focused-ion-beam microscope used in the study provides much higher resolution than an MRI, showing nanometre-scale features. These pictures will help us and other researchers to unravel how fuel cells work so they can be improved and made to work longer without failing.’ The imaging technique will also enable manufacturers to maintain quality by checking batches of fuel cells for any structural changes that might damage the fuel cells’ characteristics. The materials comprising fuel cells have become increasingly sophisticated, both in composition and micro-structure. Determining this micro-structure is a critical, yet usually missing, link between materials properties and processing, and electrode performance, says Barnett. Current methods of micro-structural analysis, such as scanning electron microscopy, provide only twodimensional images of the microstructure, limiting the understanding of how regions are interconnected in 3D space. In addition to Barnett, the paper’s other authors are James Wilson (lead author), Worawarit Kobsiriphat, Robert Mendoza and
In Brief Kolon supplies membrane fibers to ITT Industries Korean polymer, resin and chemicals company Kolon Industries Inc has signed an agreement with ITT Industries of White Plains, New York. Under the agreement it will supply membrane fibers and modules for the US company’s membrane bioreactors (MBR), which are used in reuse and drinking-water systems. Kolon will also support and provide ITT with long-term membrane fiber and module development. ITT says that the technology used in Kolon’s membranes and modules further strengthens its water and wastewater portfolio, and its position in water treatment. NQCI sells care unit to focus on ‘Wearable Artificial Kidney’ In the US, National Quality Care Inc (NQCI) of Beverly Hills, California has finalized the sale of its chronic care dialysis facility to Kidney Dialysis Center of West Los Angeles LLC (KDC). It says that the sale marks a major achievement in one of its long-term business and financial goals, but more importantly, it allows the company to now focus its efforts on the human studies and eventual commercialization of its ‘Wearable Artificial Kidney’ [see Membrane Technology, January 2006, page 9], which can be worn as a belt and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pall introduces environmental air monitoring technology US-based Pall Corporation is bringing to the global market an environmental air monitoring system. It is designed to help biopharmaceutical companies increase the predictability and accuracy of microbial samples, for the highest level of speed, safety and reliability. Called Ascotec, the system uses BioCapt impactor sampler technology to operate at a low velocity, maintaining high collection efficiency while avoiding severe stress to micro-organisms. According to Pall, the need for faster, more reliable environmental air monitoring is becoming increasingly critical as the number of new drug therapies requiring production in controlled environments continues to rise.