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Patents Granted in 2013

TitleCountryPatent NumberGrant DateDescription
Mixing ChamberUnited States8,372,282February 12, 2013A membrane module including a plurality of porous membranes extending in an array and mounted, at least at one end, in a header. The header has a number of distribution apertures for distributing a fluid into the module and along a surface or surfaces of the membranes. An elongate chamber having one open end and another end is in fluid communication with the distribution apertures for distributing the fluid to the distribution apertures.
Membrane Cleaning with Pulsed Airlift PumpUnited States8,372,276February 12, 2013A method of cleaning a membrane surface immersed in a liquid medium with a fluid flow, including the steps of providing a randomly generated intermittent or pulsed fluid flow along the membrane surface to dislodge fouling materials therefrom. A membrane module is also disclosed comprising a plurality of porous membranes or a set of membrane modules and a device  for providing a generally randomly generated, pulsed fluid flow such that, in use, said fluid flow moves past the surfaces of said membranes to dislodge fouling materials therefrom.
Simultaneous Determination of Chlorine and Chlorate in Sodium HypochloriteUnited States8,372,262February 12, 2013A process for the simultaneous determination of chlorine and chlorate in sodium hypochlorite.  First and second streams of sodium hypochlorite are provided.  The first stream is treated to generate iodine indicative of chlorine.  The second stream is treated to generate iodine indicative of chlorine and chlorate.  The iodine of the first stream is subjected to an amperometric measuring cell to generate a first current proportional to a chlorine concentration of the first stream.  The iodine of the second stream is subjected to an amperometric measuring cell to generate a second current proportional to the chlorine and chlorate concentration in the second stream.  The first current is subtracted from the second current to determine an amount of chlorate.
Water Treatment Systems and MethodUnited States8,377,279February 19, 2013A treatment system provides treated or softened water to a point of use by removing at least a portion of any undesirable species contained in water from a water source.  The treatment system can be operated to reduce the likelihood of formation of any scale that can be generated during normal operation of an electrochemical device.  The formation of scale in the treatment system, including its wetted components, may be inhibited by reversing or substituting the flowing liquid having hardness-causing species with another liquid having a low tendency to produce scale, such as a low LSI water.  Various arrangements of components in the treatment system can be flushed by directing the valves and the pumps of the system to displace liquid having hardness-causing species with a liquid that has little or no tendency to form scale.
Continuously Variable AerationUnited States8,377,305February 19, 2013A method of controlling fouling in a membrane filtration system of the type where gas is used to clean or scour the membranes (6) wherein the method includes supplying the gas to the system with a continuously variable flow rate. A continuously variable valve arrangement is also disclosed.
Frame System for Membrane Filtration ModulesUnited States8,382,981February 26, 2013A module arrangement according to an embodiment of the invention consists of a plurality of membrane modules arranged in a two dimensional array and extending between upper and lower block-type manifolds.  The array of modules is further divided into sub-groups of modules separated from each other by space extending transversely across the membrane array.  An integrated support frame is positioned in the space between the sub-groups and is fixed to the upper and lower manifold blocks to form an integrated support structure within the module array.
Slurry Feed System and MethodUnited States8,430,112April 30, 2013The invention can provide or facilitate systems and methods for feeding a slurry and, in particular, to systems and methods for treating wastewater streams with a slurry having periodic flushing of conduits.
Waste Treatment with Control Over Biological SolidsUnited States8,454,830June 4, 2013Waste-treatment processes are enhanced through generation and introduction of specific biological populations customized to perform or favor specific tasks either during the main process, for the formation or precipitation of certain biological nutrients, or to accomplish solids formation reduction in a post-treatment process. These bacteria may be grown from specialized mixes of activated sludge and waste influent by exposing these materials to controlled environments (e.g., in an off-line treatment area). They may then be returned to the main process to perform certain tasks such as converting particulate cBOD into soluble cBOD for utilization, to reduce high solids yield organisms by supplementing the population characteristics with low yield organism characteristics, to provide biological nutrients or oxygenation assistance, to improve nitrification/denitrification efficiency, or to disfavor filamentous biology such as Norcardia sp.
System and Method for Enhancing a Wastewater Treatment ProcessUnited States8,470,172June 25, 2013A system for enhancing an activated sludge process including at least one biological reactor. A weighting agent impregnation subsystem is coupled to the biological reactor for mixing biological flocs and weighting agent to impregnate the weighting agent into the biological flocs to form weighted biological flocs. A weighting agent recovery subsystem is configured to recover the weighting agent from the weighted biological flocs and reintroducing the recovered weighting agent to the weighting agent impregnation subsystem.
Cleaning in Membrane Filtration SystemsUnited States8,496,828July 30, 2013A method of cleaning permeable, hollow membranes is disclosed. In one embodiment, the membranes are immersed in a liquid suspension. A pressure differential is applied across the walls of the membranes. During filtration, liquid suspension passes through the walls of the membranes to be drawn off as permeate, and at least some solids are retained on or in the membranes. The steps of cleaning include: applying a cleaning solution to one side of the membrane walls; applying a pressure differential across the membrane walls to cause flow of the cleaning solution through the walls from the one side of the membrane walls to the other side of the membrane walls; and, applying a reverse pressure differential across the membrane walls to cause flow of the cleaning solution through the wall from the other side of the membrane walls back to the one side of the membrane walls.
Methods and Apparatus for Removing Solids from a Membrane ModuleUnited States8,506,806August 13, 2013A method of operating a membrane filtration module, the module including one or more membranes extending longitudinally between vertically spaced upper and lower headers into which the ends of the membranes are potted. The membranes have a permeable wall which is subjected to a filtration operation wherein feed containing contaminant matter is applied to one side of the membrane wall and filtrate is withdrawn from the other side of the membrane wall. At least one of the upper and/or lower headers has one or more openings therein and the method including flowing the feed, at least in part, through the one or more openings for application to the membrane wall. Apparatus for performing the method is also disclosed.
System and Method for Enhancing a Wastewater Treatment ProcessUnited States8,506,800August 13, 2013A system for enhancing an activated sludge process including at least one biological reactor. A weighting agent impregnation subsystem is coupled to the biological reactor for mixing biological flocs and weighting agent to impregnate the weighting agent into the biological flocs to form weighted biological flocs. A weighting agent recovery subsystem is configured to recover the weighting agent from the weighted biological flocs and reintroducing the recovered weighting agent to the weighting agent impregnation subsystem.
Method of Cleaning Membrane ModulesUnited States8,512,568August 20, 2013A method of cleaning a membrane filtration module, the module including at least one membrane located in a feed-containing vessel, the membrane having a permeable wall which is subjected to a filtration operation wherein feed containing contaminant matter is applied to one side of the membrane wall and filtrate is withdrawn from the other side of the membrane wall. The method comprising the steps of: suspending the filtration operation; performing a cleaning process on the membrane wall to dislodge contaminant matter therefrom into liquid surrounding the membrane; performing a high velocity sweep of the feed-containing vessel to remove the liquid containing the dislodged contaminant matter; and recommencing the filtration operation. An improved gas scouring method is also disclosed.
A Membrane ModuleUnited States8,518,256August 27, 2013A membrane module includes at least one hollow fiber membrane; a first resin layer formed around an end of the at least one hollow fiber membrane; and a second resin layer chemically bound to the first resin layer, wherein the second resin layer is of greater flexibility than the first resin layer.
Hydrophilic MembranesUnited States8,524,794September 3, 2013A method of coating a polymer comprising the step of treating the polymer with an activating agent to produce a reactive polymer, for example treating a polymer bearing at least one X (halogen) group and at least one H with base to eliminate HX. The reactive polymer is then reacted with a reactive coating, for example PVP, preferably in the presence of an initiator like persulfate anions, to produce a coated polymer, which may be hydrophilic in nature.
Low Power Amperometric ProbeUnited States8,524,058September 3, 2013An amperometric probe suitable for monitoring chlorine levels in water is described. The probe has low power consumption and maintenance requirements rendering it particularly suitable for long periods of operation in remote locations with portable power supplies.
Ballasted Sequencing Batch Reactor System and Method for Treating WastewaterUnited States8,540,877September 24, 2013A ballasted sequencing batch reactor system for treating wastewater including one or more sequencing batch reactors. A weighting agent impregnation subsystem is configured to mix biological floes and weighting agent to form weighted biological floes. A weighting agent recovery subsystem is configured to recover weighting agent from the weighted biological floes and reintroduce the recovered weighting agent to the weighting agent impregnation subsystem.
Systems and Methods for Water TreatmentUnited States8,585,882November 19, 2013Electrochemical devices and methods for water treatment are disclosed. An electrodeionization device may include one or more compartments containing an ionselective media, such as boron-selective resin. Cyclic adsorption of target ions and regeneration of the media in-situ is used to treat process water, and may be driven by the promotion of various pH conditions within the electrochemical device.
Method and System for Biofouling Control of Shipboard ComponentsUnited States8,591,740November 26, 2013A chlorine based biofouling control subsystem is utilized to facilitate shipboard water management systems such as ballast water management that employ filters.  The biofouling control system can serve as a subsystem to promote antifouling and reduce the filter clogging due to biofouling, which improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the ballast water treatment management system.  An antifouling agent of the biofouling control system breaks up the dense colonies of marine organisms being filtered or treated by the main water management systems.
Baffle Plates for an Ultraviolet ReactorUnited States8,591,730November 26, 2013An ultraviolet reactor for treating a fluid.  The reactor includes a vessel having an inlet for receiving fluid and an outlet for discharging fluid.  The reactor further includes an ultraviolet light source and baffle plates.  The baffle plates include holes arranged in a predetermined pattern for providing plug flow in areas in the reactor near the ultraviolet light source.