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Patents Awarded in 2014

TitleCountryPatent NumberGrant DateDescription
Improved Infiltration/Inflow Control for Membrane BioreactorUnited States8,623,202January 7, 2014A method and system for wastewater treatment comprising a first treatment zone fluidly connected to one or more further treatment zones, a membrane module comprising a filter membrane positioned in or fluidly connected to the further treatment zone, a gravity settling device fluidly connected to the first treatment zone to receive overflow therefrom; and a flow control device between the first treatment zone and the gravity settling device to control the flow of liquid therebetween.
Membrane Cleaning with Pulsed Airlift PumpUnited States8,622,222January 7, 2014A 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.
Hybrid Aerobic and Anaerobic Wastewater and Sludge Treatment Systems and MethodsUnited States8,623,213January 7, 2014A hybrid method and system of treating wastewater with reduced energy usage is disclosed.  The treatment system has a sorption system, an anaerobic digester that digests or converts at least a portion of the solids or sludge from the sorption system, and an aerobic treatment tank that partially reduces oxygen demand of a portion of the sludge from the sorption tank.
Ballasted anaerobic systemUnited States8,623,205January 7, 2014A ballasted anaerobic system for treating wastewater including at least one anaerobic treatment reactor. A weighting agent impregnation subsystem is configured to mix weighting agent with the biological floes to form weighted biological floes to create a weighted anaerobic sludge blanket in the at least one anaerobic treatment reactor. A weighting agent recovery subsystem is configured to recover the weighting agent from excess sludge and reintroduce the weighting agent to the weighting agent impregnation subsystem.
Methods of Making a Cell Stack for an Electrical Purification ApparatusUnited States8,627,560January 14, 2014An electrical purification apparatus and methods of making same are disclosed. The electrical purification apparatus may provide for increases in operation efficiencies, for example, with respect to current efficiencies and membrane utilization. The methods comprise preparing a cell stack for the electrical purification apparatus to provide a first fluid flow path or compartment and a second fluid flow path and compartment that is in a direction different from the first flow path.
Improved Membrane System Backwash Energy EfficiencyUnited States8,652,331February 18, 2014A method of backwashing a membrane filtration system comprising at least one permeable membrane, preferably a hollow fibre membrane, the method comprising the step of applying a pressurised gas at a variable pressure to permeate remaining present in the system when filtration process is stopped or suspended to provide liquid for backwashing pores of the permeable membrane during a backwashing process.  Also provided are methods of filtering solids from a liquid suspension using alternating liquid backwash pressures.
Ultraviolet Light Activated Oxidation Process for the Reduction of organic Carbon in Semiconductor Process WaterUnited States8,652,336February 18, 2014In a system for decomposing organic compounds in water for use in semiconductor manufacturing, a chemical reactor vessel having a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet, a persulfate anion addition system upstream of the reactor vessel, and a light emitting device contained within the reactor vessel. The light emitting device provides light capable of decomposing persulfate anions.
Water Treatment System and MethodUnited States8,658,043February 25, 2014A water treatment system provides treated water to a point of use by removing at least a portion of any hardness-causing species contained in water from a water source, such as municipal water, well water, brackish water and water containing foulants. The water treatment system typically receives water from the water source or a point of entry and purifies the water containing at least some undesirable species before delivering the treated water to a point of use. The water treatment system has a pressurized reservoir system in line with an electrochemical device such as an electrodeionization device. The water treatment system can have a controller for adjusting or regulating at least one operating parameter of the treatment system or a component of the water treatment system. The electrochemical device can be operated at a low current and low flow rate to minimize water splitting or polarization, which minimizes scale formation.
Behälter sowie Vorrichtung und Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Desinfektionslösung a/k/a Container, and Device and Method for Producing a Disinfecting SolutionUnited States8,668,826March 11, 2014A container with a content has at least one hypochlorite compound, in particular a calcium hypochlorite compound, for generating an aqueous solution, and at least one inlet attachment for attachment to a water supply line and at least one outlet attachment for attachment to an outlet line for a liquid composed of the incoming water and of the content, wherein the content is located in accordance with the flow between the inlet attachment and the outlet attachment, and the container is designed as a transportable exchange unit that is sealed off from the outside in the unattached state.
System and Method for Enhancing a Wastewater Treatment ProcessUnited States8,673,142March 18, 2014A 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.
System and Methods for Nutrient Removal in Biological treatment SystemsUnited States8,685,247April 1, 2014The present invention relates to systems and processes of wastewater treatment and, in particular, to systems and methods of treating wastewater utilizing biological treatments utilizing two mixed liquor recycle streams for nutrient removal.
Ion Exchange MembranesUnited States8,703,831April 22, 2014Highly energy efficient electrodialysis membranes having low operating costs and a novel process for their manufacture are described herein.  The membranes are useful in the desalination of water and purification of waste water.  They are effective in desalination of seawater due to their low electrical resistance and high permselectivity.  These membranes are made by a novel process which results in membranes significantly thinner than prior art commercial electrodialysis membranes.  The membranes are produced by polymerizing one or more monofunctional ionogenic monomers with at least one multifunctional monomer in the pores of a porous substrate.
Method for Enhancing a Wastewater Treatment ProcessUnited States8,702,987April 22, 2014Methods 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.
Apparatus for Fluid Purification and Methods of Manufacture and Use ThereofUnited States8,721,862May 13, 2014The present invention generally relates to devices able to purify fluids electrically that are contained within pressure vessels, as well as to methods of manufacture and use thereof. Liquids or other fluids to be purified enter the purification device and, under the influence of an electric field, are treated to produce an ion-depleted liquid. Species from the entering liquids are collected to produce an ion-concentrated liquid. Increasing the exterior pressure on the device may reduce the pressure difference between the interior of the device and the exterior, which may reduce manufacturing costs or simplify construction.
Method and System for Providing Ultrapure WaterUnited States8,741,155June 3, 2014A method and system of providing ultrapure water for semiconductor fabrication operations is provided.  The water is treated by utilizing a free radical scavenging system and a free radical removal system.  The free radical scavenging system can utilize actinic radiation with a free radical precursor compound, such as ammonium persulfate.  The free radical removal system can comprise use of a reducing agent.  The ultrapure water may be further treated by utilizing ion exchange media and degasification apparatus.  A control system can be utilized to regulate addition of the precursor compound, the intensity of the actinic radiation, and addition of the reducing agent to the water.
Electrochemical Separation ModulesUnited States8,741,121June 3, 2014An electrochemical separation system may be modular and may include at least a first modular unit and a second modular unit.  Each modular unit may include a cell stack and a frame.  The frame may include a manifold system.  A flow distribution system in the frame may enhance current efficiency.  Spacers positioned between modular units may also enhance current efficiency of the system.
System for Controlling Introduction of a Reducing Agent to a Liquid StreamUnited States8,753,522June 17, 2014A method and system of providing ultrapure water for semiconductor fabrication operations is provided.  The water is treated by utilizing a free radical scavenging system and a free radical removal system.  The free radical scavenging system can utilize actinic radiation with a free radical precursor compound, such as ammonium persulfate.  The free radical removal system can comprise use of a reducing agent.  The ultrapure water may be further treated by utilizing ion exchange media and degasification apparatus.  A control system can be utilized to regulate addition of the precursor compound, the intensity of the actinic radiation, and addition of the reducing agent to the water.
Process and Apparatus for Purifying Impure Water Using Microfiltration or Ultrafiltration in Combination with Reverse OsmosisUnited States8,758,621June 24, 2014A method of purifying impure water contaminated with a filterable impurity and a dissolved impurity, such as seawater, comprising the steps of: providing impure water to a primary microfiltration or ultrafiltration unit to remove the filterable impurity and produce impure filtered water contaminated with a dissolved impurity; providing the impure filtered water contaminated with a dissolved impurity to a reverse osmosis unit to produce a potable water stream and a residual reverse osmosis stream; and treating the residual reverse osmosis stream prior to reuse. The treatment may be in the form of passing through a secondary filter (such as another microfiltration or ultrafiltration membrane or a cartridge filter, and the subsequently treated reverse osmosis reject may be used to backwash the microfiltration or ultrafiltration unit.
Simple Gas Scouring Method and ApparatusUnited States8,758,622June 24, 2014A method of cleaning a membrane in a membrane filtration system by flowing gas bubbles past the surfaces of the membrane to scour accumulated solids therefrom. The method includes flowing a liquid past a supply of gas; creating a reduced pressure within the liquid flow to cause a flow of gas from the supply of gas into the liquid flow and form gas bubbles therein and then flowing the liquid containing the gas bubbles past the surfaces of the membrane to scour the surfaces thereof. Apparatus for performing the method is also disclosed.
Improved Radial Flow ColumnUnited States8,758,632June 24, 2014Aspects and embodiments of the present invention are directed to apparatus and methods of filtering a fluid to reduce a level of at least one contaminant therein.  The filtering of the fluid may be accomplished with a radial flow filtration column comprising a fluid chamber having an inlet, an outlet, and a side wall, an inner permeable retainer positioned in the fluid chamber, an outer permeable retainer positioned in the fluid chamber spaced apart from and surrounding the inner permeable retainer, a media bed compartment formed between the inner permeable retainer and the outer permeable retainer, and an adjustable element biased into the media bed compartment and configured to maintain a predetermined packing density of a media bed to be disposed within the media bed compartment.
Chlorine Dioxide Generation Systems and MethodsUnited States8,784,733July 22, 2014Chlorine dioxide generation systems and methods are disclosed. One or more reactants, such as sodium hypochlorite, may be electrolytically generated on-site for delivery to a reaction column.  Low concentration reactants may be used to generate chlorine dioxide as part of a mixed oxy-chloro product stream containing free available chlorine.  In at least one embodiment, an optical analyzer may be positioned along a reactant feed line to measure a concentration of reactant supplied to a reaction column.  A controller may adjust a flow rate of the reactant in response to information provided by the optical analyzer.  The controller may also perform pH control within the system.  In some embodiments, the chlorine dioxide generator may be incorporated in an all-liquid water disinfection system.
Reduction of Backwash Liquid WasteUnited States8,790,515July 29, 2014A method of filtering solids from a liquid suspension comprising providing a pressure differential across the walls of permeable, hollow membranes immersed in the liquid suspension contained in a vessel, the liquid suspension being applied to the outer surface of the porous hollow membrane to induce and sustain filtration through the membrane walls. Some of the liquid suspension passes through the walls of the membranes to be drawn off as permeate from the hollow membrane lumens, and at least some of the solids are retained on or in the hollow membranes or otherwise as suspended solids within the liquid surrounding the membranes. The method includes the steps of suspending the flow of the liquid suspension to the vessel; reducing the volume of liquid suspension within the vessel; suspending the filtration process; cleaning the membranes by dislodging at least some of the solids retained on or in the membranes; and removing the liquid containing dislodged solids from the vessel.
Trash Tolerant Filter Support for a Disc FilterUnited States8,801,929August 12, 2014A filter device for filtering a liquid which includes trash. The device includes a drum for receiving the liquid and trash, wherein the drum includes at least one drum aperture. The device further includes a first pair of filter panels which are adapted for filtering the liquid. The filter panels are spaced apart to form a cavity for receiving the liquid and trash. The device further includes a frame for supporting the filter panels, wherein the frame is coupled to the drum. The frame includes a frame aperture wherein the frame aperture and the cavity form a volume having a cross sectional area sized substantially equal to or greater than the drum aperture and wherein said volume extends to a second pair of filter panels to enable liquid and trash which pass through the drum aperture to also pass through the frame aperture to the second pair of filter panels.
Hybrid Aerobic and Anaerobic Wastewater and Sludge Treatment Systems and MethodsUnited States8,801,931August 12, 2014A hybrid method and system of treating wastewater with reduced energy usage is disclosed.  The treatment system has a sorption system, an anaerobic digester that digests or converts at least a portion of the solids or sludge from the sorption system, and an aerobic treatment tank that partially reduces oxygen demand of a portion of the sludge from the sorption tank.
Module Cleaning MethodUnited States8,808,540August 19, 2014An aeration/backwash device for use with a porous membrane filtration 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 having a permeable wall which, in use, 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 aeration/backwash device adapted to at least partially surround a portion of said membrane module and including a communication chamber having spaced through-openings in fluid communication with the chamber and the membrane module. In use, gas is supplied to the chamber and communicated to the membrane module through the through-openings to aerate the membranes within the membrane module and liquid backwash is withdrawn from and/or fed into the membrane module through the throughopenings into the chamber.
Venting Device for a Disc FilterUnited States8,808,542August 19, 2014A filter device having a vent device for inhibiting formation of a vacuum in the filter device.  The filter device includes a drum for receiving the liquid wherein the drum includes a drum headspace.  The filter device also includes filter sets for filtering the liquid.  The drum is rotated to enable cleaning of filter media.  The filter device also includes a frame having spaced apart supports for supporting each of the filter sets.  A fluid passageway extends between the supports, wherein the fluid passageway provides fluid communication between the tank headspace and a filter set to vent a filter set.
Contact-Stabilization/Prime-Float HybridUnited States8,808,544August 19, 2014Systems and methods for treating wastewater including a dissolved air flotation operation performed upon a portion of a mixed liquor output from a contact tank prior to the mixed liquor entering a biological treatment tank.
Membrane Cleaning with Pulsed Airlift PumpUnited States8,840,783September 23, 2014A 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.
A System and Method for Removing Dissolved Contaminants, Particulate Contaminants, and Oil Contaminants from Industrial Waste WaterUnited States8,840,786September 23, 2014A system for removing dissolved contaminants, particulate contaminants, and oil contaminants from industrial waste water, the system including a gas floatation and primary oil contaminant removal subsystem including a tank for receiving a flow of the industrial waste water and a flow of gaseous microspheres, wherein the gaseous microspheres combine with oil droplets in the waste water to form floes which float to the surface and are removed to provide processed waste water with the majority of the oil contaminants removed, and a contaminant removal subsystem for removing dissolved contaminants, particulate contaminants, and any remaining oil contaminants from the processed waste water.
Apparatus and Methods for Control of Waste Treatment ProcessesUnited States8,845,900September 30, 2014Waste-treatment processes are enhanced through generation and introduction of specific biological populations customized to perform or favor specific tasks either during the main process, or for solids minimization purposes 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 added back 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 with low yield organisms, to improve nitrification/denitrification efficiency, or to disfavor filamentous biology such as Norcardia sp.
Method and Apparatus for Absorption Spectra AnalyserUnited States8,847,163September 30, 2014A method and apparatus is disclosed for resolving absorption spectra such as ultraviolet or visible spectra having individual peaks attributable to more than one component in a sample mixture. The invention exploits the observation that the peak wavelength varies according to the component concentrations, providing the basis for an initial estimate of these. A curve fitting exercise is performed for a range of possible concentrations encompassing the initial estimates so that the a theoretical spectrum having the closest match to that observed provides for a refined estimate of component concentrations.
Ballasted anaerobic system and method for treating wastewaterUnited States8,845,901September 30, 2014A ballasted anaerobic system for treating wastewater including at least one anaerobic treatment reactor. A weighting agent impregnation subsystem is configured to mix weighting agent with the biological floes to form weighted biological floes to create a weighted anaerobic sludge blanket in the at least one anaerobic treatment reactor. A weighting agent recovery subsystem is configured to recover the weighting agent from excess sludge and reintroduce the weighting agent to the weighting agent impregnation subsystem.
Assembly for Water Filtration using a Tube Manifold to Minimise BackwashUnited States8,858,796October 14, 2014A membrane filtration assembly including having a filtrate carrier for minimizing backwash. The membrane filtration assembly includes a membrane module having one or more permeable hollow membranes supported therein by an upper header and a lower header. The filtrate carrier extends between the upper and lower headers to allow filtrate to be collected from either or both ends of membranes. A filtrate collection chamber is associated with the upper and lower headers and in fluid communication with lumens of the membranes for collecting filtrate withdrawn through said membrane lumens. A filtration chamber is provided for receiving feed liquid to be applied to the surface of membranes within the module. The filtration chamber  includes an open end for receiving the feed liquid. The open end is located beyond the height of the module to enable gravity feed.
Water Treatment Systems and MethodUnited States8864971October 21, 2014A 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.
Method and Arrangement for a Water TreatmentUnited States8877067November 4, 2014The invention combines an UV AOP applied to a water containing a free chlorine species with a chemical post treatment, a quenching. The quenching is applied to said water after the UV AOP able to reduce a remaining content of said free chlorine species in said water.
Assembly for Water Filtration using a Tube Manifold to Minimise BackwashUnited States8894858November 25, 2014A membrane filtration assembly including a membrane module having one or more permeable hollow membranes supported therein by at least one header and in fluid communication with lumens of the membranes for collecting filtrate withdrawn through said membrane lumens. A filtration chamber is provided for receiving feed liquid to be applied to the surface of membranes  within the module.  The filtration chamber encloses module and extends beyond the height of the module.
Water Treatment System and MethodUnited States8894834November 25, 2014A water treatment system provides treated or softened water to a point of use by removing a portion of any hardness-causing species contained in water from a point of entry coming from a water source, such as municipal water, well water, brackish water and water containing foulants.  The water treatment system typically treats the water containing at least some undesirable species before delivering the treated water to a point of use.  The water treatment system has a reservoir system in line with an electrochemical device such as an electrodeionization device.  The water treatment system has a sensor or a set of sensors for measuring at least one property of the water or an operating condition of the treatment system.  The water treatment system also has a controller for adjusting or regulating at least one operating parameter of the treatment system or a component of the water treatment system to optimize the operation and performance of the system or components of the system to supply water tailored to quality requirements.
Hybrid Aerobic and Anaerobic Wastewater and Sludge Treatment Systems and MethodsUnited States8894855November 25, 2014A hybrid method and system of treating wastewater with reduced energy usage is disclosed.  The treatment system has a sorption system, an anaerobic digester that digests or converts at least a portion of the solids or sludge from the sorption system, and an aerobic treatment tank that partially reduces oxygen demand of a portion of the sludge from the sorption tank
Hybrid Aerobic and Anaerobic Wastewater and Sludge Treatment Systems and MethodsUnited States8894856November 25, 2014A hybrid method and system of treating wastewater with reduced energy usage is disclosed.  The treatment system has a sorption system, an anaerobic digester that digests or converts at least a portion of the solids or sludge from the sorption system, and an aerobic treatment tank that partially reduces oxygen demand of a portion of the sludge from the sorption tank.
Methods and Systems for Treating WastewaterUnited States8894857November 25, 2014A method and system of treating wastewater is disclosed.  The treatment system has a nitrification-denitrification system comprising a sorption system, a biofilm system, and an anaerobic digester that digests or converts at least a portion of the solids or sludge from the sorption system and biofilm system.
Controlled Method of Minimizing Radioactive Sludge Generation in Post Stimulation Flowback and/or Produced Water Treatment from a Saltwater, Oil and/or Gas WellUnited States8894864November 25, 2014Disclosed herein is a controlled method of minimizing radioactive sludge generation in treatment of wastewater from an oil and/or gas well.  The method comprises measuring a concentration of a radioactive material in wastewater to be treated and measuring a concentration of barium in the wastewater to be treated.  The method further comprises adding a calculated quantity of sulfate to the wastewater to be treated sufficient to precipitate a quantity of barium sufficient to reduce the concentration of the radioactive material to a level such that sludge precipitated in a secondary precipitation has a radiation level below a defined radiation level.