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Patents Awarded in 2015

TitleCountryPatent NumberGrant DateDescription
"Mesoporous Activated Carbon and Methods of Producing Same "United States8932984January 13, 2015Mesoporous activated carbon is disclosed.  In at least some embodiments, virgin activated carbon to be processed may be coconut shell-based.  The enhanced activated carbon may have a mesopore structure of at least about 10%.  The enhanced activated carbon may be produced through a calcium-catalyzed activation process.  A chelator may also be used.  Catalyzed thermal activation may be carried out until a desired mass loss is achieved.
Method of Cleaning MembranesUnited States8956464February 17, 2015A method for cleaning a porous polymeric membrane including the steps of: contacting said membrane with a first cleaning solution including at least one oxidising agent; contacting said membrane and said first cleaning solution with a second cleaning solution including at least one reducing agent wherein said oxidising and reducing agents undergo a neutralisation reaction to form an oxidation-neutral mixed cleaning solution such that said membrane is simultaneously cleaned during said neutralisation reaction.  A kit is also provided for cleaning a porous polymeric membrane, which includes  a first cleaning solution including at least one oxidising agent and a second cleaning solution, including at least one reducing agent and an enhancing agent, as a dosage regime, together with instructions for cleaning the porous polymeric membrane.
Electrical Purification Apparatus Having a Blocking SpacerUnited States8956521February 17, 2015Design and manufacturing methods for a cross-flow Electrochemical Deionization device wherein at least two adjacent liquid streams form diluting and concentrating streams.  Design includes multipass configurations where a module is contained within and sealed to a cylindrical housing.
Method For Measuring a Concentration of a Compound in a Liquid StreamUnited States8961798February 24, 2015A 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.
Method and System for Treating Ballast WaterUnited States8968575March 3, 2015Ballast and/or cooling water biocidal treatment and disinfection systems and techniques are provided.  The systems utilize oxidation reduction potential control to regulate addition, or concentration of an electrocatalytically generated biocidal agent to disinfection levels in ship buoyancy and to biofouling levels in ship cooling water systems.  The disinfection and biofouling control systems provide suitable treatment while reducing the potential for corrosion of ship components and, in some cases, undesirable disinfection byproducts.
Anion Exchange Membranes and Process for MakingUnited States8,969,424March 3, 2015Embodiments of the present invention provide for anion exchange membranes and processes for their manufacture.  The anion exchange membranes described herein are made the polymerization product of at least one functional monomer comprising a tertiary amine which is reacted with a quaternizing agent in the polymerization process.
​Synergistic Methods for Odor Control​United States​8968646​March 3, 2015​An odor control composition may be dosed to a wastewater treatment system to control hydrogen sulfide levels.  The composition may include a sulfide-reducing agent and an oxidizer.  Synergy between the compounds of the odor control composition may facilitate efficient reduction of hydrogen sulfide levels.  The sulfide-reducing agent and the oxidizer may be present in a single odor control composition or may be dosed to the system separately.
​Waste Treatment with Control Over Biological Solids​United States​RE45478​April 21, 2015​Waste-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.
​Systems and Methods for Water Treatment​United States​9011660​April 21, 2015​Electrochemical devices and methods for water treatment are disclosed.  An electrodeionization device may include one or more compartments containing an ion-selective media, such as a 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.
​Low Scale Potential Water Treatment​United States​9023185​May 5, 2015​An electrochemical treating device having low scale potential is disclosed.  The device has a variety of configurations directed to the layering of the anionic exchange and cationic exchange.  The treatment device can also comprise unevenly sized ion exchange resin beads and/or have at least one compartment that provides a dominating resistance that results in a uniform current distribution throughout the apparatus.
​Venting Device for a Disc Filter​United States​9023208​May 5, 2015​A 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.
​Frame System for Membrane Filtration Modules​United States​9023206​May 5, 2015​A 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, respectively.  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.
​Ion Exchange Membranes​United States​9023902​May 5, 2015​Highly 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.
​Fluid Control Manifold for Membrane Filtration System​United States​9022224​May 5, 2015​Disclosed herein are apparatus and methods for filtering a fluid including a filter module assembly coupled to a manifold.  The manifold may include a manifold inlet in fluid communication with a source of feed liquid, an outlet in fluid communication with header of the filter module assembly, a fluid passageway in fluid communication with the manifold inlet, a source of gas, and the outlet, a second fluid passageway in fluid communication with the header and the first fluid passageway and a second manifold outlet vertically displaced from the first manifold outlet and in fluid communication between the first fluid passageway and the second fluid passageway.
​High Flow Disc Filter​United States​9028692​May 12, 2015​A filter device is configured to filter a liquid. The filter device includes a drum sized to receive the liquid and a plurality of filter panels coupled to the drum to define a plurality of discs. The liquid passes through at least a portion of one of the discs. Each filter panel includes a perimeter frame that defines a panel normal flow area and a filter media coupled to the perimeter frame. The filter media may be adapted to include a plurality of pleats.
​Filtration Assembly​United States​D729899​May 19, 2015​Ornamental design for a filtration assembly.
​Techniques for Promoting Current Efficiency in Electrochemical Separation Systems and Methods​United States​9139455​September 22, 2015​An 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.
​Method of Providing a Source of Potable Water​United States​9138689​September 22, 2015​An 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.
​Modular Electrochemical Systems and Methods​United States​9187349​November 17, 2015​An 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.
​Modular Electrochemical Systems and Methods​United States​9187350​November 17, 2015​An 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
​Membrane Cleaning with Pulsed Airlift Pump​United States​9206057​December 8, 2015​A 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.
​Method for Detecting a Concentration of Chlorate-Ions in an Aqueous Solution, Apparatus for Detecting a Concentration of Chlorate-Ions and Control Unit​United States​9207255​December 8, 2015​An apparatus, a control unit and a method are provided for detecting a concentration of chlorate-ions in an aqueous solution containing different types of chlorine oxidants. By applying energy to a defined volume of the aqueous solution to trigger a transformation of substantially all chlorine oxidants and/or chlorine therein to chloride and/or chlorate, and detecting the concentration of chlorate-ions contained in the defined volume, a solution can be provided that enables a simple and cheap measurement for a concentration of chlorate ions in an aqueous solution and that is capable for online measurement of such chlorate concentrations.