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Patents Awarded in 2017

​Title​Country​Patent Number
​Grant Date
Description
​Potting Method
​United States
​9533261​January 3, 2017
​Disclosed herein are aspects and embodiments of filtration membrane modules including porous membranes and methods and structures associated with potting ends of the porous membranes in the membrane modules. In one example, there is provided a method of forming a filtration module. The method comprises securing a portion of a porous membrane in a pre-pot, positioning at least a portion of the pre-pot in a potting mold, introducing a pot forming substance into the potting mold, the pot forming substance surrounding at least a portion of the pre-pot and at least a portion of the porous membrane, curing the second pot forming substance to form a membrane pot, and separating the membrane pot from the potting mold.
​Coated Ion Exchange Membranes
United States​9540261​January 10, 2017
​Ion exchange membranes may include a polymeric microporous substrate, a cross-linked ion transferring polymeric layer on the substrate, and a hydrophobic coating on the cross-linked ion transferring polymer.  The hydrophobic coating may comprise at least one of a weak base copolymer and an organosilicate compound.
​Cross-Flow Electrodialysis CassetteUnited States​D777295​January 24, 2017
​​Ornamental design for an electrodialysis cassette.
​Electrodesalination System and MethodUnited States​9556044​January 31, 2017
​Systems and methods for the desalination of seawater or brackish water for the purpose of obtaining potable water. Systems may include a combination of electrodialysis and electrodeionization modules. The system configuration and process controls may achieve low energy consumption and stable operation.
​An Integrated Selenium Removal System for Waste Water
United States​9567249​February 14, 2017
​The inventive process scheme and its various embodiments described herein will comprise filtering a  selenium containing water by reverse osmosis or nanofiltration to produce a primary permeate stream at least meeting the water stream effluent discharge requirements of the location and a concentrate stream containing the removed selenium and other species,  a RO or NF concentrate treatment specific to the case which will treat and reduce the selenium content of the concentrate, optionally in conjunction with a sulfate removal process, and result in a highly concentrated sludge or other output, and a selenium depleted aqueous overflow stream, a portion of which will be combined with the primary permeate stream so that the selenium content of the combined stream does not exceed the local requirement, and the reminder of the selenium depleted aqueous overflow stream will be returned to be combined with the selenium containing water entering the inlet of the primary reverse osmosis treatment.
​Membrane Cleaning with Pulsed Airlift PumpUnited States​9573824​February 21, 2017
​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.
​Multi-Segmented Tube SheetUnited States​9581395​February 28, 2017
​A heat exchanger that is constructed with a heat exchanger shell having inlet and outlet plenums and fluid inlet and outlet ports, and a tube sheet construction disposed in the heat exchanger shell. The tube sheet construction includes at least two separate tube sheets and a plurality of tubes that extend between the separate tube sheets. Each tube sheet includes at least two planar tube sheet segments and an interstitial layer disposed between the at least two tube sheet segments, and at least one sensor element supported by each of the interstitial layers. A control monitor controls flow through the shell by a feedback control from the sensor to an inlet control valve and/or a stimulus device excites the media layer.
​Low Scale Potential Water TreatmentUnited States​9586842
​March 7, 2017
​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.
​Biofilter with Fuzzy Logic ControlUnited States​9586176March 7, 2017
​A system for removing undesirable compounds from contaminated air includes a biofilter having a fuzzy-logic based controller. A contaminant, such as hydrogen sulfide, is removed from contaminated air by passing the contaminated air through the biofilter
​Method and System for IrrigationUnited States​9592472​March 14, 2017
​An electrically-driven separation apparatus can be utilized to desalinate seawater and/or brackish water to provide irrigation water having a desired sodium adsorption ratio (SAR).
​Improved Manifold ArrangementUnited States​9604166​March 28, 2017
​Provided is an improved filtration module assembly comprising a vessel having a filtration cartridge disposed within it and a header coupled to an end of the vessel, the header including a housing having an open-ended upper end and a lower end, and an end cap including a portion that mates with a complimentary structure defined by the inner all of the open ended upper end of the housing to removable engage with the housing and the end cap may further define a passageway for fluid to flow out of the vessel. The filtration module assembly may enable an improved manifold arrangement used to communicate fluids to and from a filtration system comprising a plurality of such modules and the configurations of the present invention may facilitate improved operation of such filtration systems.
​Process for Making a Monomer Solution for Making Cation Exchange MembranesUnited States​9611368
​April 4, 2017
​A method of making a monomer solution of styrene sulfonic acid or the pyridine salt of styrene sulfonic acid or mixtures of both in an organic solvent, said solution being suitable for producing cation exchange membranes. The method comprises the steps of dissolving a metal salt of styrene sulfonate in said organic solvent and pyridinium styrene sulfonate. The mixture solution is reacted under conditions that generate a salt byproduct precipitate and the reactant product solution is collected. Embodiments of the present invention provide for cation exchange membranes and processes for their manufacture.  Membranes made by the processes described herein combine low resistance and high permselectivity which make them highly effective for membrane components in desalination of water by electrodialysis (ED), as a power generating sources in reverse electrodialysis and as separators in fuels cells.
​Systems and Methods for Water TreatmentUnited States​9637400​April 12, 2017
​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.
​Fluid Control Manifold for Membrane Filtration System
United States​9630147
​April 25, 2017
​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.
​Gas Sparging DeviceUnited States​D785197  
​April 25, 2017
​​Ornamental design for a gas sparaging device.
​Multi-Segmented Tube Sheet
United States​9630130April 25, 2017
​A method of manufacturing a tube sheet by forming a plurality of separate thin tube sheet segments; forming multiple holes in each sheet in a predetermined pattern, each hole for accommodating a tube sheet filter tube; aligning all of the plurality of tube sheet segments so that the hole pattern of each sheet aligns with the hole pattern in all other sheets of the plurality of tube sheet segments; and securing all of the tube sheet segments together to form a unitary tube sheet. A tube sheet construction that includes a plurality of separate thin tube sheet segments, multiple holes being provided in each sheet in a predetermined pattern, each hole for accommodating a tube sheet filter tube, all of the tube sheet segments being aligning so that the hole pattern of each sheet aligns, and fasteners for securing all of the tube sheet segments together. A media layer is provided between adjacent sheet segments.
​Advanced Oxidation System and Method in a UV ReactorUnited States​9630863​April 25, 2017
​A system and method for applying an advanced oxidation process to a UV fluid reactor. An L-shaped electrode is connected to a UV reactor hatch and inserted into the reacor upstream from a UV radiation source.
​Electrical Purification Apparatus and Methods of Manufacturing SameUnited States​9656886
​May 3, 2017
​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 decreased residence times and higher purity water.
​System for Measuring the Concentration of Magnetic Ballast in a SlurryUnited States​9651523​May 16, 2017
​A system and method for measuring the concentration of magnetic ballast in a slurry to be analyzed is provided. A detection conduit is provided and configured to receive a slurry to be analyzed. The detection conduit may be surrounded by a set of detection coaxial coils. A reference set of two coaxial coils is also provided. A power source is provided for establishing an electrical current. A measurement subsystem for measuring the differential induced voltage between detection and reference coils is provided to determine the concentration of the magnetic ballast in the slurry.
​Amendment-Free Sludge CompostingUnited States​9663392​May 30, 2017
​A composting system for promoting aerobic microbial activity in a composting bed. The system includes at least one composting bay for receiving composting material and an agitator for aerating and displacing composting material as it travels through the composting bay. Compost produced by the system is used in place of traditional woody amendment material for mixing with incoming material to be composted.
​Chemical Clean For Membrane FilterUnited States​9675938
​June 13, 2017
​A method of cleaning a porous polymeric membrane having a feed side and a permeate side including the steps of introducing a fluid containing a cleaning agent to the permeate side of a membrane allowing the cleaning agent to contact the permeate side of the membrane for a predetermined time, and contact the pores of the membrane, or introducing a fluid containing a cleaning agent to the feed side of a membrane; applying a transmembrane pressure to force the fluid containing the cleaning agent from the feed side to the permeate side of the membrane; allowing the cleaning agent to contact the permeate side of the membrane for a predetermined time, and contact the pores of the membrane. Preferably a concentration gradient between the feed side fluid and the lumen side fluid containing the cleaning agent causes cleaning agent to diffuse into the feed side fluid. Pressure may be applied to the fluid containing a cleaning agent to dislodge, where present, dissolved and undissolved solid from the membrane pores. The pressure may be applied in a pulsed fashion, and can be by way of compressed air at a pressure not more than the membrane's bubble point. The methods of the present invention may be preceded by, or followed with a backwash.
​System and Method for Measuring and Treating a Liquid StreamUnited States​9725343
​August 8, 2017
​A method and system of treating a liquid stream 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 water may be further treated by utilizing ion exchange media and degasification apparatus. A control system may be utilized to measure and regulate addition of the precursor compound, the intensity of the actinic radiation, and addition of the reducing agent to the water.
​Devices, Systems and Methods for Facilitating Nutrient Removal by Anaerobic Ammonia OxidationUnited States​9725346​August 8, 2017
​A system and method of treating wastewater having at least one undesirable biological species is provided.  In accordance with embodiments, a wastewater treatment system is provided comprising a main biological treatment train including at least one first unit operation configured to perform an anaerobic ammonium oxidation process, and at least one subsystem configured to increase a concentration of anammox bacteria in the at least one first unit operation, the treatment system arranged to reduce the concentration of total nitrogen in the wastewater.
​Ion Exchange Membranes
United States​9731247​August 15, 2017
​Highly energy efficient electrodialysis membranes having low operating costs and a novel process for their manufacture are described herein.  he 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.
​HeadshaftUnited States​9751029
​September 5, 2017
​Disclosed are apparatus and methods for treating wastewater. In one example there is provided a wastewater treatment system. The wastewater treatment system comprises a settling basin having a first sidewall and a second sidewall, a first headshaft mount disposed on the first sidewall, a second headshaft mount disposed on the second sidewall, a headshaft comprising a shaft extending between and engaging the first headshaft mount and the second headshaft mount and including a bull sprocket and a collector headshaft sprocket.
​Using Continuous Nitrate Measurement to Control Aeration in an Aerated-Anoxic Process
United States​9758410​September 12, 2017
​A method and system for treating wastewater is disclosed. In one embodiment the method includes introducing the wastewater into an aerated anoxic treatment unit, flowing an oxygen containing gas into the wastewater in the aerated anoxic treatment unit at a first flow rate, measuring a concentration of a nitrogen species in the wastewater in the aerated anoxic treatment unit, comparing the measured concentration of the nitrogen species to a target nitrogen species concentration, adjusting the flow of the oxygen containing gas into the wastewater in the aerated anoxic treatment unit to a second flow rate in response to a difference in the nitrogen species and the target nitrogen species concentrations, and maintaining the second flow rate for a time period sufficient for the wastewater to be treated in the aerated anoxic treatment unit and form an anoxically treated liquid having a reduced concentration of the nitrogen species.
​Membrane Module ProtectionUnited States​9764288​September 19, 2017
​A filtration system for removing fine solids from a liquid suspension comprising a vessel for containing the liquid suspension, one or more permeable, membranes within the vessel, means for providing a pressure differential across walls of the membranes such that some of the liquid suspension passes through the walls of the membranes to be drawn off as permeate and means for withdrawing the permeate from the membranes. A screen is positioned in a flow path of the liquid suspension through to the membrane walls.
​Anion Exchange Membranes and Process for MakingUnited States​9768502​September 19, 2017
​Embodiments 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.
​Method and System for Providing Ultrapure Water​United States
​9764968​September 19, 2017
​A 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.
​Membrane Securement DeviceUnited States​9764289
​September 19, 2017
​Disclosed herein are aspects and embodiments of an apparatus for securing hollow fiber filtration membranes in a filtration module. In one example, the apparatus
comprises a restraining structure engaging elongate portions of the plurality of hollow porous membrane fibers and an anchor formation engaging the plurality 5 of hollow porous membrane fibers and positioned closer to eye portions of the plurality of hollow porous membrane fibers than at least a portion of the restraining structure. Neither the anchor formation nor the restraining structure sealingly engage open ends
of the plurality of hollow porous membrane fibers.
​Wastewater Treatment System
United States​9764973
​September 19, 2017
​A system and method for treating wastewater includes two or more biological reaction zones separated by chamber walls. The system and method for treating wastewater includes static recycle of a mixed liquor from a second biological reaction zone to a first biological reaction zone.
​Enhanced Biosorption of Wastewater Organics using Dissolved Air Flotation with Solids RecycleUnited States​9783440​October 10, 2017
​Systems 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.
​Cross-Flow Electrochemical Separation Devices and Methods of Assembling SameUnited States​9782725​October 10, 2017
​Electrochemical purification apparatuses for treating water and methods of assembling the devices are provided. The apparatuses may be cross-flow electrochemical devices. The devices may be assembled and sealed through masking and application of a potting material. The devices may comprise various structures configured to improve the current efficiency of the device, reduce leakage, and improve the distribution of potting material to the assembly.
​Gas Scouring Apparatus for Immersed MembranesUnited States​9815027​November 14, 2017
​Disclosed herein are aspects and embodiments of an apparatus for providing gas slugs in a liquid.  In one example, the apparatus comprises a housing defining a chamber, a bell tube including a wall and an open upper end disposed within the chamber, a riser tube including a wall, an open lower end, and a flared open upper end disposed within the bell tube, and a conduit defined between the wall of the bell tube and the wall of the riser tube and in fluid communication with an internal volume of the riser tube.