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The technology won in the industrial water & wastewater treatment category
QUA, a developer of advanced membrane products for water and wastewater treatment applications, has received the 2013 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Industrial Water & Wastewater Treatment Technology, North America, for its Q-SEP hollow fiber ultrafiltration modules and FEDI fractional electrodeionization.
Frost & Sullivan noted that, by addressing key challenges in both FEDI and Q-SEP applications, QUA has come up with unique design features for both products. The three key design features for its Q-SEP ultrafiltration systems are higher fiber strength, uniform pore distribution and consistent treated water quality. The company conducted a two-year patent design review, along with a differentiated manufacturing process, to develop a core fiber that maintained its mechanical integrity throughout the lifespan of the membrane system.
"Achieving a uniform pore distribution within the overall design allows the Q-SEP membranes to improve reverse osmosis performance further down the process cycle—a key achievement which differentiates QUA from most competitors," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Eric Meliton. "As a result, the Q-SEP membranes offer a consistent treatment quality, maintain a high level of bacteria and virus rejection during operation, and provide a lower silt density index than competing products."
"Meanwhile, the key design features for the FEDI system include reduced susceptibility to scaling and better handling of varying feed water quality. EDI systems have traditionally faced some resistance to adoption in the high-purity industrial water treatment market due to scaling challenges and high operational costs. Acknowledging these issues, the QUA Group designed its FEDI system to utilize a dual voltage process, by incorporating a two-stage separation process with different voltages to achieve a higher hardness tolerance by having distinctly different concentrate chambers with separate reject streams and thus reducing the potential of hardness scaling. This design alteration reduced affinity to scaling, and simultaneously lowered relevant operational and energy costs," said Meliton.
These design improvements are advantageous, as the FEDI system is designed to replace mixed-bed technology. The system has higher tolerance for water hardness and scaling, resulting in a diminished need for cleaning and maintenance, while enhancing the overall reliability.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.