Filtered by author: Betsy Hilt Clear Filter

Upcoming AFS Chapter Meetings to Cover 21st Century Water Issues and Sintered Fiber Metal Media

Both the North Central and Southeast Chapters of the American Filtration & Separations Society are holding virtual meetings in October. The meetings are an easy way to pick up some specific and valuable knowledge from industry experts. The meetings are free for all AFS members, and just $15 for non-members.

The North Central Chapter will meet Tuesday, October 6, from 10:00 to 10:45 am central time. The topic, “Water Issues in the 21st Century,” will be presented by Peter Cartwright of Cartwright Consulting.

Read More

Next AFS Southeast Chapter Meeting: Continuum Approach to Optimizing Downstream Final Drying with Upstream Solid-Liquid Filtration

The next meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the American Filtration & Separations Society is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, from 1:30 to 2:15 pm central time. This virtual meeting is free to AFS members and $15 for non-members.

The topic will be Continuum Approach to Optimizing Downstream Final Drying with Upstream Solid-Liquid Filtration, presented by Barry Perlmutter, President and Managing Director of BHS-Sonthofen Inc.

Read More

Welcome to the new American Filtration and Separations Society Website!

AFS Logo

AFS has a new website! Our new platform for membership, conference registration and abstract submission will be a simpler and more user-friendly experience for all. 

We will launch the much-anticipated Learning Center in the coming weeks. In the Learning Center, you will be able to access virtual courses on demand, past conference proceedings, journal articles and One Minute Filtration articles.

Read More

Fighting Viral Outbreaks with Nanofiber Technologies

Wallace LeungBy Wallace Leung, Chair of World Filtration Congress 13; and past Chair Professor of Innovative Products & Technologies in Mechanical Engineering and past Director, Research Institute of Innovative Products & Technologies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong

The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has caused a worldwide concern about a potential pandemic. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency. As of the writing of this article, the nCoV has infected more than 20,000 people in 24 countries and killed 426, according to official WHO reports.

The virus can spread from human to human. According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the size of this virus is about 100nm. When airborne or aerosolized, the virus can be attached to nuclei particles, which can be fine particles in the respiratory tracts or saliva and nasal droplets of an infected person, as well as fine particles suspended in air. Regardless, the minimum size of airborne nCoV is about 100nm when attached to a nano-size particle. The 100nm size airborne particle is referred to as nanoaerosol (also known as nanoparticle or ultrafine particle). While the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has standardized N95 and N98 at 300nm, there is no standard filtration test for nanoaerosols at 100nm.

Read More

WFC13 Attracts Professionals on the Global Filtration and Separations Frontier

As the rate of technological advance continues to increase exponentially, there are few disciplines that are expected to keep up with as great an amount and variety of needs. Filtration and separations represent one of those disciplines. Our innovations are critical to countless applications in hundreds of industries, from biopharmaceuticals to emission control, from space travel to freshwater scarcity, and from power generation to virus filtration. There is hardly an area on the frontier of technological change that doesn’t depend on filtration and separations.

The International Delegation on Filtration (INDEFI) was founded by filtration professionals in France, UK and the United States and created the first World Filtration Congress in 1974. Its prime mission is to share information and keep up with the increasing problem-solving demands of filtration and separations technology. INDEFI now includes 13 member countries – Austria, Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), UK and the Unites States. Held every four years, this gathering is like no other filtration event due to the extraordinary array of technical and educational offerings and based on the number of countries and industries represented among the thousands of attendees.

Now approaching its 13th Congress (September 20-24, 2021 in San Diego), this exceptional technical forum attracts a wide variety of professionals, including scientists, researchers, academic professors, engineers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, end-users, university students of different disciplines and legislators.

Read More

SWM, Four Others Advance the Filtration Industry Through WFC13 Sponsorships

While the American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) is serving as official host of the 13th World Filtration Congress (WFC13), five companies are providing major sponsorships that are making the event possible.

SWM has secured a Diamond Sponsorship. SWM is a leading global performance materials company. Their highly engineered papers, films, nets and nonwovens are designed and manufactured using natural fibers and polymers for a variety of industries and applications. End markets served include filtration, transportation, infrastructure and construction, medical, industrial, tobacco, energy, food services and home décor. SWM and its subsidiaries manufacture on four continents, conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 3,400 people worldwide. For more information, visit

The event’s Emerald Sponsors are Eaton Filtration and Filtration Technology Corporation.

Read More

From Farm to (Operating) Table: Air Quality and Health

Paul MaroldGuest blog by Paul Marold, President of Lydall Performance Materials

Clean air is the most essential resource for life. One could live without food for a few weeks, and without water for a few days; but without air, one would only survive a few minutes, if that.

Read More

Effects of Edge Functional Groups on Desalination Performance in Graphene Oxide Membranes

Only 0.78% of the total water on our blue planet can be used in our daily life. Through water treatment, oceans and other saline water, which account for 97.4% of total global water, have the potential to cover this shortage. Membrane-based technology is the currently favored process for desalination, as it consumes low energy, has low operation cost and has great efficiency.

Commercial membranes are currently made of polymers. These membrane channels are hard to control and therefore have low monovalent ion rejection. Furthermore, some of them have a low tolerance for the chlorine used for sterilization and anti-biofouling. Compared with traditional polymer cross-linked membranes, two-dimensional graphene oxide (GO) based membranes have higher chemical and physical stability. GO nanosheets, which act as an important part, can naturally form a well-packed layer-by-layer membrane structure. This kind of unique membrane structure promotes water permeance via low surface friction while maintaining high salt rejection via edge functional groups of GO nanosheets. Hence, the GO membrane has great potential for industrial water treatment applications. GO nanosheet functionalization can greatly improve membrane performance through channel modification. These characteristics are hard to accurately study via experimental methods because of the nanoscale. Therefore, numerical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to zoom into the nanoscale membranes.

Using MD simulation, surface friction of layer-by-layer membrane with various surface oxidation has been widely investigated. Higher surface oxidation has been proved to improve water slip length inside membrane channels. Furthermore, this higher surface attraction can also increase ion adsorption on the surface of channels that additionally increases the ion rejection rate. The edge functionalization on the layer-by-layer GO-based membrane, whose sieving effect has been proposed from experimental works, is rarely studied. It has been reported that edge functional groups have a significant influence on water permeance. Both interaction and geometric effects of edge functional groups were identified with different GO membrane structures. The study of edge functionalization effects is only limited to water transport performance at present. No work about their desalination performance has been reported, although similar researches have been widely studied on single-layer porous GO membranes. In real experiments, however, it’s very hard to prepare membranes with uniform pore size and keep membranes to a single layer structure in atomic thickness. Layer-by-layer membrane structure assembled by functionalized GO nanosheets is much easier. In addition, filtration efficiency can be largely decreased if the pore size is not well-controlled. Therefore, a study of desalination effects of edge functional groups on layer-by-layer GO membrane is still left untouched but necessary to be processed.

Read More

Face Mask Efficacy in the Age of Coronavirus

Face masks and their availability continues to dominate the news as we cope with the expanding spread of coronavirus in most countries around the world. As filtration leaders, we want to provide a short tutorial on the various kinds of face masks that people are using with the intent to protect themselves and/or others.

A basic rule of air filters is that the more effective they are at removing air contaminants, the more resistant to air flow they are. The air filtration industry has long battled the opposing goals of efficacy and air flow, because as a filter becomes more effective, the greater the energy required to move air through it. In a face mask situation, the more effective (resistant) a filter is, the harder it is to breathe – so you can understand the quandary that we have in developing masks that let in breathing air but not viruses.

The primary danger of wearing a mask that doesn’t do what the wearer thinks it is doing is that it provides a false sense of security, and the wearer might take risks he or she wouldn’t otherwise take, putting themselves or others at risk.

Read More

AFS Presents Three Filtration Fundamentals Webinars in April: Intro to Solid/Liquid Separation I and II, and Meltblown/Nanofiber Technologies

The American Filtration and Separations Society is committed to professional education as one of our primary missions. Even when gathering physically is on hold for the foreseeable future, we are forging ahead with online learning for several of our hallmark courses. For filtration professionals among the millions of people working from home, we present these valuable opportunities to expand your knowledge.

During the week of April 20, AFS will present the following courses:

Tuesday, April 21, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Intro to Solids/Liquids I – Principles
Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. central time: Meltblown and Nanofiber Technologies
Friday, April 24, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Intro to Solids/Liquids II – Equipment, Operation and Testing

Read More

WFC13 Announces New Dates: September 2021

It is with great pleasure that WFC 13 and AFS leadership announce new dates for the 13th World Filtration Congress: September 20-24, 2021 | Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, CA, USA

We thank everyone for their patience as we worked with the Hilton to identify new dates. In these uncertain times, WFC 13 and AFS leadership agreed to confirm dates later in 2021 to hopefully reduce risk of a repeat pandemic. The Hilton Bayfront has implemented a number of updated processes regarding sanitation. As we negotiated with the hotel, we took into consideration our contracted space in case social distancing is still enforced at the time of the Congress. The safety of all WFC 13 participants is our primary concern.

AFS and WFC 13 staff are working with the confirmed WFC 13 speakers and exhibitors to re-confirm their availability. The content that was to be presented last month will be very similar to what will be presented in September, 2021. Speakers will have the opportunity to update abstracts in 2021 with new information and data. WFC 13’s technical program is unmatched.

Read More

Global Filtration Industry Leaders Step Up to Fight Louisiana Outbreak

Two face mask donations are benefiting the community in Lake Charles, LA, in their battle against Covid-19.

Jiangsu Jiulang High-Tech Co., Ltd., a company of the National Engineering Research Center for Special Separation Membrane of Nanjing Tech University (NJTECH) in China has donated 1,500 KN95 respirators to frontline healthcare workers in Lake Charles, LA.  The donation was not just a gift of assets but also a gift of logistics, because a donation of medical supplies requires an FDA Emergency Use Authorization in order to ship the masks – no quick or easy task.

The KN95 masks have the most advanced membrane air filtration technology, which uses a nanofiber 3D spiderweb structure with a pore size of within 0.1 to 0.5 microns. Filtration efficiencies for 0.3 um non-oily particles is over 98%, and is effective for dust, aerosols, bacterial and viruses. The masks meet GB2626-2006 and En 149-2001 standards for PPE use and will be shipped directly to frontline medical facilities.

Read More

AFS Elects Seven to Board of Directors for 2020-2022 Term

The American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) is pleased to announce the election of seven industry professionals to its Board of Directors. Their terms will begin in September of this year.

Kenneth WinstonKenneth Winston, Consultant in Houston, TX, has been elected 2nd Vice Chair.

Kenneth also serves AFS as President of the Southwest Chapter. A veteran technical and commercial manager in oil, gas, energy and chemical projects, with business development and process engineering degrees and experience, his career has covered three decades in four dozen countries on six continents.

Read More

AFS Learning Center Short Course Webinars Continue in June: Liquid Filtration Testing Basics and Reverse Osmosis System Design

The American Filtration and Separations Society continues to provide world-class filtration educational programming through our new AFS Learning Center. Taught by filtration industry veterans, AFS Short Courses are well known for their high quality and offer .4 CEU credits for each class. AFS members and attendees to any of our 2020 short course webinars will receive a discount.

During the month of June, AFS will present the following courses:

Thursday, June 11, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Liquid Filtration Testing Basics
Thursday, June 18, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Reverse Osmosis System Design

Read More


Guest blog by Kathleen Owen, ASHRAE Fellow, ETF member and Air Pollution Control Engineer for Owen Air Filtration Consulting

Have you been asked how MERV filters catch PM2.5?  Obviously, it’s easy to go to the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 MERV table and see that a MERV 13 filter is ≥ 85% in the 1-3 µm particle diameter size range.  This is often the answer you need.  Still the questions keep coming, including from ASHRAE SSPCs 62.1 and 62.2.  With ISO 16890 providing an ePM and these ASHRAE committees deciding to specify filters using particulate matter efficiencies, it became clear that ASHRAE 52.2 needed to address this issue.

Read More

Using a Gas Liquid Porometer to Reliably Measure Pore Size and Distribution for Filter Media Used in Face Masks

Surgical masks and respirators are typically made of nonwoven polypropylene fabric and mostly consist of three (or more) layers. The first and third layers are generally spunbond, while the middle layer is meltblown. This composition is commonly referred to as SMS technology (Spunbond/Meltblown/Spunbond).

Three layers of respirator fabricThree layers of respirator fabric

While the efficiency of face masks is measured by norms defined by ASTM or NIOSH, producers of nonwoven materials need to have insight into the pore size of their material as well.

This document briefly explains how the pore size distribution of these nonwoven materials can be measured using a gas liquid porometer with the ‘pressure scan’ method.

Read More

Next AFS SW Chapter Meeting: Molecular Separators for Promoting Process Separations in Industrial Applications

The July meeting of the Southwest Chapter of the American Filtration & Separations Society was held Tuesday, July 14. The speaker was Dr. David Engel of NexoSolutions, who presented on Molecular Separators for Promoting Process Separations in Industrial Applications.

There are a number of different methods for enabling process separations. Depending on the technical and economic objectives at each facility, the method selection may differ. Possible avenues or process separations can vary from mechanical devices to thermal means, and also chemically induced. This presentation discusses certain aspects related to the use of “molecular engineering” to promote or enhance the separation process of solids from liquids and liquid from liquids.

Dr. David Engel, NexoSolutions, has more than 20 years of industrial experience in a variety of areas of chemical engineering and chemistry. David is the inventor in 21 United States Invention Patents and author of over 90 technical papers and conferences. He has worked in several capacities for companies such as Eastman Kodak Company, Eli Lilly and General Electric. David has specialized in materials chemistry, process optimization and new technology development. He is the Managing Director of NexoSolutions and Board of Directors at Exion Systems. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. David is currently a committee member on the AFS Southwest Region, committee member for the GPA Technical Section M and member of the advisory boards of Gas Processing & LNG Magazine, and International Refining and Petrochemical Conference.

Next AFS Webinar: Aspects of Designing Media and Filters for Air Filtration

The American Filtration and Separations Society continues to provide world-class filtration educational programming through our new AFS Learning Center. Taught by filtration industry veterans, AFS Short Courses are well known for their high quality and offer .4 CEU credits for each class. AFS members and attendees to any of our 2020 live webinars will receive a discount.

Our next Short Course is Aspects of Designing Media and Filters for Air Filtration, which will be presented on Thursday, July 30, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time.

This course gives the basis for a better understanding of air filtration theory when applied to filter media and filters, and how other filter requirements, such as environmental regulations, durability and manufacturability have an impact on filter media design. The theoretical principles and practical knowledge gained during this course will allow the participant to be able to properly design and specify filters and filter media for specific applications.

Read More

Intro to Solid/Liquid Separation I and II Short Course Webinars Open for Registration at the AFS Learning Center

The American Filtration and Separations Society continues to provide world-class filtration educational programming through our new AFS Learning Center. Taught by filtration industry veterans, AFS Short Courses are well known for their high quality and offer .4 CEU credits for each class. AFS members and attendees to any of our 2020 short course webinars will receive a discount.

Introduction to Solid/Liquid Separation I and II are among our most popular courses, and our team of industry experts will deliver this renowned series again in August:

Wednesday, Septmeber 16, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Intro to Solids/Liquids I – Principles | REGISTER HERE
Friday, September 18, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. central time: Intro to Solids/Liquids II – Equipment, Operation and Testing | REGISTER HERE

Read More

N95 Mask Material Inventor and AFS Fellow Peter Tsai Exits Retirement to Join Covid-19 Response

Peter Tsai

Long-time AFS member and supporter Peter Tsai has recently received international attention for coming out of retirement to join the battle against Covid-19. As the inventor of the synthetic fabric used to make the N95 mask that is critical in protecting front-line healthcare workers and stemming the spread of coronavirus, Peter started receiving a barrage of requests in mid-March for his knowledge about the nonwoven electrostatically charged material.

With a massive global shortage of the N95 masks, scientists, engineers and clinicians primarily wanted to know: Can the material be sterilized and reused? – and – How can production be scaled up to meet demand? With a willing and curious spirit that has always defined his signature approach, Peter didn’t hesitate to leave the comforts of retirement to help answer these questions. He started working 20 hours a day and even built a lab in his own home to test his ideas.

Read More