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Nanofiber cartridge filters achieve 0.03-micron rating at high flow and low pressure

By Scott Jenkins |

A 1.5-mm-thick layer of a new filter material based on nanoscale alumina has shown the ability to filter greater than 99% of 0.03-µm latex spheres or 0.025-µm MS2 viruses with sustainable water velocities of around 1.5 cm/s at pressures of 0.7 bar. Developed by the Argonide Corp. (Sanford, Fla.; www.argonide.com), the alumina nanofibers have a surface area of 350–500 m2/g and form the active component in a non-woven filter matrix with a 2-µm pore size. The filter medium works on the principle of electrostatic adsorption, where the positively charged filter media attract and adsorb negatively charged particles, such as pathogens and biological macromolecules. “Significant effort led to the successful commercialization of an electropositive, fibrous, pleated-depth filter that can substitute for the asbestos filters that were phased out years ago,” Argonide president Fred Tepper explains. “We have a ‘game-changing’ product here,” adds Tepper. The nanoscale fibers — principally boehmite (Al-O-OH) — are 2 nm in diameter and range in length from tens to hundreds of nanometers. The nanoscale alumina is distributed over a microglass fiber matrix that is modified with cellulose…
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