LONDON, England, Jan. 30, 2012 – Pentair will continue to push its business in ultrafiltration following the acquisition of Norit’s Clean Process Technology (CPT) division and confirmed it would not be manufacturing its own reverse osmosis membranes in the future.
Last April Pentair boosted its ultrafiltration division by acquiring CPT for $705 million, a filtration company with established market presence globally but not in the US.
Speaking to Water & Wastewater International (WWi) magazine, Pentair chairman and CEO Randall Hogan, said: “When we looked at CPT and their ultrafiltration (UF) market share in the world, it was probably about 30% but in the US was about 3%. Clearly they were underpenetrated in the US and weren’t getting their fair share.”
On the subject of the water filtration market, Hogan said the firm would continue to push its ultrafiltration offerings as it offers more flexibility than RO membranes. Pentair currently supplies RO systems, including membrane housing through its Codeline subsidiary, but not the membrane fibres.
For example, at an installation in Vietnam’s Dung Quat oil refinery, the firm supplied the water filtration system to remove silica from power plant feed water but partnered with supplier Hydranautics to supply the membranes.
He said: “There are some big players in RO membranes and that’s one area we choose not to compete. We see wastewater as an area where CPT and Pentair share growth, starting with industrial applications. In particular, we want to be based in ultrafiltration because we think that UF offers more opportunities for energy efficient and selective filtration and purification.
“Reverse Osmosis is a great technology that’s highly energy aggressive and it’s a sledgehammer. Not every nail needs a sledgehammer. Ultrafiltration provides different size hammers for the different size nails.”
Last November Pentair introduced its Hybrid Deionization system – an electronic water purification system for residential applications. The system uses capacitive electrodes to remove hardness and purify water without using salt.
The firm is also working on its X-Flow HF (hollow fiber) Nano technology, which it said combines the advantages of nanofiltration and HF technologies. It said the one single process is “capable of removing pollutants that are impossible to eliminate with current available technologies”.
Hogan told WWi: “The exciting thing which people like to talk about is Nano UF. The Holy Grail is being able to take endrocrine disruptors out of the water stream. We’re a couple of years from that. At the nano level we are already going commercial and talking about being able to use this Nano UF in industrial applications in electronics, at the ultrapure level. We have a roadmap that sets out at a commercial level being able to take out the endocrine disruptors.”
- The full write up of the interview with Hogan will appear in the February-March issue of WWi magazine, as part of the ongoing successful Leader Focus series. Past interviewees have included: US environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., IDA president Dr Corrado Sommariva and SABESP CEO Dilma Pena. To sign up for a copy of the magazine, please click here.