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Press Release

Sumitomo Electric's POREFLON™ Membrane Wastewater Treatment Systems Have been Well Received by Kaihara

Products & Technologies

May 19, 2017
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
*This press release was originally published in Japanese on March 13, 2017.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. delivered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber membrane*1 (POREFLON™) wastewater treatment systems to Kaihara Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of high-quality denim, headquartered in Fukuyama, Hiroshima in 2015. These wastewater treatment systems have been used in the company's plants in Kisa, Hiroshima and the Ratchaburi Industrial Estate, Thailand.

Jointly with Kaihara and Shinyu Co., Ltd., a Fukuyama-based trading company of chemicals and industrial machinery, Sumitomo Electric carried out a pilot test for about a year and a half to verify the effectiveness of a PTFE hollow fiber membrane for the treatment of wastewater containing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA),*2 which is not readily degraded and tends to cause membrane fouling. In the test, the wastewater treatment system achieved the desired performance.

In response to the success of the pilot test, Kaihara introduced our wastewater treatment system into its Kisa plant (Capacity: 1,200 m³/day) and the plant in Thailand (Capacity: 800 m³/day). These treatment systems have enabled Kaihara to treat wastewater stably without being concerned about changes in the external environment and the quality of wastewater. Kaihara has also been able to minimize industrial waste, energy costs, and equipment installation space.

Up until now, Sumitomo Electric has marketed POREFLON™ mainly as a membrane module for industrial wastewater treatment, sewage treatment, and other uses. From now on, the Company will reinforce its sales of wastewater treatment systems comprising the POREFLON™ membrane modules.

  • Wastewater treatment system installed in Kisa plant

    Wastewater treatment system installed in Kisa plant

  • Wastewater treatment system installed in Thailand plant

    Wastewater treatment system installed in Thailand plant

POREFLON™ membrane separation wastewater treatment system

Features of the water treatment membrane module

  • Due to its high degree of flexibility, Sumitomo Electric's PTFE hollow fiber membrane sways easily. The flexibility of the membrane and the intrinsic properties of the material combine to make the membrane fouling resistance.
  • POREFLON™, hollow fiber membrane made of a single material, is 8 to 10 times stronger than any other hollow fiber membranes made of other materials.
  • Using a membrane module made by bundling a few hundred to a few thousand straw-shaped hollow fiber membranes as the key component, the POREFLON™ membrane wastewater treatment system consists of a package comprising a membrane tank, pumps, an aeration blower, and a control panel. Due to the membrane module design that achieves efficient aeration by densely and properly arraying hollow fiber membranes, the amount of necessary equipment and devices is minimized, resulting in energy-saving system operation.

*1 Hollow fiber membrane module:
A straw-shaped filter with many submicron size pores on the surface of fine hollow fiber.

*2 Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA):
PVA is a synthetic resin used as a fiber sizing agent.

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