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Revolutionizing water purification: Unleashing the power of Filtralite

On Wednesday, June 12th, Smart Water Magazine teamed up with Filtralite to host an innovative webinar titled “Next-Gen Water Filtration: Harnessing Filtralite’s Performance.” This online seminar provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of Filtralite’s groundbreaking water filtration media developed by the Saint-Gobain group.

Water pollution is a growing global issue driven by rapid urbanization and agricultural intensification. Addressing the challenge of treating and purifying contaminated water requires solutions that are both efficient and cost-effective. Innovative and efficient water treatment solutions have never been more critical. A crucial step in water treatment processes is water filtration, which uses filter media to remove impurities, contaminants, and suspended solids from water. Advanced filtration technologies are essential components of modern water treatment systems, improving operational efficiency and reducing resource consumption.

Leca is the number one supplier of expanded clay lightweight aggregate in Europe for Infrastructure, Housing and Water Management projects

If you missed the webinar, you can now watch it on demand.

Moderated by Cristina Novo, Technical Editor at Smart Water Magazine, the webinar highlighted the urgent need for innovative and efficient water treatment solutions. Alexandre Branthonne, Sales Support Coordinator for Filtralite, Saint-Gobain, kicked off the presentations by introducing Saint-Gobain and Leca. Based in France, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures, and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. With a presence in 85 countries and over 190,000 employees, Saint-Gobain is one of the top 100 industrial groups globally, operating around 950 production sites. In 2022, Saint-Gobain recorded sales of €51.2 billion, a 16% increase from €44.2 billion in 2021.

Meanwhile, Leca, part of the Saint-Gobain Group, is the number one supplier of expanded clay lightweight aggregate in Europe for Infrastructure, Housing and Water Management projects. The company is present in more than 12 European countries.

Advanced filtration technology

Next, Mohammed Kastawy, Area Sales Manager for Filtralite in the Middle East, presented Filtralite’s innovative solutions for drinking water, desalination pre-treatment, and wastewater treatment. Filtralite media boasts higher porosity compared to traditional materials like sand and anthracite, offering benefits such as lower initial head loss, slower head loss buildup, higher storage capacity, and reduced backwash rates. These properties extend filter runs, minimize energy and water consumption, and lower operating costs.

Filtralite can be utilized in both mono and dual media filters, with configurations like Filtralite Mono-Multi and Filtralite Mono-Multi Fine further enhancing filtration efficiency and production capacity.

Filtralite media boasts higher porosity compared to traditional materials like sand and anthracite, offering numerous benefits

Kastawy also emphasized the specific benefits of Filtralite in desalination processes, highlighting both operational expenditure (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX) savings. Filtralite reduces the need for backwashes by two to four times, allows for higher filtration velocities, and ensures more biologically stable water, which decreases biofouling and extends the lifespan of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Additionally, the frequency of cartridge filter cleaning and replacement is reduced, and higher suspended solids rates are manageable in input water. On the CAPEX front, Filtralite's lighter weight and higher efficiency mean fewer filtration cells are needed, leading to savings on pumps, concrete, and steel, as well as requiring smaller backwash pumps.

Case studies highlighting Filtralite’s efficacy

Filtralite's implementation leads to significant savings in operating expenses and maintenance costs

Kastawy showcased several case studies demonstrating Filtralite’s superior performance. At Thames Water, the adoption of Filtralite Pure Mono-Multi over traditional sand filters significantly mitigated issues caused by algal blooms, reduced head loss, and extended filter cycles. This innovation led to considerable cost savings and operational efficiency improvements.

“With new filter materials, and especially Filtralite® Pure Mono Multi, we have increased the capacity of our water works without having to increase the actual footprint. Our research has been profitable,” said Michael Chipps, Chief scientist Thames Water.

Another notable case involved the Beni Saf desalination plant in Algeria. Faced with high levels of suspended solids due to concentrated rainfall, the plant replaced sand with Filtralite in its filtration stage. The results were remarkable: a 200% increase in filter cycle duration, a 45% reduction in production losses, and substantial improvements in water quality and operational costs. Last year, Smart Water Magazine had the chance to learn more about the Beni Saf desalination plant and the energy and cost savings achieved with Filtralite by interviewing Mr Mohamed Chaffi, Director of the Beni Saf desalination plant.

Concluding benefits of Filtralite

Finally, in his concluding observations, Kastawy highlighted that Filtralite stands out as a direct and easy replacement for traditional filter media, addressing common issues such as fast clogging, poor water quality, and high energy consumption. Its implementation leads to significant savings in operating expenses and maintenance costs.

The online seminar concluded with an extensive Q&A session, in which the participants had the chance to ask the speakers their questions regarding water filtration and Filtralite’s properties and solutions.