Release: February 13, 2001
NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President: Masaharu Shibata, Head Office: Nagoya, Japan) has developed a next-generation water-purification technology using large ceramic-membranes, and is enlarging its water treatment engineering business.
In the 1960's, NGK entered the water purification industry by offering ceramic filter underdrains for rapid filtration ponds. Since then, the company has been expanding its business as a specialized materials/equipment supplier. From 1989, the company started development of water purification systems using ceramic membranes, and from 1991 to 1993, participated in the "MAC 21 Project" - a project sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare for research and development of water purification systems using membranes. In 1996, NGK developed a commercial ceramic-membrane water-purification system for the first time in Japan, and has been selling these systems to small-scale purification facilities for public water systems.
Currently more than 96% of Japan is served by a public water supply, therefore development and introduction of new technology is increasing for the remodeling and renewal of these facilities. NGK newly developed the large ceramic-membrane water-purification system while targeting large savings in cost and space. The company plans marketing efforts to stimulate orders from middle- and large-scale purification plants, and is also supplying ceramic membrane units to water-related machinery and equipment manufacturers. Responding to the changing market, NGK will grow its businesses to establish a position as a major water treatment engineering company. In FY2005, the company aims at 10-billion yen in sales of water treatment facilities, primarily those utilizing the ceramic-membrane purification system.
Monolithic and internal-pressure type ceramic-membrane elements of 180mm diameter, 1000mm length and 15m2 membrane surface area are employed in the newly developed system. A goal of NGK's development of this new system is large savings of cost and space compared to conventional water purification facilities using ceramic-membrane elements of 30mm diameter and 1000mm length. Micro filtration through 0.1 fÊm size pores and highly-porous ceramic membranes enable complete elimination of turbidity and impurities such as colloids and bacteria contained in raw water.
In July 2000, the large ceramic-membrane module received a certification by the Association of Membrane Separation Technology, and the large ceramic-membrane water-purification system was certified by the Japan Water Research Center in November 2000.
Ceramic membrane elements