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Osmonics And Cargill Pursue Joint Effort

Osmonics Inc. and Cargill Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., have joined together to find out if membrane systems can be as successful in harsh, solvent-based environments as they are in water-based processes.The two companies will investigate under a five-year, $3.75 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Technology Program.This joint venture creates tremendous opportunities for our companies today and will benefit entire industries in the future, said David Paulson, Osmonics director of Corporate Research and Development.Cargill offers extensive expertise in commercial food and fertilizer processing, while Osmonics brings high-tech separations product design and engineering skills. Together, we will develop innovative and cost-effective membrane solutions for widespread industrial solvent applications.According to the companies, once commercialized, the new polymeric membranes and systems should help U.S. companies save tens of millions of dollars in energy costs annually, because membranes typically require less than 10 percent of the energy used in distillation. They will also reduce costs associated with controlling airborne and wastewater emissions.Cargill will provide a full-time program manager and will act as administrator of the grant. Osmonics will focus on membrane products and systems technology and collaborate with Cargill on applying membrane to processing applications.A research group at the University of Kentucky will assist with transport and separation modeling, and the University of Minnesota Center for Interfacing Engineering will provide analytical expertise.


February 1999




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