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According to the news published on https://www.kuraray.com/news/2022/220311, the company has annouced its decision to end the once famous and innovation biocarrier product. The quoted reason is “extremely difficult to secure sufficient profit to sustain the business and maintain stable production”.

The sale price for the Kuraray PVA-Gel beads was not low when it was still available. Despite its technical advantage, the product maybe only reached small market share.

My thought is, can some other company pick up this concept and continue to produce such a product and use it to replace the other “MBBR carriers/packing media”?

Even more interesting, if someone can integrate this product concepct and apply it in syngergy with other processes like MBR, AGS etc. That should be really innovative application.

According to US Patents and Trademarks Office, Gradiant Corporation submitted its new application on 08 Oct 2021 to register the standard character mark of CFRO as a trademark (link: https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=97060567&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch).

The application has passed its “Public opposition” phase in Oct 2022 and entered the examinination stage.

Its previous attempt to register “CFRO” as a trademark was in Apr 2018 but it was eventually abandoned in Aug 2021 (link: https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87856907&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch).

General process term like “CFRO” is used in desalination and water treatment context as a short form for Counter Flow Reverse Osmosis, or Counter-flow RO.

It is worth attention that companies try to snatch the industrial general terms as its own “trademark” to hinder other companies’s free use of such general terms, and creating unfair advantages to its own exclusive ownership to such general terms and even the treatment process or technology (as they wish!). Imagine as a water treatment company, you cannot use the terms like “RO”, “MBR”, “SBR” freely. As a water engineer, I am clearly against the action of any company try to register such shortform common terms as their trademarks.

Previously “CounterFlow RO” was also attempted to be registered by another company but it was eventually rejected by the USPTO.

It depends on USPTO’s examiner to grant the registration or reject it. In the case the Gradiant application is granted (sure they have the resource and money to apply again and again), the last chance is to object it is after the approval is given. Let’s keep in mind and revisit this case regularly.

The keywords of water and wastewater treatment are: Separation and Conversion.

Either you separate out the unwanted constituents.

Or you convert it to something acceptable.

Or you combine both: convert first and then separate; or separate out first and convert it.

Singapore Household Water Treatment Systems Comparison Chart

Brand Amway eSpring Culligan Water Tower Diamond Energy Water Hyflux
Treatment Process Carbon Filter


Sediment Filter

Carbon Filter

Reverse Osmosis

Sediment Filter

Carbon Filter


Sediment Filter

Carbon Filter

Reverse Osmosis

Equipment Retail Price S$1998
Replacement Filter Price UV-Carbon Cartridge: S$310
Parts Replacement Requirement Every 5,000 Liters water
Cost per Liter Water
Manufacturer Website url url url

I am collecting analysis data of water content shown on different water bottles.

– Natural Mineral Water

Data 0001

a. Brand: Spritzer (www.spritzer.com.my)
b. Source: Lot 904, Jalan Reservoir, Off Jalan Air Kuning, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
c. Typical Analysis (mg/L)

Potassium (K+): 2.7
Calcium (Ca++): 46
Sodium (Na+): 9.9
Magnesium (Mg++): 4.7
Ortho-Silicic Acid: 73
Bicarbonate (HCO3-): 188
Sulphate (SO4–): <3
Chloride (Cl-): <1
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): 315
pH: 7.0

(Bottle production date: 2009)


Data 0002

a. Brand: Cactus
b. Source: Underground water from Location: P.T.D 6386, Bukit Jintan, Mukim Tanjong Sembrong (VII), Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia; Approval NO: KKM-163 (24/J/6)
c. Treatment used: Filtration, UV Sterilization
d. Typical Analysis (mg/L)

Potassium (K+): 1.6
Calcium (Ca++): 16
Sodium (Na+): 9.5
Magnesium (Mg++): 4.1
Silica: 48
Bicarbonate (HCO3-): 83
Sulphate (SO4–): 7.7
Chloride (Cl-): <1
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): 154
pH: 7.4

(Bottle production date: 2009)


Data 0003

a. Brand: Taza. A product of Island Beverages Maldives Pvt. Ltd. Ameenee Magu, Machchangolhi, Male’ 20375. Republic of Maldives. Tel3329314 Fax 3340645
b. Source: Unknown
c. Treatment used: (suspected to be Seawater RO product water)
d. Mineral Content (mg/L)

Potassium (K+): <12
Sodium (Na+): <5
Magnesium (Mg++): <12
Sulphate (SO4–): <11
Chloride (Cl-): <22
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): unknown
pH: unknown


Data 0004

a. Brand: Pere Ocean, Natural Mineral Water
b. Source: Underground water from a secret Location. Source approved by Ministry of Health, Malaysia. Approval NO: KKM-163 (24/J/9)
c. Treatment used: unknown
d. Typical Analysis/Approximate Composition (mg/L)

Potassium (K+): 5.3
Calcium (Ca++): 30.3
Sodium (Na+): 26.1
Magnesium (Mg++): 1.0
Bicarbonate (HCO3-): 80
Sulphate (SO4–): 7.3
Chloride (Cl-): 26.1
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): 100
pH: 7.0

(Expiration date: 04/08/2010)


Data 0005

a. Brand: Natural Spring Water from Nyuzenmachi in Toyoma Prefeature. Packed by Farm.Inc (www.tokyo-farm.com)
b. Source: Natural mineral water the spring delta at “Kurobe Senjyochi” (http://www.town.nyuzen.toyama.jp/).
c. Treatment used: unknown
d. Typical Analysis/Approximate Composition (mg/L)

Potassium (K+): 0.14
Calcium (Ca++): 0.77
Sodium (Na+): 0.47
Magnesium (Mg++): 0.20
pH: 7.7.3
Hardness: 27.0

(Expiration date: 11/07/2011)


$154 million device that produces drinking water shut down again

Extracted from http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast02nov_1.htm

Here’s how the system works: Urine from the astronauts is distilled in a partial space vacuum, allowing the water to boil off. The distilled waste water is funneled into a mini-treatment plant that removes hair, lint and other contaminants, then goes through a series of filters. The water is actually put through a catalytic converter that cleanses via oxidation. As a final step, salts are added in the galley for taste.

I guess the water treatment should some kind of membrane purification system. Just wondering how different it will be when it is in the space. I don’t understand the “catalytic converter” thing mentioned. Let’s see what is the problem.

Another related link – Water on the Space Station http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast02nov_1.htm.

Flow Variations:
Flow variations is much dependent on the water usage patterns.
Peak hours are commonly before work in the morning, lunch time and after work in the evening.

Raw (fresh) wastewater has a distinctive musty odor. If anaerobic decomposition has taken place Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is likely to be present. H2S has a distinctive rotten-egg smell and is poisonous.

Raw wastewater usually has a light brownish gray color.
The longer it has been kept or undergone anaerobic conditions (decomposition and septic), the darker the color will become — from gray to dark gray, and ultimately black color.

Turbidity is a measure of the light-transmitting property property of water, and indicates colloidal and suspended matters. However it can be interfered by color of the water as well. Generally there is no relationship between turbidity and TSS concentration for raw wastewater. However a reasonable relationship between TSS and turbidity may exist for settled and filtered effluent.

Alkalinity is a measure of the ability to neutralize acid. Nitrification will consume alkalinity and may lower pH, while denitrification will generate alkalinity and may increase pH.

Chemical Oxygen Demand:
COD:BOD5 ratios < 3 usually indicates the wastewater is suitable for biological treatment processes

Conductivity measures the ability of the aqueous solution to carry an electrical current and indicates the dissolved inorganic material present in the water. In domestic wastewater it is usually in the range of 50 to 1500 uS/cm.

Dissolved Oxygen:
DO is amount of free oxygen molecules dissolved inside water.

to be continued…

In my limited years of experience in the water and wastewater treatment industry so far, an idea is becoming more and more clear to me.

1. Customers are always looking for good suppliers; meanwhile manufacturers and suppliers are always looking for customers.
2. There are plenty of opportunities in the world for the water and wastewater industry – even more are expected as countries want to improve their environmental standards.

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