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World Water Day 2018 reminds us of our short-term supply problem. How can technology help?

Held annually on March 22, it is now the 25th year that Protec Arisawa joins World Water Day 2018: As a global leader in FRP pressure vessels for water purification treatments, we are concerned by this matter.

Today, almost 2 billion people lack access to daily and safe drinking water. In addition, nearly the same population lives in potentially severely water-scarce areas. That number is expected to rise to 3 billion by 2050. As leading engineers, what can we do to address this problem?

On World Water Day, universal access to our vital liquid remains a privilege, when it should be a universal right. “To defend the earth and to safeguard water is to protect life”. Even Pope Francis has posted a tweet on the occasion, reminding the big challenges we are facing.

Experts predict that water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent in 2030. Innovation and technology can create sustainable ways to find new water sources and improve the systems already existing. However, finding a solution depends exclusively on us.

What is World Water Day?

World Water Day, as its name suggests, is an international day of awareness focusing on the ongoing global water issues. Just take a look around: Even countries with huge hydrographical resources like Brazil, Canada or China will face significant water challenges in the coming decades. Droughts, floods and pollution: In many communities around the world, water management challenges are increasing in contexts of both abundance and scarcity, creating social and economic confrontations with worrying consequences.

In addition to human catastrophes, we can witness how severe droughts can intensify critical situations caused by social, political, ethnic and religious tensions. Water is also used as a weapon: Palestinian people, for example, are facing serious shortages in water supplies and poor infrastructure to manage their few available sources.

Investments in hard services and water infrastructure are very important. However, to achieve success with these investments, we need new approaches and, ultimately, innovation. We are 

engineers and creators: We need more people focused on the social, economic and politicalchallenges we are increasingly facing while managing our water.

Past and present, innovation leads the way

In the 18th century, ships carried their own 

desalination plants onboard to ensure clean water supply during long journeys. Seawater was boiled and then condensed. The liquid obtained had almost no salt, and the resulting brine was removed. Quite a simple process, in fact. Advances in reverse osmosis technology in the 1960s made this water purification system more readily available.

Now, the energy required to obtain fresh water from the oceans is more affordable and sustainable. Today, more than 18,000 desalination plants operate in 150 countries, and the process requires 80 percent less energy than was needed 20 years ago.

World Water Day 2018 emphasises the need for each country, state and region to assume its responsibility, and guarantee access to quality water for everyone, especially the most disadvantaged. At Protec, we develop the technology and products to make possible a fair exchange of water resources in the future. Our goal is to contribute in this global challenge, building the XXIst century tools to ensure rational and responsible use of water, both at local and global level.

United Nations’ International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, has just started. As a global leader in FRP pressure vessel for water purification, at Protec Arisawa we understand that the role of businesses in the responsible stewardship of our most vital natural resource is most important than ever.

Our technology at the service of water.

With the technology currently available, there should never be water shortage, particularly when industry can work in partnership with local, regional and national governments to help guaranteeing clean water supply. Protec Arisawa is well aware that desalted water is expected to fulfil new and innovative functions, especially as the support of a wide range of economic and human activities in coastal areas. Therefore, we keep working everyday to deploy our solutions to serve people, industry and water conservation.

The perpetual mobile: Still an impossible challenge for modern innovation?

A machine that never stops, without any source of energy to feed the movement: It is a dream that we, as inventors, have been trying to fulfil for thousands of years. The reason is pretty simple: It would be a tremendous breakthrough, and the response to a lot of our current problems. Even if it is an impossible concept, we can extract valuable innovation lessons from the history of the quest for perpetual motion.

The perpetual mobile is a hypothetical machine that would certainly change our industrial vision. Theoretically, we are talking about a device able to function eternally –after an initial impulse– without requiring any additional external energy, based on the idea of energy conservation.

It would be great, wouldn’t it? Over the centuries, countless scientists have fantasized about this concept, creating machines that are supposed to achieve perpetual motion. The idea has attracted fortune seekers, idealists, amateur mechanics, engineers, swindlers and, of course, scientific geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, Villard de Honnecourt, Bhaskara II or Johann Bernoulli, among many others. At Protec Arisawa, curiosity and innovation are in our DNA, and we have made a modest yet interesting research on this subject.

First of all, a little bit of Physics

To this day, none of this kind of devices is really functional in scientific terms. All were doomed to failure. Why does Physics claim that such a machine is not viable? Here is the explanation: The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can be converted from one form to another with the interaction of heat, work and internal energy, but it cannot be created nor destroyed, under any circumstances.

But, the statement that finally knocks-out any debate –even if some “mad” scientist managed to avoid the First Law and did not need any kind of external energy– is the Second Law. This physical principle states that, in practice, entropy always increases, so when heat and friction are generated due to movement, the invariable original energy will decrease, so a perpetual motion device will eventually stop.

An impossible-to-build machine?

Nevertheless, the idea of a “perpetual motion machine” has been an irresistibly attractive concept to humanity for centuries. Today, we can find on the Internet thousands of mechanics projects and devices claiming to have successfully achieved the perpetual movement utopia. The truth is that many of them are really amazing, and it is hard to guess if there really is any trick or treat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=222&v=fQQ8_PDAdfI

However, someone once claimed to have achieved this objective, obtaining perhaps the most recognised success in perpetual mobile design. It was Johann Ernst Elias Bessler, better known as “Orffyreus”, a German entrepreneur born in Saxony in 1680. Around 1712, he started to exhibit a series of apparently self-propelled wheels in various sizes. His gadgets attracted lots of attention but were commonly branded as fraudulent.

Foto Bessler

Three years later, Orffyreus built a larger machine, which was two meters in diameter. He presented it to a committee of scientists and eminent academics. After examining the machine for almost two months, a certificate was issued proclaiming that it was an authentic continuous motion machine, capable of lifting a 30-kg load. However, many enemies of Orffyreus despised this report, and kept denouncing his invention as a fraud.

Exasperated by the mistrust his machine was inspiring, Bessler wanted to prove its authenticity. In this case, several historical accounts state that in October 1717 the wheel was moved to a room at Weissenstein Castle, in Bavaria, far from any surrounding wall and set so that everyone could walk around the device. Once the machine was put into motion, the room was sealed. Two weeks later, the seals were opened and the wheel was still spinning. The room was resealed and remained so until January 1718. And guess what, when they opened the doors, the wheel was still turning.

Diagrama1/2

A professional suicide

Unfortunately, the continuous judgement led Johan Bessler to believe that everything was a ploy to steal the secrets of his wheel. In one of the most remarkable acts of self-destruction in History, he broke his wheel into pieces in a paranoid fit of rage.

After this professional suicide, Orffyreus disappeared from the public scene. Years later, some sources mentioned that he was working on a new revolutionary machine, but it never came to light. Bessler died in ostracism in 1745, after falling from a windmill he was building.

Even if Johann Bessler’s machine was not a genuine perpetual motion device, it was undoubtedly an original and efficient design. Could we use these energy conservation principles to develop new sustainable solutions for all kinds of industrial sectors?

At Protec Arisawa, we believe that innovation is the key to achieve the best solutions in our field. Today, we are global leaders in designing and manufacturing FRP pressure vessels for water purification. As engineers, we are convinced that our mission is to accept great challenges, in order to achieve greater success. We may not be able to build an authentic continuous motion machine, but Protec is definitely a perpetual innovation company.

Premium-quality customized vessels and record deadlines. How do we achieve it?

Communication and transparency are high value-added assets when offering a service or product, whether in commercial, industrial or financial terms. At Protec, we want you to know how we work, from your first call to the delivery of a new supply of top-quality high Fiber-Reinforced Plastic pressure vessels.

Global market’s pace and the new macroeconomic flows involve the adoption of cutting-edge working methods. As it happens in other sectors, the capacity to quickly adapt an industrial process to customers’ specific requests has become a critical factor for all kind of industrial suppliers and manufacturers. This is why leading companies such as Protec try to improve and expand their knowledge every day.

It is therefore essential for us to keep an open attitude towards learning from our partners, customers and providers. As can well be seen, flexibility and transparency in communication are essential values at Protec Arisawa.

Need a specific pressure vessel? We will build it for you

First of all, you should know that Protec has the best quality standard vessel models, but we also work on highly customised projects requiring specific knowledge and technologies. A detailed individual analysis of your project allows us to share our know how and experience: we are pioneers and leaders in reverse osmosis pressure vessels manufacturing thanks to our ability to adapt ours designs to the new specific demands of the 21st century. Learn more about our customised developments!

In this regard, Protec Arisawa has developed the most appropriate processes and technologies to produce innovative pressure vessel solutions satisfying specific needs with excellent product and service quality.

Flexibility and innovation: The keys to reach the highest quality

Today, we must be confident in our flexibility and reactiveness. In the middle of a new digital and immediate era, producing high-quality vessels to rest in a warehouse waiting for a buyer is currently meaningless. Therefore, our daily commitment is to design, create and produce in real time the perfect vessels for your project.

When it comes to matching the exact requirements expected for each single vessel, Protec deploys a complete array of options and different alternatives to offer you the ideal device you really need for the system you have designed, beating the most severe deadlines.

Our motto could be “Quality and innovation dedicated to your customised project”. That’s right, we take care of everything: our mission is to build every necessary element for your project in our own industrial facilities and using the most advanced materials and technologies. Protec is the only company than can guarantee total control throughout the whole process, from the design and manufacture of each vessel to its installation on site. All pressure vessels are designed and, if required, certified according to ASME X requirements and 100% lot traceable.

Protec: an open-minded experienced team

Come and visit us! At Protec, the notion of “partner” prevails over that of “supplier”: we want to become trusted partners of our clients. Discover by yourself how we can reach these quality standards in all our services: we depend on the expertise and dedication of our team, made of professionals who manufacture each model from scratch with self-designed innovative solutions.

Just take a look around: at Protec Arisawa, communication and proximity are essential for our daily commitment towards our clients. No matter the size of the project you wish to complete, our experienced human team and our technical resources will always be at your service. We want to stand next to you and support your decisions in every step of the process, from your first call to the delivery of your brand new pressure vessels. Our three production sites located on three different continents allow us to reach any place in the world, ensuring the highest quality in all our products and industrial procedures.

When it comes to selecting state-of-the-art technology for Fiber-Reinforced Plastic pressure vessels design and manufacturing, Protec Arisawa is your supplier of choice. From Sardinia to Saudi Arabia, from South America to Asia, we will be on site to support and monitor your project, offering the most adapted and innovative solution in our field for each phase.

Plastic excess: new challenges for the 21st-century industry

Look around you: Plastic is everywhere. The presence of pollution caused by plastic materials in our environment is driving different initiatives at national and global level aiming at controlling the problem.

There is no doubt about it: The use of plastic in large quantities is a sign of industrial development. Growing expansion in the railway, defence and aerospace industries, added to chemical bonding properties or resin adhesives that increase product durability, are factors that seem to be applied as mechanical fasteners in high-end industries, and high temperature resins used in composite applications stand as significant drivers for the market.

Almost within a generation, plastic has managed to worm its way into so many aspects of our everyday life that it can be difficult to imagine our socioeconomic system functioning without this material developed in the early years of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, packaging industries, and especially plastic-related activities, are at the heart of the debate: according to some Greenpeace recent studies, up to 12 million tons of plastic end up in our seas each year worldwide, accounting for 80% of marine pollution. Today most plastic packaging items and medical material are still used only once before being discarded, often ending up polluting the environment.

However, as experts in fibre-reinforced plastic production, at Protec we understand the extent of this situation. We are major actors in this plastic global world, and our commitment must be to set the debate in motion, in order to work for responsible consumption and a sustainable future.

Symbolic measures to raise awareness

According to ‘The Telegraph’, Buckingham Palace has recently outlined new waste plans in order to eradicate plastic from their daily agenda: there is a “strong desire to tackle the issue” at the highest levels of the Royal household. The new measures include gradually phasing out plastic straws in public cafes and banning them altogether in staff dining rooms.

Like the Queen of England, the Taiwanese government has declared war on single-use plastics. The country will minimize as much as possible the use of plastic cups, bags and dishes by 2030. In both cases, the objective is to significantly reduce the presence of waste in the oceans, a growing problem that will determine future international and environmental policies.

Estimates state that every year we produce globally more than 300 million tons of plastic, and at least 10% of all this material will predictably end up in the sea. Actually, oceanic experts claim that the plastic-to-plankton ratio is now 1:2 and, left unchecked, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050.

Plastic: Too valuable to become trash

Indeed wastefulness seems to have been a constant feature of human behaviour throughout history. However, plastic could play an effective role in sustainable development. Is it really possible?

Protec Arisawa joins Acciona Agua in the conquest of the Mediterranean basin

Once again, Protec Arisawa has been required for its quality and efficiency to produce and install 216 high-tech pressure vessels in a new desalination plant located in Sarlux, in Sardinia (Italy), designed to supply demineralised water for the industrial processes carried out in the neighbouring refinery of Sarroch.

The builder and operator of this new desalination facility is Acciona Agua, a Spanish water treatment front-runner company offering the design, construction and operation of drinking water treatment plants, desalination facilities, wastewater treatment plants and tertiary treatment plants for water reuse.

With more than 40 projects running in Italy only, on this occasion Acciona Agua wished to avail of Protec Arisawa’s excellence to overcome a new technological challenge in this Southern Italy region severely affected by recent and increasing drought.

This brand new desalination plant will provide each day 12,000 cubic meters of high-quality demineralised water to the Sarlux refinery, a facility operated by the major Italian energy group Saras SpA.

Located in Sarroch, near Cagliari –the most important and capital city of this Mediterranean island–, this industrial plant is one of the biggest and more complex of its type in Europe. This transformation industry refines crude oil into petroleum, deploying an operating capacity of 15 million tons per year (or 300,000 barrels per day), which accounts for approximately 15% of Italy’s total refining capacity.

A crucial facility in a region severely hit by drought

With great daily production capacity of demineralised water, the Sarlux plant is a crucial energetic facility for a dry island highly dependent on coastal infrastructures and shipping. This new plant comes just at the right moment, after a year which was the driest ever and the sixth warmest on record in Italy, according to Coldiretti’s recent studies (the major organisation representing Italian agricultural entrepreneurs).

Widespread drought throughout the summer led to water shortages, forest fires, and poor harvests. This situation has been critical for the past 100 years, especially in Sardinia, where many industrial and agricultural activities have been severely affected.

Sardinian energetic industry now has a clean, economic and ensured supply of desalted demineralised water, obtained through processes such as reverse osmosis –where the 216 Protec’s pressure vessels come into play–, ultrafiltration and electrodeionisation (a continuous process to obtain extremely pure water without using chemical elements).

Protec Arisawa thinks bigger

This new Sarroch desalination plant has a total footprint of approximately 1,260 square meters: it is the largest desalination plant for industrial use in the Mediterranean region. In order to accomplish an actual sustainable project minimising environmental impact and global expenses, the newest solutions and techniques have been applied through the whole construction process, from design to final manufacturing of each pressure vessel.

Protec’s expertise has been a crucial element in terms of cost reduction and installation times. Our commitment to innovation eventually improves overall operation efficiency by decreasing pressure losses and significantly optimising energy consumption, among other factors.

Over 40 years of experience confirm Protec Arisawa’s global leadership in the development and production of fibre-reinforced plastic pressure vessels for water purification treatments. In this project we have used the latest technologies, in order to produce our high quality reverse osmosis pressure vessels on a smaller, faster and more compact scale. Once again, we have proven to be the experts in composite manufacturing.

We are a forward-looking company always searching for new and innovating projects to prove our commitment to excellence and state-of-the-art technologies. We possess the specific techniques, resources and motivation to plunge into change. Our innovating solutions for most industrial and engineering sectors, but especially for the water treatment industry, are the best proof of our commitment all over the world.

What makes the difference between improvement and innovation?

State financing, particularly for small businesses, is the key factor for the development of innovation and efficient technological progress.

Global companies are usually mostly interested in new developments that can result in increasing speed, capacity, strength and efficiency rather than changing the concept of work itself.

Measuring the importance of an innovation ultimately depends on the degree to which it improves an existing activity or the performance of a function. In order to acquire the ‘innovation’ status, a new technology or process must create related and complementary activities that, in turn, bring about employment, wealth and other major advances.

Let’s have a look at the numbers

Every year, Bloomberg draws up a ranking list of the 50 most innovative countries in the world, taking into account seven different and objective criteria based on R&D investment, productivity and technology, number of patents, spending on higher education and development of high value-added areas, among others.

At first glance, Bloomberg’s 2018 ranking is no big surprise: in first- and second-place titles, South Korea and Sweden have respectively held on to their spots, while Singapore made an entry in third position.

According to Professor Yeo Kiat Seng’s –associate vice-president at the Singapore University of Technology and Design– statement to the French newspaper Le Figaro, “Singapore has always focused on education, especially in disciplines involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics”. Many other experts praise the country’s commitment to research and innovation funding.

South Korea stays in the lead: That’s five years in a row for the Asian king of innovation!

How can it be possible? Less than 60 years ago, South Korea was a rural society and one of the poorest countries in the world. However, this small nation is now a global leader in innovation and the world’s 11th largest economy.

Built on an economic and cultural approach to technology, Korean development has grown up around low-cost manufacturing exports, large conglomerates and heavy investing into research and development.

Great shock: 11th position for the American giant

 For the first time since the study has been compiled, the USA dropped out of the top 10 in the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018. North-American experts are still wondering what has gone wrong. Early assessment cite education as the main cause of the US fall in Bloomberg’s ranking, while an important decrease in value-added manufacturing was also a major reason.

 However, even the cited criteria are met to greater or lesser degrees, a great barrier still exists between potential and success: fear of failure. Unlike in countries where enterprising and exploring new business horizons are deep-rooted cultural traits, such as China, South Korea or the USA, people living in the Mediterranean region are more reticent when taking risky decisions. For example, Spain has been ranked 29th among the 50 most innovative countries, far behind its French neighbour.

Protec Arisawa: our own way to innovation

Correct innovation management is the key for a company like ours: after the severe crisis suffered, we maintain our expansion as a global reference in fibre-reinforced high pressure vessels manufacturing, carrying out important projects that are recognized worldwide. Protec Arisawa is an international company with proven expertise; now we are looking ahead to the future, betting on training and innovation as pillars of our business policy.

At Protec, we believe in innovation as a fundamental value that is central to our success. Our commitment to technology is to improve our processes and products day by day, so as to reach the highest quality and efficiency levels. We want to work next to our customers and suppliers, designing ideal solutions for the future.

New technologies, new factories… Are we prepared for the 4.0 Era?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will have to draw a new relationship between people and machines.

This comes as no surprise: Throughout History we have witnessed several key processes that have totally changed the way we produce, work and, ultimately, live. At the end of the XVIIth century, steam engines transformed the world introducing a rural society into the industrial and social processes. The First Industrial Revolution started a long road we are currently travelling on, the end of which is still a long way off. At Protec Arisawa, our expertise is the design, development and manufacture of premium fibre-reinforced pressure vessels and we are leaders in our field of activity. As such, we cannot ignore this new approach to industrial procedures and should take part in it.

Going back to History, it is in the period spanning from 1870 to 1914 when the use of steel and oil as well as electric power opened the gate to mass production. Major technological advances during this period and the following decades led to the Third Industrial Revolution, or Digital Revolution: An era that starting in the late 1970s and is still ongoing. The advancement of technology from analogue electronic and mechanical devices to the digital technology available today made computers the universal tool for almost all productive sectors. The use of electronics and information technology to automate production brought us where we stand nowadays. This time, the robots integrated into cyber-physical systems will be responsible for a radical transformation: Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

A new and connected era

Also called 4.0, this new robotic era we are living in follows the other three transformative historical processes. The fourth industrial revolution is an expression coined by the founder and leader of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, referring to the intense technological changes that have been modifying our productive and social processes since the middle of the last century: A fusion of technologies that blur the lines between our established physical spheres, both digital and biological.

Schwab himself declared that humanity is “on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before “.

According to Schwab and some other experts, now we have the opportunity to shape this Fourth Industrial Revolu­tion, which will dramatically alter how we live and work. “The future of employment will be made of jobs that do not exist yet, in industries using new technologies, under planetary conditions that no human being has ever experienced,” sums up David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia / Pacific, in a column about the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the British newspaper The Guardian.

The 4.0 factory: Fully automated and very, very smart

So, what is this huge change about and why do some people identify it as a genuine revolution? If we follow the theorists’ main assumptions, it is not single and brilliant innovations that will decide our future productive processes, but the meeting of all those developments carried out during the last decades and still to come. In that sense, this trend represents a paradigm shift, instead of one more step in the frenzied technological race.

We can be sure about one thing: In our current 4.0 factories, automation is already being carried out by cyber-physical systems, made possible by the internet of things and cloud computing systems. These cyber-physical systems combine both physical and tangible machinery with digital processes, acquiring the capacity to make decentralized decisions and cooperate with humans, through the evolving technology developed around the internet of things.

Adapt to change

What we will see, say theorists, is an “intelligent factory” in a strictly literal sense. However, this fantastic cyber-model is already posing some worrying issues. Indeed, not everyone sees the future with optimism: The surveys reflect global concerns of entrepreneurs for “technological Darwinism”, in which those who do not adapt will not survive. Furthermore, if this happens at full speed, as Fourth Industrial Revolution enthusiasts are pointing out, the effect can be as quick and devastating as the one generated by the third revolution.

As the global leader in creating and manufacturing fibre-reinforced plastic pressure vessels for membrane filtration systems, Protec is committed to this new 4.0 era: We are a forward-looking company and we possess the technology, resources and motivation to plunge into change. Using innovation and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, we strive constantly to improve our products, modernizing our factories and services at the pace of change.

 

2017: another great year for Protec Arisawa

New deals, new projects and a significant success achieved through innovation, quality commitment and hard work.

Let’s have a look at the 2017 review: in many ways, it has been a great and profitable year for Protec Arisawa. We are proud of our activity and results, as we have improved our market share in strategic areas and new geographies, especially in the EMEA region. The rise in global demand for membrane filtration systems indicates that Protec Arisawa will undoubtedly benefit from this new network expansion strategy.

Besides, our global strategy is supported by an enhanced international presence: this year Protec was present at the IDA World Congress (São Paulo) and Aquatech Amsterdam, the two main events gathering the latest trends in new water treatment technologies, innovations related to hydrographical applications and all the new techniques for water purification processes.

New markets, new challenges

Protec’s state-of-the-art expertise will be present in new markets and major challenges. Our presence at this kind of meetings will continue in 2018: in future scenarios, desalted water will support a wide range of economic and human activities in coastal areas, fulfilling new and innovative functions. The IDA World Congress and Aquatech are perfect scenarios to expand knowledge in the latest emerging desalination and water reuse technologies, where the most important actors share their knowhow.

New success in the APAC region

Extensive droughts and climate changing conditions create new commercial challenges in several markets affected by critical hydrographical conditions. However, we have once again reinforced our leadership position in pressure vessels for desalination industry with major hits in Middle East and Asia, an area where Protec will deploy its unique professional expertise in several mega-projects. New clients and new business are waiting us!

The Middle East and Asia region is an important future market for desalination processes due to the growing number of membrane desalination plants in the region, especially in Saudi Arabia, where Protec’s membrane filtration systems have already set foot. In addition, climate changing conditions in North America and Southern Europe anticipate a market expansion for all technologies related to water purification processes. Technology advancement in increasing efficiency of water filtration will be key to winning shares of this new market.

Innovation and quality

However, innovation never stops: Protec has an important client list of already awarded orders. This promising new business, as well as ongoing projects, will allow us to continue growing in 2018 in a solid and sustainable manner. But that’s not all! We remain focused on R&D activities in close collaboration with our North-American and Japanese colleagues.

Finally, our strong daily commitment ensures the highest quality in all our products: through innovation and using the latest technologies, we continue working every day to improve the quality of our products and services for all our customers and partners.

Come and visit us! Together, we can explore every possible solution to develop the right pressure vessel for each specific case and field of action.

As a conclusion, Protec is proud of all the hard work, commitment and motivation deployed by the whole staff. We close 2017 with a very strong backlog position that will make our growth a reality in 2018. Our confidence and optimism for the year to come are live up to our expectations. Using innovation and technology, we strive constantly to improve our products and services and offer the best quality to our customers, enhancing reliability and effectiveness.

Drought and desertification: new challenges for the northern Mediterranean basin

Drought and desertification: new challenges for the northern Mediterranean basin
Southern Spain and the Mediterranean coasts are the most requested holiday destinations by European citizens. However, a huge part of Southern Europe could look like a desert unless global warming is held only 1.5 oC above pre-industrial levels. We are on the edge. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Science titled “Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems”. If we continue to unabatedly produce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming reaches 2 oC over the natural temperature, by the end of the century desertification could conquer many areas around the Mediterranean, modifying and destroying ecosystems in a way unseen in many thousands of years.

 

This negative trend is having great impact on many regions of Spain, Italy and Greece: the level of their hydrological reserves has been falling since spring, and the majority of the Spanish reservoirs hardly reach 30-40% of their capacity. Rainfall continues below its normal level, and the first signs of water scarcity have already appeared: restrictions on irrigation were multiplied last summer in the main Mediterranean agricultural basins.

 

In addition to the foreseeable long-term consequences of water scarcity, the increase of the average temperature and prolonged droughts in Southern Europe is setting a scenario prone to large fires propagation. These predicted changes are boosting the duration and severity of the fires, adding another main cause to desertification. The danger of fires could spread northward in the next decades, involving the centre of Europe. In fact, last October the Italian region of Lombardy requested the government to declare a state of emergency due to forest fires enhanced by prolonged droughts, which also devastated hundreds of hectares in the neighbouring Piedmont area.

 

According to a report issued by the European Environment Agency in 2016, these violent heat waves will probably be more frequent and lasting in Europe in the next years. If greenhouse gas emissions do not decrease, extreme heat events harming people, agriculture and ecosystems will appear every two years from 2050. It seems that the southern and oriental regions of the European continent will more likely suffer the highest temperatures, posing serious risks to health, especially for people living in low-altitude river basins in the Mediterranean area. Another analysis by the Spanish government anticipates that 80% of the Iberian Peninsula could have turned into a desert by 2100.

 

However, this kind of studies that predict aridity growth, desertification and temperature rising contrast with another type of forecasts, showing that Northern Europe is clearly becoming a more humid area, where floods in winter could be more frequent. Urban areas, where four out of five Europeans live, are strongly exposed to heat waves, floods or sea level rise and share a generalised lack of attributes to successfully face climate changing episodes, a hypothetical context that continues to gain prominence day after day.

 

In this particularly worrying scenario, desalination is called to be a future solution for human sustainability in a large number of European territories in the next decades. Protec Arisawa is well aware that desalted water is expected to fulfil new and innovative functions, especially as the support of a wide range of economic and human activities in coastal areas. Through innovation, technology and research, Protec is the global leader in creating and manufacturing fiber-reinforced plastic pressure vessels for membrane filtration systems used in desalination processes.

 

Aquatech Amsterdam: The great European meeting for water technology professionals

We are on the move! After attending the IDA World Congress with a maximum quality high-tech offer in pressure vessels for water purification, Protec Arisawa will also be present in Aquatech Amsterdam: the world leading trade exhibition for process, drinking and waste water, representing a unique concept in Europe with a 100% focus on water.

From October 30th to November 3rd, Protec’s professional delegates will visit Netherland’s flagship city for this major event. No less could be expected: over 21,000 experts from 140 countries and 900+ exhibiting companies will gather in the Dutch metropolis to do business, to network and, above all, to discover innovations. As part of the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW – 1,100 conference delegates), the 26th edition of Aquatech Amsterdam is fully booked and its managers are expecting more participants, exhibitors and visitors than ever.

Come and visit us! Make a note of our stand number: 01.101

Let’s meet and work together! Protec will be present in RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre: an icon facility that will become for a few days the epicentre of water technology. As a unique field for networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, innovation and new business opportunities, this central platform is a not-to-be-missed exhibition, an ideal stage to showcase the latest developments in fundamental research projects, innovation & development in seawater treatment industry and membrane filtration systems, among many other segments. Our international team will assist clients’, suppliers’ and visitors’ every need.

Protec Arisawa is well aware that research and progress in the field of water are vital for the future of a great range of businesses, as well as for a sustainable future of our environment. In this context, Aquatech features an amazing Innovation LAB where early-stage technologies are shown, offering a glimpse of future market and development trends in the water industry. As at the IDA World Congress 2017 recently held in São Paulo, the most important players of the sector will put innovation in the spotlight. Following the exhibition’s innovative commitment, Protec will closely monitor the Aquatech Innovation Award 2017, a prize granted for many years to the most innovative product, service or solution in the water industry.

Aquatech introduces the new Desalination Pavilion

This year, the exhibition organizers have decided to feature a new and highly expected area: the new Desalination Pavilion, powered by the European Desalination Society (EDS). It will be the perfect spot to learn about the latest trends and developments of a water treatment activity that represents a growing market for both governments and the private sector, as water scarcity and water re-use are increasingly pressing issues in many regions around the world. According to the Exhibition Manager, Ms. Marieke Leenhouts, “the latest state-of-the-art solutions will be offered by market leaders in the industry”. Protec will move like a fish in water in this new pavilion complemented with a seminar programme focused on sea water, brackish water as well as industrial waste water desalination.

With top-level industrial facilities in Europe and USA, Protec Arisawa is constantly pursuing its efforts to improve products, technologies and processes. Aquatech Amsterdam will just be another step on the path to expand the company’s field of action to more mainstream markets and to prove the quality of the best fibre-reinforced pressure vessel solutions for water purification on the market.