Under the extended agreement, Alfa Laval, a company involved in centrifugal separation, heat transfer and fluid handling, receives the exclusive right to sell Sartorius' membranes and membrane systems for crossflow filtration and sterile filtration of beer as well as dead end filtration in breweries.
Until now, kieselguhr has been the established method for filtration or clarification of beer. According to Alfa Laval, Kieselguhr, also known as diatomaceous earth, is a filter aid that has known problems.
The firm claims that kieselguhr has a negative impact on the environment and can cause health hazards and entails waste disposal difficulties.
The new crossflow system however, specially designed for beer filtration, eliminates the problems associated with diatomaceous earth. Instead, the crossflow system uses porous membranes produced by Sartorius. This system, says Alfa Laval, also ensures continuous and efficient operation, good beer quality and minimum product loss.
"The extended alliance is a proof of the long-term nature of the commitment from both Alfa Laval's and Sartorius' side," said Ulf Granstrand, executive vice president and head of Alfa Laval process technology division. "It will increase our possibilities to develop the technology and market presence within beer filtration technology even further."
Another membrane-based filtration method is cold sterilisation, which sterilises beer without any heat impact. This method results in a high final product quality and in significant energy savings. The technology has already enjoyed success in Asia, particularly in China and Japan.
"We have seen in the past months that our alliance with Alfa Laval has worked out to the mutual benefit of both companies, and now it's time to proceed systematically with the next step," said Dr. Eric Janssens, executive board member of Sartorius and president of the biotechnology division.
"Sartorius will profit by the considerable market presence that Alfa Laval has as the global market leader in the engineering and construction of beer production systems.
"This alliance holds promise of substantial growth potential for Sartorius for unit sales of membrane filters for beer filtration."
Under the terms of agreement, Sartorius will also exclusively supply membrane filter elements along with key engineering and sales personnel in the largest markets like China and Japan to Alfa Laval.