AMONG THE MANUFACTURERS
Medal to Discoverer of “Permutit.”
The Franklin Institute has awarded the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal for 1916 to Dr. Robert Gans, of Pankow, near Berlin, Germany, for the discovery of “Permutit,” a substance which has taken an important place in the domestic and industrial life of the world. This medal and diploma—under the deed of trust of February 18, 1848, from Elliott Cresson to the City of Philadelphia—is awarded annually by the Franklin Institute on the recommendation of its Committee on Science and the Arts, “for discovery or original research adding to the sum of human knowledge irrespective of commercial value; or products embodying substantial elements of leadership in their respective classes, or unusual skill or perfection in workmanship.” In December, 1915. the Committee—after looking over the field of scientific endeavor—recommeuded that the award be made to Dr. Gans. The Institute then, in accordance with its usual procedure, advertised for objections over a period of about three months, and finally made the formal award to Dr. Gans. The medal and diploma were accordingly sent to the officials of The Permutit Company, of New York City, for forwarding to Dr. Gans when circumstances permit. “Permutit”—the technical name applied to Dr. Gans’ discovery—is a substance resulting from the fusing together of alumina, silica and an alkali carbonate. Its property is that of interchanging one of its constituents for other elements carried in solution in water passing through it. This interchange is automatic and continuous. And after the “Permutit” has become exhausted under a complete interchange of elements, it may be regenerated by passing through it another solution which restores the original element. While “Permutit” can be prepared in a number of combinations for extracting from solution various elements, its chief use in the industrial and domestic world is for softening water. Hard water is water carrying various proportions of lime and magnesium. In the textile industries, in dyeing establishments, in laundries, in paper mills, in the earning industry, and in many other fields, hard water seriously interferes with operations, affects the quality of product and impairs efficiency. In the domestic field, hard water prevents perfect laundering, interferes with the proper preparation of foods, and has an injurious effect upon the skin and hair. In power plants, the hardening elements in water are the mudand-scale forming elements which coat the interior of boilers, cause heavy repair and upkeep costs, and necessitates an extravagant fuel consumption. That “Permutit” is an dustrial fact and not a mere laboratory experimental process, is proved by the remarkable extent to which it has become established in the past few years. The Permutit Company, of 30 East 42nd Street, New York City, controls the commercial exploitation of this product; and it reports over 500 industrial plants already established in the U. S. alone, beside hundreds of others in Germany, France and England. The fact that a “Permutit” equipment delivers an unfailing supply of absolutely soft water, has worked almost revolutionary changes in some fields.
Electric Water Sterilizer.
Large apartment houses and hotels find it profitable to maintain good systems for the purification of their water. Bottling plants that put up carbonated drinks spend much money in water purification, so that the pure fruit juices and extracts in their finished beverages are not spoiled. Up-to-date manufacturing plants and department stores are installing purification systems. There are many methods of water purification. Some use filters, others chemicals, while still others treat the water by heat to remove the bacteria and germs. One method is the Standard No. 2 Electric Sterilizer of the Electric Water Sterilizer Co., of Scottdale, Pa. It has long been known that electricity will decompose water into its elements—hydrogen and oxygen. Following up this fact, it has been discovered that at the time of the decomposition of the water, much of the animal and vegetable matter present in the water is rendered inert. The oxygen which is set free is in such a form that it will assist in destroying the lower forms of animal and vegetable life. At the same time the plates, which are used to carry the current into the water, throw off an insoluble compound that gathers in a mass around the vegetable and organic matter and makes it very easy to filter the whole out of the water by mechanical filters. The sterilizer illustrated is composed of four essential parts, the electrode box, the coagulation chamber, the filter beds, and the automatic hydraulic motor and switch. The water to be purified just enters the electrode box. This box is made up of a number of metal plates containing slots through which the water is passed. There is a low current consumption as the resistance of the water is actually used to treat the water. After leaving the electrode box the water pours into the coagulation chamber where the germs and bacteria are brought together. These are filtered out during the passage of the water through two filter cylinders. The water comes from the second cylinder ready for use. The sides of the cylinder are covered with a layer of baked quartz to prevent any water from following what might be the smooth sides of the cylinder. Whenever water is drawn from any faucet connected with the machine the hydraulic motor automatically closes the electrical switch so that power is being used only when the water is being drawn. When the water is turned off the hydraulic motor stops and automatically breaks the electric circuit. The electric current is insulated from the filter cylinder and water supply line by long insulating tubes, inserted in the metal piping under the electrode box, and the electrode box itself rests on four heavy porcelain knobs, thus preventing any grounding of the current. In installations where alternating-current is the only available source of power a means of changing this to direct current is advisable, as in the latter form the current consumption is less. The illustration shows the electric water sterilizer equipped with a Westinghouse motor-generator set and controlled panel. The set is used to change the alternatingcurrent of the supply system to direct-current for use in treating the water. It is connected to an automatic switch controlled by the flow of water, so that it is in operation only while the water is being drawn through the machine.