In-depth Discussion on Intelligent Filtration Systems

Remediation Earth, Inc., Company Background

Remediation Earth, Inc. (REI) was founded by Daniel K. Moscaritolo to provide filtration solutions for industrial applications and to provide patented non-polluting technologies to convert waste to energy. Mr. Moscaritolo, REI's President and CEO, has brought this technology to REI, through his extensive experience in the management, design, engineering, development, fabrication, commissioning, and start-up of all "official" IFS systems sold since 1990!

Mr. Moscaritolo was previously the Founder & COO of MEMS USA which designed and manufactured the last "official" IFS system in 2007 for Chevron in El Segundo (near Los Angeles), California. Prior to his tenure at MEMS USA, Mr. Moscaritolo was the Vice President of Engineering and New Product Development for PTI Technologies Inc., which built many of the newer IFS systems that were delivered around the world (see list below). Mr. Moscaritolo was also previously the Engineering Manager of VACCO Industries where he was responsible for all engineering related to the IFS product line. With more than 15 years of continuous involvement in the IFS product line, Mr. Moscaritolo and his core engineering team worked together at several of the companies described above, designing and building the IFS systems. REI continues to maintain a long term business relationship with PTI and VACCO as their filter element supplier of choice for IFS systems around the world.

Remediation Earth Inc. ("REI") is the currently the only "official" supplier of the Intelligent Filtration System (IFS) Technology for use in refineries, oil and gas plants, chemical plants, and industrial waste water & produced water applications. Since 1990, Mr. Moscaritolo and other members of Remediation Earth's core engineering and administration team have been responsible for providing the following systems:

Backflush Filtration System User List

Systems that use either EDF™ filters or LongLife™ filter elements, Including refineries and gas plants only

- Anschutz Gas Plant (Evanston, WY)

- Amine Filtration System

- Beaver Creek Plant (Riverton, WY)

- Amine Filtration System

- Painter Gas Plant (Unita County, WY)

- Amine Filtration System

- Whitney Canyon Plant (Whitney Cyn., WY)

- Amine Filtration System

- British Petroleum (Rotterdam, Holland)

- Amine Filtration System
- Chevron, El Segundo Refinery

- Lean Amine Filtration System with Long Life™ filter elements

- Columbian Chemicals (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

- Slurry Oil Filtration System with EDF™ elements

- Formosa Petrochemical Corp.Mai Liau Refinery (Taiwan)

- (quantity: 6 systems) Lean Solvent Filtration System

- Gulf States Utilities Company River Bend 1 and 2
(St. Francis, LA)
- Rich Amine Filtration System
- Gulf-Canada Resources, Ltd.
Rimbey Gas Plant (Rimbey, Alberta)
- Rich Amine Filtration System
- Koch Hydrocarbon Company
McKenzie County Gas Plant

- Rich Amine Filtration System

- MOL Hungarian National Oil and Gas Plc
Szazhalombatta Hungary
- Coker Gas Oil
- Novagas Canada Ltd.
Harmattan Gas Plant (Alberta, Canada)

- Rich Amine Filtration System

- Pemex, Madero Mexico - Slurry Oil
- Powerine Oil Company
Santa Fe Springs Refinery
- Rich Amine Filtration System
- Texaco
Odessa Gas Plant (TX)
El Dorado Hills Refinery (KS)

- Amine Filtration System
- Amine Filtration System

- Ultramar Refining
(Wilmington, CA)

- Rich Amine Filtration System
- Tail Gas Amine Filtration System

- Westcoast Energy
Ft. Nelson Gas Plant (B. C. Canada)
- Rich Amine Filtration System


Examples of Intelligent Filtration Systems:

Examples of Intelligent Filtration Systems
Pemex Slurry Oil System In Madero Mexico

Kuwait National Oil Company- Amine System: Mina Al Ahmadi Refinery
Kuwait National Oil Company- Amine System: Mina Al Ahmadi Refinery

Over the last fifteen years, several proprietary improvements have been successfully implemented such as the Smart Decanter™ with its integral Electronic Flocculator™ that causes small particles in the backflush waste to quickly agglomerate into larger particles, thus accelerating the settling process so that the contaminants (particle) can be removed as sludge, while allowing the clarified process fluid to be returned to the process. Next, Remote View™ allows "real-time" remote monitoring and trending of all process variables, while the prognostic health monitoring ("PHM") capability uses special sensors and proprietary predictor/corrector software to detect incipient component failure. The Smart Receiver Vessel employs novel technology to transfer of all backflush waste materials to the Decanter without the use of any pumps. The development of the "semi-permanent" LongLife™ filter element was a major breakthrough since it offers high filtration efficiency at a much lower capital cost than the "permanent" Etched Disc Filter (EDF™). The LongLife™ filter elements have been used successfully in multiple commercial projects around the world, in fact, one of the first LongLife™ customers (Ultramar in southern California) achieved 14 years of continuous operation from their first set of the semi-permanent elements in a rich amine application.



DecanterREI's decanter with the proprietary Electronic Flocculator™ complements the IFS Backflush system by providing the most efficient waste post processing system on the market. Clarification is performed through "acceleration" of Stoke's Law, quickly settling particulate inside the Decanter. REI's proprietary design utilizes a series of internal trays, weirs & downcomers, and velocity reduction devices to maintain quiescent conditions within the active "settling zone" of the decanter.

The proprietary decanter design allows for repeated backflushing to occur without upsetting the quiescent conditions in the active settling zone near the lower section of the decanter, thus facilitating the separation of the filtered particulate from the backflush liquid. The clarified liquid (99.5% water, < 0.5% amine) can be returned to the process stream, to supplement the addition of "make-up" water. This is the only closed loop filter system on the market today that post processes its own waste!

Periodically, the waste sludge (now a toothpaste-like sludge) can be discharged from the bottom of the decanter into an empty drum, or vacuum truck via the manual dump valve.


Electronic Flocculator

Electrostatic FlocculatorREI's proprietary Electronic Flocculator™ polarizes small particles, consequently speeding the agglomeration of smaller particles into larger particles which fall out of the water based solution much faster than if they remained an uncharged small particle.


The Total Suspended Solids ("TSS"), the Particle Size Distribution ("PSD"), and the flow rate of your amine process stream will dictate the amount of waste collected and or generated. In most applications, the total waste (sludge) concentrated after six months of steady state operation is approximately one (1) barrel every two (2-3) months. The decanter is outfitted with a number of Pressure Transmitters and an FCI Sludge Level Detection Device for complete control and integration with the IFS System.


REI presently offers two (2) choices in filter elements:

  1. VACCO Etched Disc Filter™ (EDF™), a permanent filter that never requires replacement.
  2. PTI LongLife™ Filter element, a semi-permanent filter with a much lower initial installed cost.


The proprietary EDF™ elements provide unmatched structural integrity. These elements are manufactured and hand assembled by REI's exclusive provider--VACCO Industries, located in South El Monte, California. The EDF™ elements are constructed of thin, identically shaped 316L stainless steel discs, which have straight micro flow channels that are created by an extremely precise photo chemical etching process. The discs are then stacked, one on top of the other, around a 316L stainless steel hexagonal steel shaft and end plates, then "tons of compression" are applied to the stack and integral struts, providing radial support for the elements. Each disc is .002" thick, and there are 500 discs per inch in a typical 10 micron (absolute) element. The resulting filter elements have inherent rigidity allowing permanent or unlimited service life. The VACCO EDF™ filter element has been used successfully in the refining, gas processing, petrochemical, and nuclear industries for many years. Additionally, they have been used in satellite propulsion and nuclear submarine applications, where reliability is a critical requirement.

The unique design of the EDF™ elements results in a true surface element, preventing the particulate with a diameter greater than the micron rating from ever entering the body of the filter element. Consequently, each backflush will easily remove the build up of "cake" that develops on the surface of the elements during the filtration cycle. The ability of the system to completely clean the EDF™ elements during the backflush cycle eliminates the need to routinely remove the elements for cleaning.

The EDF™ elements will typically be rated at 10 micron absolute (99.9% absolute) for amine applications. Virtually no particles with a diameter greater than 10 microns will pass through a 10 micron absolute EDF™ element. After the elements are manufactured, VACCO performs a bubble point test on them to verify the micron rating. For the EDF™ to pass its bubble point test criteria, less than 10 individual pores can have a micron rating greater than 10 micron. There are approximately 25,000,000 pores in a 24" long x 5" diameter Snowflake™ EDF™ element. If an element fails the bubble point test, it will be returned for rework and the discrepant disc or discs are replaced, and the bubble point test is repeated until the element meets the acceptance criteria.

The EDF™ element, as well as the optional LongLife™ element will filter particles much smaller than their absolute micron rating (10 microns). This is due to the "cake" of particulate that forms on the outside of the element during the filter cycle that acts as a fine pre-filter for the actual filter.


OPTIONAL LONGLIFE FILTER ELEMENTSThe LongLife™ filter elements use a proprietary 421 filter media, the result of several technological breakthroughs in filtration science. The 421 media consists of metallurgically sintered and mechanically compressed metal fibers that offer superior temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, clean-ability, and cost effectiveness. The specially designed depth matrix acts as a quasi-surface filter. The sintered non-woven stainless steel media is reinforced on both sides with screens of woven wire mesh and high strength springs to provide the support needed to withstand extreme forces associated with backflushing.

The LongLife™ filter element captures more contaminants at a given pressure drop than either woven wire cloth or sintered powder metal media. This is a result of the larger number of particle trapping interstitial spaces formed by the many permanently sintered intersections of the random stainless steel fibers. Variants of the LongLife™ elements, configured for other industrial uses, are routinely used at temperatures above 600F and with differential pressures exceeding 3000 psid. The LongLife™ filter elements was originally designed for aqueous and lean/rich amine backflush applications. All materials and components used in the construction of LongLife™ filter element will be compatible with most process fluids.

FilterThe innovative 421 filter media makes possible filtration devices that:

• permit high flow with low stream restriction

• permit lower pressure differential

• can be backflushed with elements in place

• feature greatly extended operational cycles due to large contaminant holding capacity (nearly four times as great as competitive media)




Kuwait National Oil Company's - Mina Al Ahmadi Refinery as an example (page 3) The IFS system is designed to have three (3) filter vessels in service at all times, except during the backflush sequence, when one vessel at a time is taken out of service and then sequentially regenerated. This approach provides a maximum continuous design flow rate during the normal on-line filtering process (under normal loading). Amine will flow through all vessels until the filter delta pressure reaches approximately 30 psid. Filter vessels are then taken out of service and sequentially backflushed.

The backflush procedure for the vessel is accomplished after the system Smart Bypass™ valve is opened and the process inlet and outlet valves located on each of the three (3) filter vessels are closed. First, a water chase occurs- reducing the amine concentration in each filter vessel to less than 0.5 % (99.5% water, < 0.5% lean amine), and then the backflush inlet valve on the top of the filter vessel is automatically opened, charging the top of the filter vessel with gas from the backflush accumulator. Once the accumulator is recharged to the required backflush pressure (approximately 300 psig), the backflush outlet valve is fully opened in less than one-half (1/2) of a second. The actual cleaning occurs as the backflush gas forces a hydraulic slug of filtered "chase fluid" backwards through the filter elements in an instantaneous flow reversal, thus "blowing off" all particulate from the surface of the filter element.

During Backflush Filter Cake is Blown Off of Element
Normal Filtration
During Backflush
Filter Cake is Blown Off of Element

Following the backflush procedure, the contents of the receiver vessel are forced to the decanter or settling tank by means of the residual gas pressure from the backflush; augmented, if necessary, by high pressure gas from the accumulator. After the receiver vessel is purged, as detected by a liquid level sensor mounted in the receiver, the system is ready for another backflush. Please note that the filter system goes back on-line immediately after the last backflush (filter vessel #3) and does not wait for the receiver to empty.

To go back on-line, the process inlet valve and then outlet valve for each of the three (3) filter vessel is opened in sequence and the system bypass valve is closed (slowly--to prevent downstream pressure perturbations). The entire procedure is performed automatically, based on commands from the programmable logic controller ("PLC"). Contingent upon the requisite backflush gas supply pressure (300 psi) and the gas flow-rate capability, and the fluid chase pressure and flow, the total time required to backflush each of the three (3) filter vessels is approximately 3 minutes.

When the system is taken off-line for extended periods of time, the elements are automatically backflushed clean, the chase outlet and inlet valves are opened in sequence, and the chase fluid (steam condensate, boiler feedwater, or demineralized water) displaces the amine from the filter vessel. After the chase is complete, the chase outlet and chase inlet valves are closed. This water chase of the filter vessel is designed to properly condition and soak the elements. Filter elements must not be left in amine for extended periods of shut down, i.e., exceeding several hours, or plugging of the elements can occur.

A distinction should be made between backflushing and backwashing. Backflushing (REI's method) involves cleaning the filter elements with high pressure and low liquid volume; whereas backwashing (our competitors' method) involves low pressure and high liquid volume. Backwashing does not generate the necessary forces to prevent the eventual rise of the clean differential pressure (dP") across the filter elements, resulting in the plugging of the filter elements. Furthermore, backwashing consumes large volumes of backwash liquid, thus providing large amounts of fluids to your waste handling system.

General Features of REI's Intelligent Filtration System (IFS)
  • REI specializes in the design, manufacture, sales, and service of backflushable filtration systems. The REI Intelligent Filtration System (IFS) is a fully automated, self-cleaning (backflushable with 300 psi gas), liquid/particulate separation device. We use the best available proven technology to provide the most effective method of separating particles from the process stream. These Intelligent Filtration Systems have been successfully installed or tested in a variety of hazardous applications; including flash zone gas oil ("FZGO"), feed oil, heavy gas oil, slurry oil, naphtha, glycol, waste water, produced water, injection water, steam generator quench water, as well as both rich and lean amine streams.
  • Reductions in waste volumes, elimination of personnel exposure, and lower operating costs make the REI IFS equipment a sound business decision, as well as a smart environmental choice. The REI IFS equipment eliminates the need for operating personnel to continually change filter media and cartridge bags or screens. The REI IFS equipment will drastically reduce waste volumes, waste disposal problems, gas emissions, escalating disposal costs, and environmental liability.
  • The filter system is skid mounted and ready for installation. It has a relatively small footprint when compared to other self-cleaning filter systems. Since space is a major consideration at most refineries, we have included an "on-board," skid mounted, receiving tank to receive the backflushed (filtered) particulate. The filter skid for the dual vessel system is approximately 3.1 meters wide by 6.7 meters long by 3.7 meters tall and weighs approximately 14,000 kg dry with three vessels. The decanter is approximately 3.5 meters by 3.5 meters and 6 meters high and weighs 6,850 kg dry.
  • During amine operation, the three (3) filter vessels are all in service except during a backflush. When the filter vessels are being backflushed, the entire filter system is bypassed. Once the system has reached its terminal delta pressure ("dP") of approximately 30 psid, the system bypass valve is slowly opened (to prevent downstream upsets) and each of the three (3) individual filter vessels are taken off-line. The lean amine is sequentially chased out of each of the three (3) "bottled-up" filter vessels with a condensate liquid (or demineralized boiler feedwater). Backflushing is accomplished by using refinery fuel gas or nitrogen at 300 psig. During the backflush procedure (performed sequentially on each filter vessel), the 300 psi backflush gas in the accumulator causes an instantaneous flow reversal that forces approximately 50 gallons of chase fluid ("demineralized or boiler feed water and 0.5% lean amine") remaining in the filter vessel (after the chase) to rapidly reverse flow direction thus forcing the "filter cake" off the outside of the filter elements, forcibly expelling the dirt and chase liquid into the receiver. The Smart Receiver, using residual gas pressure (no pumps) forces the backflush waste (chase fluid and particulates) into the decanter for rapid settling. This backflush waste (99.0% water, < 0.5% amine, and 0.5% particulate) is sent to the decanter to settle out all particulate by means of REI's Electronic Flocculator™. When the decanter and Electronic Flocculator™ are used together, the smaller particulates are quickly settled out. The clarified water or decanted liquid (99.5% water, < 0.5% amine) is returned back into the amine process stream and the particle laden "sludge" at the bottom of the decanter is discarded at a minimum cost.
  • The three (3) filter vessels are sequentially put back into service, after which the system bypass valve slowly closes (to minimize pressure perturbations downstream). Once the system bypass is closed, the filter system is now "back-in-service".
  • REI has selected the best components for their systems: Fisher or Vanessa air operated ball valves and actuators, Crosby relief valves and Honeywell or Rosemount Smart pressure and differential pressure transmitters, Hoffman (Nema 4X) stainless steel enclosure, Allen Bradley PLC's, lights, switches and controls, Bebco Z type rapid exchange purge system, Westlock limit switches with internal solenoid valves and Beacon indicators, Ashcroft pressure gages, Anderson Greenwood instrument manifolds, ASCO pressure switches, SMC pneumatic instrumentation air filter, Hex stainless steel instrument air manifolds, Drexelbrook liquid level transmitter, FCI sludge detector, and a Wessel instrument air accumulator.
  • The IFS backflushing filtration system can be controlled any of the major PLC's, however, the Allen Bradley SLC 5/04 CPU is our standard PLC. The CPU will interface with the refinery's DCS data highway. Manual override is also incorporated in the control panel for manual operation and testing. All controls are mounted on the panel.
  • The entire IFS equipment is constructed of carbon steel materials except for the stainless steel filter elements, and the wetted surfaces of the instrumentation. For 15 years, REI's fabricators have manufactured all system vessels according to ASME Section 8 of the Pressure Vessel Boiler Code, and all piping according to the ANSI B 31.3 - specification. The vessel and piping are built to meet or exceed all required pressure, material compatibility and corrosion specifications.
  • We supply a skid-mounted receiving tank that has an ASME 150# class rating, and is approximately 24 inches in diameter and 14 feet long with a water volume of 42 ft.3. The receiving tank with its integral baffle technology allows for unrestricted expansion of the gas & backflush waste fluids, while simultaneously preventing the "sloshing" of backflush liquids within 30 seconds after the backflush, thus facilitating the transfer of the backflush waste materials to the decanter. The receiving tank assembly includes a safety relief valve, pressure transmitter, liquid level transmitter (used to monitor the liquid build up), and Fisher V500 isolation valves for pressurization and waste transfer. The PLC will control and monitor the waste transfer operation.
  • The IFS system is supplied with an on-board modem communications device to enable REI to remotely monitor the IFS system's vital functions, such as filter element dP, backflush gas pressure, and backflush frequency (note flow rate can be monitored through a customer supplied signal). The modem is similar to having a "virtual" REI engineer on-site to monitor and evaluate the IFS system performance. The modem will require the customer to run a dedicated analog communication line (twisted pair with a RJ-11 female connector) which terminates inside the control panel. All of our new intelligent systems include the modem and our customers are very satisfied with the service. It enables REI to troubleshoot the system and monitor the process parameters in "real time."
  • The IFS system wiring and electrical components will normally comply with Class 1, Division 2, Group C and D, hazardous area electrical area classification rating ("EAC"). The stainless steel control panel enclosure will have a NEMA 4X rating, and will be supplied with a Bebco Z type air purge to achieve the Class 1, Division 2, Groups C & D EAC.
  • The IFS system will typically be supplied with REI's two-year "flange-to-flange" warranty.
  • Once the IFS system has reduced the overall particulate loading (iron oxide, dirt, and corrosion particulate) in the inventory in your amine train, the backflush frequency will decrease from two (2) hours to approximately every six (6) to eight (8) hours. This system can be configured to switch over to another amine train (with identical amine process conditions) during an upset condition to rapidly reduce the affect of the upset. This can be programmed to automatically occur or to send a signal to your control room that an upset has occurred.
  • The normal pressure drop across the filter elements when they are clean (clean dP) is approximately 2-3 psid. The maximum pressure drop across the filter elements when they have reached the terminal differential pressure set point is 30 psid. The maximum total system pressure drop just prior to a backflush is 35 psid, assuming 30 psid across the elements and 5 psid for piping and valves. After each backflush, the clean dP across the filter elements should return to approximately 2 to 3 psid.
  • The principle contaminants in the lean amine stream will be iron oxides and other corrosion products (iron based). There should be little or no H2S or iron sulfide on the lean side. There will be no other chemical components or degradation products present except those typically found in a "healthy amine process loop". It is assumed that a carbon bed is on stream, adsorbing excess dissolved hydrocarbons, and that an ion exchange bed is removing heat stable salts.
  • The TSS of the amine streams are estimated to be reduced to less than 10 ppm after 2-3 months of continuous service, less than 5-10 ppm or less after 6 months, and even lower after one year of steady state operation, assuming 50 ppm or less at the start.
  • The TSS, PSD, particulate morphology, and porosity of the filter cake must be considered in order to calculate the backflush frequency of the IFS system. However, we estimate the system will backflush at intervals of approximately six (6) to eight (8) to hours at normal flow conditions with a TSS of 10 ppm or less after several months of steady state operation.
  • The filter elements will be backflushed with fuel gas or nitrogen at 300 psig provided by the refinery to the filter skid. Alternatively, REI can provide a special redundant compressor island, that can take nitrogen or fuel gas at 70 psi and pressurize the accumulator (15 ft3- water volume) up to 300 psi in 2 minutes or less.
  • We assume that the receiver vessel will be vented to a maximum backpressure of 5 psig. Higher pressures in the receiver during backflush will result in greatly diminished backflush efficiencies, degraded run times, and longer regeneration times (backflush cycle times).
  • The IFS system vessels and piping shall be constructed in accordance with ASME Section 8 of the Pressure Vessel and Boiler Code and ANSI B31.3. All major IFS pressure vessels (except the receiver and decanter shall be built in accordance with a design temperature and pressure of 650 F at 350 psig, except the receiver which is designed for 170 psi @ 500F.
Utility Consumption List

Type of Utility

Required Utility





Instrument Air

100 liter/min

550 to 840 kPa

-8o C dewpoint


Demineralized Water

200 liter/min

520 kPa

32o C


Sweet gas or Nitrogen

0.4 m3/hr

2070 kPa


300 SCFM per backflush.

3 backflush/day

Electricity to filtration skid




110 VAC, 50 Hz

20 Amp

Electricity to decanter




110 VAC, 50 Hz

10 Amp

Electricity to control panel




110 VAC, 50 Hz 10 amp

Modem connection for remote internet communication




Required during 2-year warranty period


Schedule and Major Milestones for Typical 3 vessel Amine System
Event or Task Week Completed

Order placed with Remediation Earth

Complete BOM, General Arrangement, P&ID

Hazop meeting

Order all long lead time items

Fabrication of filtration skid, vessels, decanter begins

Order all valves, instrumentation and other items

Control system and panel assembly begins

Completion of mechanical portion of skids

Electrical and instrumentation work started

Electrical work completed

Filter elements completed

Testing of skid begins

Completion of project














Payment Terms
Payments are required to be paid electronically within 10 days of invoicing. Milestone payment schedule applies.

Milestone Payments
REI requires the following milestone payment schedule on the IFS system hardware:

Milestone Schedule Payment Amount
Estimated Billing Schedule
Order Placement 25%At contract award
Design Drawing Submittal 10%4 weeks ARO
Major Subcontracts Placed 35%8 weeks ARO
Minor Subcontracts Placed 15%12 weeks ARO
Completion of Project 15%32 weeks ARO


Drawings are provided by Seller four weeks after receipt of purchase order. These drawings consist of our P&ID, a General Arrangement Drawing, and a BOM. These are the primary drawings which will be completed quickly to keep the project on track. Major subcontracts (orders for long lead items such as vessels, piping, valves, skid, controls and filter elements) are placed after receipt of customer approval of design drawings unless the customer approves earlier order placement.

Transportation of the System

Buyer is responsible for freight and shipping costs plus customs, duties, taxes, insurance, and transportation costs from our manufacturing facility.