Lufthansa Technik has teamed up with Aqua free, a water hygiene specialist, to improve drinking water quality for aircraft, at a lower price than using traditional filters. The two companies developed a two-stage water filtration system called PuriFLY, which is said to remove 99.99999% of all known germs and bacteria.
The filters can be retrofitted into existing water filter systems on almost all commercial aircraft, only requiring a minor change certification by Lufthansa Technik, without the need for additional modifications to the aircraft.
The first filters are already flying on large VIP and government aircraft and are now being made available to commercial aircraft operators worldwide.
The companies explained that many current drinking water filters use activated carbon to neutralise chlorine in the water to improve taste, while relying on the material properties of the activated carbon for filtration.
In addition to using activated carbon, PuriFLY involves a second filtration stage using a hollow fibre membrane with extremely small pores. The companies say this filtration stage retains all particles larger than 0.2µm and removes water-bound bacteria and other particles to achieve bacterial retention of 99.99999%, corresponding to the standard of medical sterile filters (seven log levels).
“This new partnership with Lufthansa Technik combines our know-how in medical technology with the expertise of Lufthansa Technik in aircraft systems in an innovative way,” said Holger Eggert, head of product management at Aqua free.
“The puriFLY filters ensure the water quality on board at lower costs and produce less waste,” said Torben Biehl, head of aircraft components for Lufthansa Technik’s Original Equipment Innovation business unit. “Especially in these challenging times, they make a valuable contribution to the demand for more hygiene in our everyday life.”
By separating the chemical and mechanical filter stage, PuriFLY is designed to require fewer filter changes and cut down on additional cleaning efforts, reducing costs for the operator.
The new filters are also designed to optimise water flow rate and save weight. The filter cartridges are certified with an EASA Form 1 and come in the same size as conventional activated carbon filters.