Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 1

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38 tobaccoasia MANUFACTURING NEWS 制造新闻 China China #1 in E-patents Since 2011, China has been the world's top patent filer for all inventions, which is particularly true of patents related to e-cigarettes, according to the World Intellectual Property Office. In 2005, only 8 e-cigarette inventions were described in published patents. By 2012, the figure had jumped to 220, and by last year there were more than 500 inventions, according to an analysis by the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters. This year, the total is 650. (A single invention might be covered by several patents.) The original technology, involving battery-powered heating systems that vaporize nicotine-laced liquid, is credited to Hon Lik, a Chinese medical research- er who invented the technology in 2003. His invention has become so popular that the market is estimated to be worth US$3.5 billion. Last year, Imperial Tobacco snapped up the patents owned by the company that Hon co-founded in a deal worth US$75 million, and is suing rivals, alleging a range of patent infringements. Although proponents see e-cigarettes as important tools for reducing harm, critics fear that the devices instead might fuel a new wave of nicotine addiction, and they cite a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support the devices' safety. Of more than 2,000 e-cigarette inventions tracked by Thomson Reuters, 64% originated in China. Smaller players aim to deliver doses of caffeine and other additives rather than nicotine. A unit of mCig Inc. sells VitaCigs containing vitamins and supplements such as valerian and collagen, while a company called Energy Shisha sells a caffeinated vaping stick. Patents filed by others, including Fuma International, mention tetrahydrocannabinol, the active chemical in marijuana. US/China Recycling Cigs Ash Scientists have found a new use for cigarette ashes, which could actually help protect our health – they can be used to easily and inexpensively filter arsenic from drinking water. According to the American Chemical Society, arsenic is a "tasteless element than can cause skin discoloration, stomach pain, partial paralysis, and a range of other serious health problems." It can be found in drinking water around the globe, as well as in the global food supply. Removing arsenic from drinking water is normally expensive as it needs sophisticated water treatment equipment. However, thanks to the scientists led by Jiaxing Li of the School of Environment and Chemical Engineering, North China Electric Power University, now there is an inexpensive alternative. Hauni's HDT-FX: a Bestseller The superheated steam dryer is particularly appreciated for the economic benefits it offers. Hauni Maschinenbau AG has continued to optimize the unit, recently adding some attractive new features. The HDT-FX is designed to perform tobacco expansion as well as drying operations. The dual-action dryer has been very much in demand since 2006. "Many of our customers now rely 100% on our technologies," says Ullrich Bartsch, senior manager customer projects primary . "The HDT-FX has managed to establish a clear lead, placing itself well ahead of competitors' products. We've already sold 80 units and that number is soon expected to go up to 100." HDT-FX exhibits particularly high levels of dependability, durability, and resistance to soil- ing, and FX models are unique in that they give the user tremendous flexibility in terms of process parameters. Amongst this steam dryer's many highlights are the economic benefits it offers by allowing manufacturers to expand their tobacco whilst saving up to 5% in terms of raw material, allowing a number of FTD's enabled customers to improve their tobacco leaf usage and provide a sound economical solution while maintaining high quality of cut filler. The developers have also paid attention to sustainability and energy efficiency factors. "There's the option of reclaiming energy which can be used to provide hot water or heat the building," says Bartsch. "You really can call HDT-FX a success story. It's also evidence of the in-depth experience which has gone into perfecting this machine," he concluded.

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