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DuPont Permasep Products photographs

Creation: 1967-1997
Accession: 2007-213


E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is a chemical company commonly known as the DuPont Company. DuPont introduced its first reverse osmosis permeators for water desalination in 1969 under the trade name "Permasep" as a result of its contusion research in polymer chemistry and synthetic fibers. The collection documents the manufacture and operational use of the Permasep® product line. The collection consists of photographs, slides, videocassettes, and marketing materials that document the DuPont Company's involvement in the Permasep® product line. The bulk of the collection are slides of desalination plant views, including interior and exterior views. This collection includes slide presentations, brochures, and videocassettes promoting Permasep®. Researchers interested in industrial reverse osmosis systems may find this collection useful.


  • Creation: 1967-1997



5.5 Linear Feet

Physical Description

727 photographic prints : color ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 284 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 26 polaroids : color. 2 polaroids : b&w. 9 photomechanical prints ; 8 x 10 in. 2647 slides : color ; 35mm. 94 negatives : b&w ; 35mm. 130 negatives : color ; 35mm. 61 negatives : color ; 120. 42 negatives : b&w ; 120. 117 negatives : color ; 4 x 5 in. 83 negatives : b&w ; 4 x 5 in. 5 negatives : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 1 negative : color ; 8 x 10 in. 303 slides/transparencies : color ; 2 x 2 in. 9 transparencies : color ; 8 x 10 in. 84 transparencies : color ; 4 x 5 in. 3 transparencies : b&w ; 4 x 5 in. 110 Film negatives : color ; 13 x 17 mm. 12 transparencies : color ; 35mm. 2 transparencies : color ; 1 x 1 in. 1 transparency : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 20 videocassettes (VHS). 58 items.

Historical Note

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is a chemical company commonly known as the DuPont Company. DuPont introduced its first reverse osmosis permeators for water desalination in 1969 under the trade name "Permasep" as a result of its contusion research in polymer chemistry and synthetic fibers. DuPont designed two types of permeator membranes: hollow-fiber and spiral-wound.

DuPont made the hollow-fiber B-9, the first Permasep permeator commercially available, in 1969. Following the introduction of the B-9, DuPont continued to unveil new and refined permeator models. For its innovation in developing the Permasep B-9 permeator, the company was awarded chemical engineering's Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award in 1971. DuPont introduced the B-10 permeator, the first permeator to make seawater desalination commercially feasible, in 1974. In 1989, DuPont Permasep patented a chloramines process that created reliable biological control of surface seawater plants and prevented the formation of trihalomethanes created when water is treated with chlorine. In 1991, DuPont sold the spiral-wound permeator section of their business to TriSep. The sale of the spiral-wound permeators left DuPont to focus on developing more efficient hollow-fiber permeators. In 1992, DuPont introduced the B-10 Twin permeator. The Twin drastically reduced operating costs and was more efficient than the standard B-10. Permasep, originally part of the DuPont Company's polymer sector, was switched to the fibers sector in 1993, where it joined fibers like Kevlar and Nomex.

By 1997, DuPont had sold over 1.5 billion gallons of desalting capacity. DuPont had Permasep sales offices in seven countries: United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Belgium. These offices sold Permasep products across the globe, especially to the Middle East. Customers there included Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, which had the world's largest reverse osmosis plant. Other countries include Malta, the Canary Islands, Italy, Venezuela, Chile, Morocco, and Singapore. Despite Permasep's success, DuPont decided to discontinue the production of hollow-fiber permeators in 1997. The reverse osmosis market slowly shifted away from hollow-fiber permeators toward spiral-wound permeators. This shift was the deciding factor in the decision to discontinue production.

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the manufacture and operational use of the Permasep® product line. Permasep® was the leading maker of reverse osmosis permeators, and this collection reflects the global scope of their activities. Materials documenting the manufacture and operational use of Permasep® products include photographs, brochures, slides, memoranda, and videocassettes.

The materials were initially in a set of three-ring binders. The materials have been removed from the binders for preservation purposes; the binders have not been retained. An accompanying inventory provided a brief description of the binder contents and approximate dates for the material. The original placement of facility locations was maintained when removed from the original binders. The collection is arranged alphabetically by series.

The collection is arranged into three series: Company activities, Employees, and Facilities.

The Company activities series includes photographs and slides of Permasep® products, product manufacture, tradeshows, and conferences. The series also provides product brochures and case history images. The series is divided into four subseries: Advertisements and literature images; Presentations; Products, manufacturing; and Tradeshows and conferences.

The Advertisements and literature images subseries contain case history images, advertisements, and product brochures. This subseries also has the original images used in various brochures and newsletters.

Presentations subseries consist of images and video recordings about the B-9 and B-10 permeators shown at press briefings and to other media outlets.

The Products, manufacturing subseries contains images of various models of hollow-fiber permeators, spiral-wound permeators, and transportable permeators. There are also images of details or parts of these permeators.

Tradeshows and conferences subseries consist of photographs of product displays at various events.

Employees series includes photographs and memoranda of Permasep® employees. The photographs are individual staff portraits and employees engaged in work activities.

The Facilities series is divided into twenty subseries according to site location. Included are photographs, slides, and videocassettes of desalination plants, showing interior and exterior views. Site locations include: Antigua, Bahrain, Capri, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Medeira, Malta, Oman, Poland, Cyprus, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is available for research.

Language of Materials


Additional Description

Separated Materials

DuPont Permasep Products records (Accession 2319), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

DuPont Permasep Products photographs
Taylor Stammler
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA