A Substance That Water Can Flow Through Is Called Industrial Wastewater Treatment – Benefits of Using Ion Exchange Resins

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Industrial Wastewater Treatment – Benefits of Using Ion Exchange Resins

What are ion-exchange resins?

Ion-exchange resins are small, porous beads that are either negatively or positively charged, allowing them to hold on to ions (contaminants in water) that are attracted to that charge. These resins are solvents (insoluble in water) and range from 0.3 to 1.5 mm in diameter. The resin is placed in a vessel, commonly called a column, and immersed in water where it forms a layer at the bottom called a bed. Beds absorb water and swell when first immersed. Immersion condition resin. When the resin is fully conditioned, the beads contain 50 – 70% water.

As the wastewater passes through the resin columns, the resin bed is gently agitated. Agitation allows water to flow uniformly around the resin beads. Agitation increases the amount of surface area exposed to wastewater, which increases the potential for exposure of porous pore ions. Imagine the resin bead as a ball covered in holes. As the ball rolls and bounces in the wastewater, its pores come in contact with particles trapped in the water. Due to the charge, if the ions come in contact with the resin, they will be attracted to it and trapped in the pores.

There are two main types of resins: cationic and anionic. Cationic (pronounced like “cat-eye-on”) resins are negatively charged and remove positively charged cations. Here are some examples of ions that can be removed by cationic resins: Chrome (Cr), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Lead (Pb), Calcium (Ca), and Ammonia (NH3).

Anionic resins are positively charged and remove negatively charged anions. Here are some examples of ions that can be removed by anionic resins: chloride (Cl), sulfates (SO4), nitrates (NO3), carbonates (CO3), phosphate (PO3), bromide (Br), and hydroxide (OH).

Why use ion-exchange resins for wastewater treatment?

Ion-exchange resins fill a unique niche in wastewater treatment. They are ideal for treating waste streams with lower total suspended solids (TSS) and contaminant levels than those treated by chemical programs. Other benefits include:

· Does not form sludge.

If the wastewater being treated is from an electroplating operation, for example, sludge F006 is considered hazardous and can be very expensive to remove.

· Less labor than chemical treatment.

Columns are easily shipped and are generally considered non-hazardous.

· Much smaller space requirements than chemical treatment systems.

A system handling 10 GPM – 20 GPM can easily fit into an approximately 4 x 10 footprint.

· Lower total operation cost.

There are many suppliers that offer ion-exchange resins and columns. The easiest way to use ion-exchange is to use a column exchange program, which is available from certain vendors. These programs allow you to exchange your worn columns for regenerated columns without disrupting your wastewater treatment process or production. Contact an industrial water treatment company that can help you select the most effective resin, install the system, and set up a regular column exchange program that works for your facility.

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