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DEMINERALIZATION

Introduction
Demineralization is the removal of . Basic Deminerilization by Sequential Ion Exchange virtually all inorganic salts from solution by sequential or combined ion exchange. In this process, strong acid cation exchange converts dissolved salts to acids followed by strong base anion exchange, which removes these acids SAC SBA leaving pure water. The only other commercial processes which produce water of comparable purity are distillation and some applications of multi-stage reverse osmosis. Demineralization continues to be a favored selection for many applications due to low cost and proven reliability

Demineralizer Operation
The primary reactions taking place in basic demineralization (shown for calcium noncarbonate harness exchange) are: 2RSO3-H+ R4N+OH+ CaCl2 + HCl (2RSO3-)2Ca2+ R4N+Cl+ + 2HCl

H2O

Strong Acid Cation Exchanger


SO- H+ 3 SO- H+ 3

SO- H+ 3 SO- H+ 3

The net result of the strong acid cation (SAC) followed by the strong base anion (SBA) exchange processes is the removal of the hardness ions and their associated anions. Similar to sodium zeolite softening, demineralizer ion exchange processes, the performance of the resins can be degraded by the presence of organic matter (leading to fouling) or strong oxidizers such as chlorine (resin damage).

Steam Generation Systems, Inc.


1108 Lavaca St., Suite 110-309 Austin, Texas 78701 USA 832-725-7662 www.SteamGenerationSystems.com

DEMINERALIZATION

The common forms of resin are strong acid cation, weak acid cation, strong base anion, and weak base anion. As the name indicates, anion exchange resins exchange anionic species, such as NO3- for OH-. Each form of resin has advantages for a given application depending on the types of impurities contained in the raw water source

Regeneration
Reversing the exchange processes regenerates ion exchange resins used for demineralization. The SAC is exposed to strong acid as part of the regeneration cycle in an analogous manner as brine is used for sodium zeolite exchange resins. The acid is injected in a stepwise fashion from two to six percent to eliminate the precipitation of calcium sulfate on the resin, which could occur if a strong acid solution were used initially. The acid displacement or slow rinse step Step Wise Acid Injection During SAC Regeneration follows the acid introduction at the same flow rate. This insures complete contact by all resin beads in the vessel by the acid. Following the 6.0 slow rinse a fast rinse is employed to remove all traces of acid from the 4.0 % vessel and prepare the bed for return Acid to service.
2.0

time

Exhausted SBA resins are regenerated by exposure to caustic to reverse the exchange process.

Demineralization Equipment
The cation and anion exchange vessels for demineralization are similar to those used for filtration and zeolite softening. The only difference is that the vessel and transfer piping interior surfaces are lined with a corrosion resistant coating to prevent corrosion by the concentrated regeneration solutions. Block valves or by-pass valves are located in the two-vessel train to enable each unit to be isolated and regenerated separately without the risk of contamination to the other unit. Instead of two separate sequential ion exchange processes, mixed bed demineralizers use a single vessel containing a mixture of cation and anion exchange resins. In effect, a mixed bed is like an
Steam Generation Systems, Inc.
1108 Lavaca St., Suite 110-309 Austin, Texas 78701 USA 832-725-7662 www.SteamGenerationSystems.com

DEMINERALIZATION

almost infinite number of two-step cation/anion demineralizers in series. The close proximity of the cation and anion resins allows the ion exchange reaction to go to completion. In practice, demineralizer may include several steps of anion, cation and/or mixed-bed exchange processes with each resin selected to have specificity for contaminants in the raw water supply.

Other Processes
Developments in ion exchange have led to the use of new techniques for handling problems and to more economical demineralization approaches. One relatively new development has been the commercial application of countercurrent ion exchange. This process passes the water through the resin column so that it first penetrates nearly exhausted resin and progressively reaches resin in higher stages of regeneration until, just before leaving the column, it passes through freshly regenerated resin. Sodium leakage is considerably reduced by counter flow operation. Another significant development uses layered resin beds, usually weakly basic and strongly basic anion resins (WBA and SBA, respectively) in the same column. Because the weakly basic resin is less dense than the strongly basic resin, backwashing after regeneration causes the weak base resin to form a layer on top of the strong base resin. If the weak base resin is selected properly, the layer it forms will protect the strong base resin from organic fouling and will also economically remove mineral acidity. This can also be applied to cation units where weakly acidic cation resin is used in the same vessel as strongly acidic cation resin. In both cases significant regenerant savings can be realized.

Steam Generation Systems, Inc.


1108 Lavaca St., Suite 110-309 Austin, Texas 78701 USA 832-725-7662 www.SteamGenerationSystems.com

DEMINERALIZATION

Review Questions
1. Demineralization involves two stages. The first stage converts dissolved salts to their corresponding. 2. The acids produced in the cation unit are removed in the exchange unit.

3. A demineralization system using an intimate mixture of strongly acidic cation and strongly basic anion resins in the same column is called a demineralizer. . Anion exchange resin is regenerated with 4. Cation exchange resin is regenerated with . 5. Like other ion exchange systems, demineralizers will function efficiently only if the water matter and oxidizing material such as . supply is free from 6. The manufacturer of your plant's demineralizer system is .

7. How many gallons of water are being demineralized by your plant's system before it needs to be regenerated? . Answers 1.acids 2.anion 3.mixed bed 4.sulfuric acid, caustic 5.suspended matter, chlorine

Steam Generation Systems, Inc.


1108 Lavaca St., Suite 110-309 Austin, Texas 78701 USA 832-725-7662 www.SteamGenerationSystems.com