Ion exchange is a simple chemistry process that removes one or more harmful or undesirable contaminants from water by exchanging with another more desirable substance. The exchange is facilitated by resin – tiny polymer beads that are typically 500-800 microns in diameter. It’s the go to water treatment solution, preferred for its simplicity, robustness, and effectiveness. However, traditional treatment systems are costly, inherently inefficient and produce substantial waste.
Ion Exchange. Like it’s never been done before
Ionex SG have changed the economics of ion exchange treatment. We targeted two steps that are central to the process: loading, which captures the contaminant and regeneration, which removes it. Our innovations in chemistry and fluid dynamics have dramatically improved the efficiency of the resin bed performance, by extending loading and refining regeneration. The same innovations also vastly reduce waste volumes. Collectively, the improvements have cut overall lifecycle costs to a fraction of traditional ion exchange systems, enabling deployment for the toughest installations.
Loading happens when raw water flows through a bed of resin beads in a column and negatively charged ions exchange for chloride ions on the resin bead. Our system evenly delivers water in a downward flow across the entire resin bed. This enables uniform saturation and ensures maximum bead loading. Water flow is higher and the resin bed volume is reduced – two key improvements that lower capital and operating costs.
Once fully loaded, the resin requires regeneration to remove the contaminant. For this step, our system uses a proprietary selective elution process to first remove the sulphates and bicarbonates via a super-dilute brine rinse. This is then returned to the treatment plant. This process reduces waste volumes by as much as 60% when compared to traditional ion exchange systems. Next, a strong brine solution is applied to remove target contaminants, resulting in a small waste. Finally, the brine is rinsed from the resin bed with softened water to return the column ready for drinking water treatment.