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The Importance of Water Analysis To Ion Exchange
By Dean L. Owens
Editor’s note: Welcome to a technical article from our library of more than 2,100 technical and water business articles published since 1984. This article by the late Dean L. Owens was published in the September/October 1984 issue of Ultrapure Water Journal. It is based on an excerpt from a chapter in the book “Practical Principles of Ion Exchange” that Mr. Owens authored. This article examines the importance of water analysis for the successful operation of ion exchange systems.
For the majority of applications of ion-exchange resin water treatment, it is necessary to know what ions and how much or what concentrations of each are present. For applications such as water softening, generally just knowing the amount of hardness present (calcium, magnesium, and if present, iron, manganese, strontium, and barium) is sufficient. However, where the softening of water high in sodium chloride content is desired, then knowing the total dissolved solids and sometimes having a complete analysis are necessary in order to determine the best softening approach and to determine the capacity of the cation exchange resin to be used.
For deionization, the complete water analysis must be run and it is best to include analysis for some of the minor constituents, since some of these may have an influence on the regeneration techniques to be used and can affect the capacities that can be obtained. Of particular concern are the cations and the anions with trivalent charges, since these are not as readily removed in generation and can build up, reducing capacities for removal of other ions.
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