Ion exchange (IX) is the reversible interchange of ions between a solid and a liquid such as water. Ion exchange resins remove harmful contaminants from liquids, replacing them with beneficial, desired ions.
Ion exchange is used in water treatment, including water softening, industrial demineralization, condensate polishing, ultrapure water production, and wastewater treatment. It can also provide a method of separation in many nonwater processes, such as desiccation and chromatographic separation. It has special utility in chemical synthesis, manufacturing, food processing, mining, power generation, agriculture, and a variety of applications and other industries.
Ion exchange treatment resin types: Cation, Anion, Chelating, and Adsorbents
IXresins are identified by the functional group to which they belong. Resins are conventionally classified as:
Strong acid (SAC): Characterized by their ability to exchange cations or split neutral salts; they are useful across the entire pH range.
Weak acid (WAC): Have a high affinity for the hydrogen ion and are therefore easily regenerated with strong acids; they exhibit a high capacity for the alkaline earth metals associated with alkalinity and a more limited capacity for the alkali metals.
Type 1: The most strongly basic functional group available with the greatest affinity for the weak acids such as silicic acid and carbonic acid that are commonly present during a water demineralization process; the efficiency of regeneration of the resin to the hydroxide form is somewhat lower than Type 2.
Type 2: Has lower basicity than that of the Type 1 resin, yet it is high enough to remove the weak acidanions for most applications; the chemical stabilityis not as good as that of the Type 1 resins, which are favored for high temperature applications; regeneration efficiency of a Type 2 resin is considerably greater than that of Type 1.
Strong base (SBA)
Weak base (WBA): Contain tertiary amine functionalities, which act as acid adsorbers; capable of sorbing SAC with a high capacity and are readily regenerated with caustic; particularly effective when used in combination with a SBA by providing an overall high operating capacity and regeneration efficiency.
Special chemical groups, such as chelating resins for the hydrometallurgical industry that are particularly applicable for the selective exchange of various heavy metals from alkaline earth and alkali metal solutions.
Adsorbents: Used for organic compound removal in many industries, such as bioprocessing and applications such as wastewater treatment.
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