Weak base anion exchange resin (WBA resin) actually are acid absorbers as much as they are ion exchange resins. They remove only the anions of the strong mineral acids (sulfate, chloride and nitrate). They allow the carbonate/bicarbonate and silica ions to pass through. Therefore, they cannot be used to make demineralized water without a SBA resin (strong base anion exchange resin) bed following in the train to remove the carbonate/bicarbonate and silica. The advantage of using the WBA resin is its efficiency. It is fully regenerated using only about 120 percent of stoichiometry. Like their WAC (weak acid cation exchange resin) counterparts, WBA resins can be regenerated using the spent caustic from the SBA resin bed making their use very efficient especially when used on water having a high percentage of anion loading from sulfate, chloride or nitrate.
WBA resins can vary in operating characteristics. Many have some initial strong base functionality. There also are several hybrid resins that have a combination of strong and weak base functionality by design. Many WBA resins also can be used for removing organic substances from the water before they have a chance to reach and foul the SBA resin. Organics elute off the WBA resins better during the regeneration process. When selecting a WBA resin for a specific application, it often is best to consult with the resin manufacturers for selection advice.
The general sequence of adsorption of anions by weakly basic anion resins is as follows:
OH-> citrate 3- > SO42- > tartrate 2- > oxalate 2- > PO43- >NO2- > Cl- > acetate- > HCO3-
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