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Facts at your Fingertips: Ion Exchange Resins in Water Treatment

By Scott Jenkins |

Removal of dissolved ions from industrial process water, boiler feedwater or wastewater is a common challenge for facilities in the chemical process industries (CPI). Ion exchange (IX) systems offer one possible solution for demineralization, purification or wastewater-treatment applications. Ion exchange systems facilitate reversible chemical reactions in which the ions targeted for removal are captured electrostatically and replaced by other ions of similar charge. Key components of IX systems are ion exchange resins. This one-page reference provides an overview of how IX resins work in industrial water treatment. Resin characteristics IX resins are generally composed of crosslinked organic polymers shaped into small beads usually measuring between 0.25 and 1.25 mm in diameter. The most common IX resin material is polystyrene with divinylbenzene crosslinks. This type of resin is used in the majority of IX applications. Although the basic resin components are often the same, the resins have been modified in many ways to meet the requirements of specific applications and provide longer resin life. The polymer matrix of the beads contains dispersed ion-active sites, which are charged functional groups covalently bound to the polymer…
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