Have you noticed that your bottle of water was purified through reverse osmosis? Perhaps you’ve even seen water that has been distilled. What about deionized? Deionizing water isn’t as common as the other ways of purification but has many practical uses in food processing plants, pharmaceutical companies, electronics manufacturing plants and even at the local car wash. Here are some things to know about obtaining pure water through a process of deionization.
What is a water deionizer?
There are several ways to purify water, and each has its variations. One of the biggest differences among them is the use of a deionizer. Simply stated, deionization (DI) removes all ionized molecules and minerals from water through an exchange of ions. Since the materials that are being removed have either a positive or negative charge, water deionization systems must replace the lost particles with similarly charged substances. To do this, water flows through two different ion-exchange resins, the cation and anion. Cation exchanges with positively charged molecules such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium while anion replaces negatively charged molecules like bicarbonate, carbonate, chloride, nitrate and sulfate. When the cation removes these materials, it replaces them with positive hydrogen molecules. For anion, hydroxyl takes the place of negative molecules. When these two newly introduced materials come together, the result is a highly purified form of water.
What does the water deionization system's process look like?
For any ion exchange water deionizer, there are two standard kinds of resin beds that are used: the cation-exchange resin for hydrogen and the anion-exchange resin for hydroxyl. These two reservoirs hold their individual resin so that water can flow through them, purifying the water. For a two-bed, or standard, deionization system, water flows through the cation resin to remove positively charged impurities and then travel through a short piping system to the anion resin to remove all of the negative ions. After this is complete, the water then flows through a system of pipes to its extraction point.
What are some other deionization systems?
In addition to the two-bed system, there are also mixed-bed deionizers. These systems combine the cation and anion exchange points into a single pressure vessel. This combination into a single column produces higher quality water due to the fact that contaminants have a shorter period of time to reenter the water. However, these mixed-bed systems can be more sensitive to impurities and require a complicated regeneration process. These systems often accompany are two-bed system or reverse osmosis process to “ultra” purify the water.
There are also electrodeionzation systems. This system utilizes electricity, ion exchange molecules (hydrogen and hydroxyl), and resin to create deionized water. The electric current is often used to regenerate the resin mass. These can be used on disinfected water or water with a high concentration of salt. The electric current charges the ions that help clear these impurities.
All of these systems often have a variety of other options for them as well. The material it is made of plays a factor with most being a fiberglass or stainless-steel system. Additionally, flow rates can vary. Depending on the volume of water you’d like to purify, you’ll want to consider the gallons per minute (GPM) of your system. Most water deionizers will have a 1 to 600 GPM rating. Depending on the intent and usage, water deionizer systems can look very different from one another but still produce similar outcomes.
If you are thinking of utilizing a water deionizer, companies like Complete Water Solutions offer a great way for you to utilize a water deionizer. Not only do they provide installation, maintenance and repair for systems, but they also have training available. They really offer the complete package for those who may need to use a water deionizer for their filter system.