Water is as vital for industry as it is for sustaining life on the planet. In all industrial applications, there is some use of water in the process. Whether directly involved in the process or used for the needs of the facility, it’s guaranteed water is sewn into the genetics of every item or service on earth. Water treatment solutions for industry vary much more than the needs of municipal water supply, as a variety of applications are needed due to the processes of specific industries. Ultra-pure water, for example, deionised and ridden of all impurities, is used in microelectronics and medicine. Food and beverage manufacturers on the other hand only must ensure the feed water meets drinking water guidelines.
The need for water treatment is vital in maintaining industry, whether involved in the process or facility maintenance, or when treating water ready for release into the general water supply. Businesses have an obligation to ensure their runoff water does not pollute drinking water and turn to a variety of processes to ensure this. This article will look at forms of treatment and treated water, and their industrial applications.
Ionised salts and minerals are all removed from water through a process called ion exchange. The result is like water that has been distilled. The filters use hydrogen and hydroxide particles to draw out the different chemicals. Iron, copper, and sodium are exchanged with the positive hydrogen particles, and negative chemicals such as iodine, and sulphate with the hydroxide. The processes often using deionised water include applications within laboratories, where water purity is essential for accurate test result readings.
Ultrapure water is the highest defined level of water purity, achieved through pre-treatment, followed by deionisation or electro-ionisation to ensure total purity. Usually, the pre-treatment used will be reverse osmosis, carbon water filtration, or UV purification. Ultra-pure water is a highly sought-after industrial solution that is used in processes such as pharmaceuticals, microelectronics and cooling in data storage centres.
Reverse osmosis is the process of pumping feed water through a semi-permeable membrane, separating the sediments from the feed water. The sediments are then left in a small ratio of the water as run-off reject water, leaving the remaining water purified and clear of metals, minerals, and other particulates. It has also has an effect on the pH of the water, raising the alkalinity of the finished water. Reverse osmosis is used in a variety of industrial applications such as the food and beverage and power industries, and agriculture. It is also commonly used in manufacture to ensure factory parts are cleaned and run effectively without heavy sediments or particulates.
Carbon filtering works by absorption. This process involves the use of many porous carbon granules that form a substrate. This consequentially has a large surface area that is effective at removing chlorine and sedimentary particulates. Minerals, salts and dissolved substances are largely left intact with carbon filtering. Industrial uses involve coffee decaffeination and sugar purification, as well as processing water, air and gas.
UV purified water
UV treatment targets water that is biologically unsafe and works by scrambling the DNA of living organisms, rendering them unable to reproduce. It is a chemical-free solution that is ideal when chemicals cannot be added to water. Quite often used at the back end of a process to ready wastewater for its return to the water supply. The most common application of the processes includes manufacturing products such as glass and cars, processing food and agriculture.
Distilling water is the process of evaporating the water into gas, then cooling it back into a liquid form. After the water condenses back into liquid form, any mineral residue is left behind. The resulting water is removed from microorganisms and mineral particulates. Industries such as cosmetics, canning, brewing and automobiles use distilled water due to the fact it removes organic impurities as well as ions and minerals.
Industries rely on these processes to ensure their operations continue to run smoothly, if not as a critical part of the product. The choice of water treatment will differ on the application. Ultra-pure water has its place in critical areas of science and technology, where complete purity is essential, but the process of treating water to achieve ultra-purity is expensive and unnecessary for industries. For most industries, water purified using Reverse Osmosis (such as our 4040 unit) is perfect for cooling, machine maintenance and wastewater treatment.