The purity of your water doesn’t only affect the quality of your end product, but also the longevity of your equipment. Your water purification strategy influences how many expensive reagents your plant uses so, while your method can become complex and expensive, it may save you money over the long term. Your highest goal is to achieve 100% pure water. Reverse osmosis and twin bed deionisation are the go-to techniques for achieving that. Both methods are budget-friendly and can be combined with an extra filtration method if needed, but which should you choose?
Reverse osmosis relies on pressure to force water between chambers through a membrane, removing almost all dissolved minerals, toxins, and microbes. It can’t remove hydrogen sulphide gas, trihalomethanes, solvents, and some pesticides. Some manufacturers add UV light to their system to remove microbes, but this solution is far from perfect. In time, poorly-maintained tanks can also encourage bacterial growth.
In contrast, distillation uses steam and condensation to clear away impurities. It’s become a popular method among commercial petrol, alcohol, and paraffin producers for its ability to remove sediment, minerals, and pesticides. It can remove some microorganisms, but not chlorine or its by-products. If upfront costs are your only concern, reverse osmosis systems will suit your pocket best, but if you want to cut down on utility bills, distillers are light on power and maintenance.
Both methods discard most of their feed-water and strip water of the minerals that keep it alkaline. Every stage of manufacturing has its own water purification needs, so an industrial facility can safely use several purification methods to suit each phase of manufacture. Reverse osmosis may be used as part of pre-treatment, and ion exchange to polish the results.
Industrial Purification Needs
If your plant relies on steam to drive turbine heating or product processing, reverse osmosis can follow an ion exchange pre-treatment to reduce your general operating costs. For microelectronics and pharmaceutical manufacturers, organics and bacteria must be eliminated entirely. Reverse osmosis can remove salts before water is put through a continuous deionisation system that produces ultra-high purity water.
Food and beverage plants often rely on important minerals that reverse osmosis removes. In this instance, distillation is often preferable, particularly if the potable water being filtered is relatively pure. Factories relying on brackish water are heavily reliant on reverse osmosis to soften their feed water and keep their equipment safe from corrosion and spotting caused by salts. A highly efficient reverse osmosis system will soften potable water well enough to keep your equipment in good condition.
There is no perfect water filtration method, only the ideal one for each industry and stage of production. More often than not, two or more filtration methods are needed, but a well-strategised system gives back in the form of shining equipment, beautifully-manufactured products, and low maintenance costs. To find out more, download our Guide to Industrial Water Deionisation today.
Image source: Pixabay