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Macro Ion Exchange and Adsorbent Resins
Softening / Demineralisation / Dealkalisation / Nuclear Grade Food Grade / Polymeric Adsorbent / Polymeric Catalyst

Ion-exchange resin beads
An ion-exchange resin or ion-exchange polymer is a resin or polymer that acts as a medium for ion exchange. It is an insoluble matrix (or support structure) normally in the form of small (0.25–0.5 mm radius) microbeads, usually white or yellowish, fabricated from an organicpolymer substrate. The beads are typically porous, providing a large surface area on and inside them. The trapping of ions occurs along with the accompanying release of other ions, and thus the process is called ion exchange. There are multiple types of ion-exchange resin. Most commercial resins are made of polystyrene sulfonate.[1]

Ion-exchange resins are widely used in different separation, purification, and decontamination processes. The most common examples are water softening and water purification. In many cases ion-exchange resins were introduced in such processes as a more flexible alternative to the use of natural or artificial zeolites. Also, ion-exchange resins are highly effective in the biodiesel filtration process.

Most typical ion-exchange resins are based on crosslinked polystyrene. The actual ion-exchanging sites are introduced after polymerisation. Additionally, in the case of polystyrene, crosslinking is introduced by copolymerisation of styrene and a few percent of divinylbenzene. Crosslinking decreases ion-exchange capacity of the resin and prolongs the time needed to accomplish the ion-exchange processes but improves the robustness of the resin. Particle size also influences the resin parameters; smaller particles have larger outer surface, but cause larger head loss in the column processes.[2]

Besides being made as bead-shaped materials, ion-exchange resins are also produced as membranes. These ion-exchange membranes, which are made of highly cross-linked ion-exchange resins that allow passage of ions, but not of water, are used for electrodialysis.

Four main types of ion-exchange resins differ in their functional groups:

Specialised ion-exchange resins are also known such as chelating resins (iminodiacetic acid, thiourea-based resins, and many others). Anion resins and cation resins are the two most common resins used in the ion-exchange process. While anion resins attract negatively charged ions, cation resins attract positively charged ions.....

The presence of certain metal ions like calcium and magnesium principally as bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfatesin water causes a variety of problems.[1]

Hard water leads to the buildup of limescale, which can foul plumbing, and promote galvanic corrosion.[2] In industrial scale water softening plants, the effluent flow from the re-generation process can precipitate scale that can interfere with sewage systems.[3]

The slippery feeling experienced when using soap with soft water occurs because soaps tend to bind to fats in the surface layers of skin, making soap molecules difficult to remove by simple dilution. In contrast, in hard-water areas, the rinse water contains calcium or magnesium ions that form insoluble salts, effectively removing the residual soap from the skin but potentially leaving a coating of insoluble stearates on tub and shower surfaces, commonly called soap scum.[4]

Limescale in a PVC pipe
The desirability of these competing effects varies by personal preference, and those who dislike the effects of soft water may choose to harden the water by adding chemicals such as baking soda, calcium chloride, or magnesium sulfate.[5]
Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium, and certain other metal cations in hard water. The resulting soft water requires less soapfor the same cleaning effort, as soap is not wasted mopping up calcium ions. Soft water also extends the lifetime of plumbing by reducing or eliminating scale build-up in pipes and fittings. Water softening is usually achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins but is increasingly being accomplished using nanofiltration or reverse osmosis membranes.

Control room and schematics of the water purification plant of Lac de Bret, Switzerland

Water purification is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids, and gases from water. The goal is to produce water fit for specific purposes. Most water is purified and disinfected for human consumption (drinking water), but water purification may also be carried out for a variety of other purposes, including medical, pharmacological, chemical, and industrial applications. The methods used include physical processes such as filtration, sedimentation, and distillation; biological processes such as slow sand filters or biologically active carbon; chemical processes such as flocculation and chlorination; and the use of electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light.

Water purification may reduce the concentration of particulate matter including suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi as well as reduce the concentration of a range of dissolved and particulate matter.

Carbonate and bicarbonate alkalinities are decomposed by heat in boiler water releasing carbon dioxide into the steam. This gas combines with the condensed steam in process equipment and return lines to form carbonic acid. This depresses the pH value of the condensate returns and results in corrosive attack on the equipment and piping.
In general, a dealkalizer is best applied to boilers operating below 700 psi (48 bar). In order to justify installation of a dealkalizer on low-pressure boilers, the alkalinity content should be above 50 ppm with the amount of make-up water exceeding 1,000 gallons (approx. 4,000 litres) per day.
Cooling system make-up will also benefit from reduced alkalinity. The addition of a dealkalizer to a cooling water system will substantially reduce the amount of acid required to treat the same amount of water.

A crucible and tongs, on a green mat.

Glucose De-ashing
After hydrolysis, the dilute syrup can be passed through columns[clarification needed] to remove impurities, improving its colour and stability.

Glucose syrup, also known as confectioner's glucose, is a syrup made from the hydrolysis of starch. Glucose is a sugar. Maize (corn) is commonly used as the source of the starch in the US, in which case the syrup is called "corn syrup", but glucose syrup is also made from potatoes and wheat, and less often from barley, rice and cassava.[1]p. 21[2]

Adsorption is present in many natural, physical, biological and chemical systems and is widely used in industrial applications such as heterogeneous catalysts,[5][6] activated charcoal, capturing and using waste heat to provide cold water for air conditioning and other process requirements (adsorption chillers), synthetic resins, increasing storage capacity of carbide-derived carbons and water purification. Adsorption, ion exchange and chromatography are sorption processes in which certain adsorbates are selectively transferred from the fluid phase to the surface of insoluble, rigid particles suspended in a vessel or packed in a column. Pharmaceutical industry applications, which use adsorption as a means to prolong neurological exposure to specific drugs or parts thereof,[citation needed] are lesser known.

Heterogeneous catalysis is the type of catalysis where the phase of the catalyst differs from the phase of the reactants.[1] This contrasts with homogeneous catalysis where the reactants and catalyst exist in the same phase. Phase distinguishes between not only solid, liquid, and gas components, but also immiscible mixtures (e.g. oil and water), or anywhere an interface is present. Catalysts are useful because they increase the rate of a reaction[2] without themselves being consumed and are therefore reusable.

Heterogeneous catalysis typically involves solid phase catalysts and gas phase reactants.[3] In this case, there is a cycle of molecular adsorption, reaction, and desorption occurring at the catalyst surface. Thermodynamics, mass transfer, and heat transfer influence the rate (kinetics) of reaction.

Heterogeneous catalysis is very important because it enables faster, large-scale production and the selective product formation.[4] Approximately 35% of the world's GDP is influenced by catalysis.[5] The production of 90% of chemicals (by volume) is assisted by solid catalysts.[3] The chemical and energy industries rely heavily on heterogeneous catalysis. For example, the Haber-Basch process uses metal-based catalysts in the synthesis of ammonia, an important component in fertilizer; 144 million tons of ammonia were produced in 2016.[6]

Leading with Quality, Performance and Cost
Our partners, the , is a Asia's leading manufacturer & exporter of TULSION® brand Ion Exchange Resins and a pioneer in the field of MAXTREAT® brand Fuel & Water treatment chemicals. Thermax also supplies chemicals for paper industry and for oil field operations.  Powered by technological expertise and capabilities honed over more than 4 decades and backed by a strong dealer network, the Chemical Division serves customers across the globe and supports the entire range of Thermax's energy and environment businesses. Backed by extensive R & D experience and equipped with modern research and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities the business has built a client base in USA, Japan, South East Asia, India & Middle East.


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