Water treatment systems are essential to many types of industrial processes. Quality water treatment solutions are needed to treat wastewater and industrial process by-products to make them fit for disposal or reuse, among other applications. This blog will discuss the different water treatment processes and their importance across various industries.
The Goal of Industrial Water Treatment & Systems
The primary objective of industrial water treatment is to treat water in a way that makes it appropriate to use, consume, or dispose of. There are four main industrial water treatment systems:
- Boiler feed water treatment
- Cooling tower water treatment
- Raw water treatment
- Wastewater treatment
In industrial applications, raw water is pretreated to improve its production efficiency and process performance. This ultimately prevents the scaling and corrosion of the downstream equipment it comes into contact with. Removing mineral salts and corrosive gases preserves boiler systems, cooling towers, and piping from corrosion and scaling, which could lead to system failures.
In wastewater-related applications, removing suspended solids (TSS), fats-oils-grease (FOG), bacteria, selenium, heavy metals, and other regulated chemicals and substances allows wastewater to be reused or safely discharged into the environment.
Industrial Water Treatment Processes
Industrial water is treated using processes that achieve different results. Typically, multiple processes are used to meet the required water quality for food and beverage incorporation, steam generation, or other industrial applications. Water treatment processes include:
- Water softening. Mineral content, such as calcium or magnesium ions, is removed through an ion exchange process.
- Deionization. This water purification process uses ion exchange resins to remove contaminants such as iron, copper, calcium, cations, and anions.
- Filtration. Water passes through a series of filters featuring various pore sizes (charcoal, gravel, sand) to remove parasites, dust, germs, and other particles.
- Membrane filtration (reverse osmosis). This process uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and large particles from the water.
- Deaeration. In this process, oxygen or carbon dioxide is removed from the water using steam.
- Degasification/Decarbonation. Dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulfide are removed using this process. However, unlike deaeration, process steam is not used. Instead, cross-current air flows are used.
- Ion exchange. Otherwise known as Water softening or demineralization, this chemical process removes dissolved ionic contaminants from water.
- Dealkalization. This process removes alkaline ions to reduce water’s pH level. Using exchange resins, the unwanted alkaline ions are removed by exchanging chloride ion with anions.
In addition to these methods, there are also several disinfecting water treatments:
- Chemical treatment. Chemicals such as chlorine, chloramines, or chlorine dioxide are added to water to kill existing bacteria and prevent the formation of new bacteria.
- Ozonation. This process inactivates and kills viruses, cysts, and bacteria.
- UV disinfection. UV light has a strong ability to break chemical bonds and kill microbes, making it an effective disinfectant.
Importance of Industrial Water Treatment to Various Industries
Water treatment processes are essential to many industries including:
- Boiler feed systems and steam generation. In this industry, water treatment is used to dissolve and remove mineral salts, such as hydrogen sulfide gas and carbon dioxide gas. Decarbonation is performed to remove carbon dioxide and prevent carbonic acid formation.
- Boiler feed systems and cooling towers. These applications use ion exchange water treatment to generate steam in a cost-effective and reliable manner.
- Food and beverage processing. Ion exchange is a vital aspect of many types of food production. For example, wine and fruit juice production require a decolorization process. The beverages are also demineralized using special ion exchange resins. Sugar production requires Water softening processes, decolorization, and inversion.
- Wastewater treatment. Ozonation is used in wastewater treatment applications to remove organic chemicals, color, and odor-causing contaminants. It quickly converts to oxygen and leaves behind no toxic residue. Contaminants can be oxidized to carbon dioxide and water.
Reynolds Culligan Industrial Water Treatment Solutions
Reynolds Culligan is the only single-source, comprehensive water treatment provider in the Mid-Atlantic. Our technology is vital to virtually all industries and applications. The quality of service we provide saves valuable time and business resources for our customers. Using our 70 years of combined industry experience, we provide exceptional products at highly competitive prices. All of our products come with professional after-sale services and follow-up.
Our industrial water treatment solutions include:
- Bottle-free water coolers
- Deionized water
- Filtration systems
- Reverse osmosis
- Portable and skid-mounted treatments
- Ultra-pure water
- Ultraviolet water treatment
- Water softening
You can learn more about our industrial treatment solutions by downloading our free eBook, “The ROI of Industrial Water Treatment.”