PuriTech`s IONEX continuous countercurrent ion exchange system offers a number of advantages over existing technologies.
For instance, by using a multi-port distribution valve and process disc, rigid pipes can be used between the valve and ion exchange vessels, instead of flexible hoses. Sealing is also greatly simplified, which means only O-rings and gaskets are required.
In addition, use of the valve means that complex carousel mechanisms are not required, simplifying installation, commissioning and control requirements.
Adaptable and Versatile
IONEX is also designed to be adaptable and versatile. A number of user functions can be carried out simultaneously under continuous operating conditions. Easy access to the valve - the system`s only moving part - and the ion exchange vessels, simplifies maintenance procedures.
It is also possible to build compact systems based on the technology. The ion exchange cells can be positioned in any desired pattern, providing maximum installation flexibility.
Water and Resin Consumption
Compared with traditional fixed-bed systems, and depending on the application, IONEX can consume up to 75% less water, while the volume of ion exchange resin required can be reduced by up to 50%, offering significant savings.
A further comparison with alternative systems shows that a higher separation efficiency and product concentration can be achieved by using IONEX technology. Countercurrent fluid flow and recycling, together with uninterrupted process streams, guarantee high levels of recovery.
Lower Capital Investment
In some applications the capital investment on specific projects can be reduced by 20-40%. For example, a like-for-like comparison of an IONEX unit and a typical carousel system - both rated at 40 m3/h - reveals that by using PuriTech`s technology the investment cost can be reduced by about 35%.
IONEX is targeted at a diverse range of industries, and plants based on the technology are set to displace some fixed-bed units, and even other countercurrent systems which are now in use, because they are more cost-effective and require a smaller investment.
PuriTech`s IONEX is targeted at a diverse range of industries. A major application for ion exchange systems, and in particular IONEX, is the purification of water for drinking, and for industrial and commercial use. It is also used widely in wastewater treatment.
Other areas in which IONEX may be applied, include food processing, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, the petrochemical and chemical industries, and in the treatment of fluids used in the metals and electroplating sectors.
IONEX is used in both softening and de-alkalisation processes in beverage production and breweries, and in any other application that involves potable water. One of the most common uses is the removal of nitrate, arsenic and perchlorate from potable water.
Petrochemical and Chemical
The acidic/basic properties of certain ion exchange resins allows them to function as catalysts in organic-chemical reactions, even on an industrial scale. This allows IONEX to be used in the petrochemical and chemical industry in the production of octane-enhancing chemicals and for processes used to manufacture of plastics.
Recent developments and refinements in resin technologies make ion exchange one of the best and most complete forms of wastewater treatment available today. In the nuclear power industry, ion exchange is the only way to concentrate traces of radioactive waste into small volumes for easy disposal.
The IONEX system is extremely effective at treating industrial effluents by removing of small traces of toxic substances such as heavy metals, chlorinated solvents, phenols and other aromatic compounds.
Gold, silver, nickel and other metals can be removed from waste streams using the IONEX system. In the mining industry it can be used to recover uranium from leaching streams. The demineralization of rinse water in the electroplating industry, and the separation of organic substances and removal of alkaline earth metals from brine in chloralkali electrolysis, are other applications for with the technology can be used.
Industrial Water Treatment
IONEX is perfectly suited to applications that involve the treatment of water for use in power stations, paper mills and breweries. It is used for a range of duties, including full demineralization, condensate polishing, softening, and the removal of oxygen and residual organic substances.
In other industrial sectors — for example, the manufacture of semiconductors — pure water is crucial to both product development and yield. It is essential that microchips, or silicon wafers, do not come into contact with salt or organic substances in the rinse water that is used during their production. IONEX is capable of generating ultrapure water for applications that have zero tolerance to contaminants.
Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Ion exchange can be used to isolate a wide variety of important drugs, such as antibiotics and vitamins. Because resins can interact with biologically active substances, IONEX often provides an economical alternative to complex processes that involve the isolation and purification of vitamins and alkaloids, proteins and hormones, and the immobilization of enzymes.
The use of ion exchange and adsorbent technology for the processing of food streams within the nutrition market place is well established, with a history stretching back many years.
IONEX is used in this sector to improve the yield and purity of starch and sugar products, such as cane and beet sugar and glucose, and is also used in the demineralisation of gelatine, citric and lactic acid, fruit juices and dairy products.