Hardness in water is the sum of the concentrations of Calcium and Magnesium. Other ions produce hardness too: Iron, Manganese, Strontium, Barium, Zinc, and Aluminum, however these ions are generally not present in significant quantities and are not included when measuring water hardness.
Hardness is generally expressed in units of milligrams per liter (mg/L) as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). An expression also used to define hardness in the context of ion-exchange softening is grains per gallon (1 grain per gallon of hardness is equal to 17.1 mg/L as CaCO3).
|Hardness Level||mg/L as CaCO3|
Resin or ion exchange water softening systems exchange Calcium and Magnesium ions for Sodium. Basically the incoming water passes through a resin vessel and the resin ‘traps’ the Calcium ions, or limescale, from the solution and exchanges them for ions of sodium. As Sodium has a higher solubility than Calcium or Magnesium in water, this exercise translates into less scaling.
In contrast to the ion exchange water softeners, membrane water softeners use low-pressure Nanofiltration membranes to remove bivalent ions from water. As a rule of thumbs these type of commercial and industrial water softening membranes reject 99.8% of sulfate, Calcium or Magnesium while passing a bog proportion of other ions, particularly monovalent ions such as Chloride and Sodium, allowing for ultra-low-pressure operations.
Hardness in water is the addition of the concentrations of multivalent ions, principally Calcium and Magnesium. Certainly other iones such as Iron, Manganese, Zinc, and Aluminum are also responsible for the total water hardness however, the concentration of these ions is generally insignificant compared to Calcium and Magnesium and are not considered in standard measurements of water hardness.
Two of the most important benefits of the water softening are:
Nanofiltration(NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are used to separate dissolved solutes from water. In particular, Nanofiltration membranes are typically used to remove organics or hardness and are often referred to as softening membranes.
One of the main advantages of NF versus typical ion exchange softening is that Calcium and Magnesium are not replaced by Sodium but just removed by the membranes. This way boiler cycles in steam production are increased and traditional regeneration-salt storage is not needed any more.
Ion exchange resins are used for softening hard water where calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) are efficiently exchanged for sodium.
Ion exchange water softening have the following benefits:
REVERSE OSMOSIS DESALINATION
IRON AND MANGANESE FILTERS
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