Water treatment through ion exchange
The Business Unit Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) of specialty chemicals company LANXESS is one of the most important suppliers for liquid separation procedures worldwide. It holds a leading position in the development and production of ion exchange resins and is strongly committed to the further development of reverse osmosis membrane elements.
Ion exchange resins are used to remove dissolved particles from liquids. Therefore, functional groups are bonded to the polymer beads. These functionalized polymers adsorb particular anions or cations from the liquid and discharge others. Water treatment is the best-known and biggest field of application for ion exchange resins. In household, such applications are used among others to soften water. They ensure that the calcium ions responsible for water hardness are replaced by sodium ions.
Ion exchange resins are also used in industry, for example in power generation. There, Lewatit is used in the production of ultra-pure boiler feed water and steam to avoid incrustations and corrosion. This improves the efficiency, operating reliability and lifetime of power plants.
In the cleaning of industrial effluent and treatment of groundwater, the removal of toxic substances plays a key role. LANXESS has a range of special Lewatit resins that, are able to selectively remove, for example, heavy metal ions and organic pollutants from (waste)water.
Other fields of application for ion exchange resins include semi-conductor production, galvanic industry (recovery and treatment of metals such as gold, copper, nickel or cobalt in hydrometallurgy), pharmaceuticals, the food and beverage industry. In the production of crystal suger and liquid sugar syrup, Lewatit allows the brown cane sugar to be turned into the beloved white product and ensures that sugar also tastes like sugar. Lewatit ion exchange resins are also relaible catalysts which are crucial for many chemical reactions.