The Fundamentals of pH
On a scale of 0 to 14, the pH scale contains 14 orders of magnitude of the concentration of the Hydrogen (H+) ion. This scale is used to determine a solution's relative acidic or basic level. It's worth noting that the pH scale is flipped. As a result, an acidic solution will have a lower pH value as the acid content increases. Anything between 0 and 7 on the pH scale is considered acidic, and anything between 7 and 14 is considered basic. A pH of 7 is considered neutral.
How is pH related to deionized water?
Obtaining an accurate pH value of deionized water with very low conductivity can frequently be challenging and thus, result in unneeded remedial actions. Placing a pH meter's electrodes in a beaker full of deionized water yields a fairly meaningless measurement. This is due to the fact that deionized water has a very low ionic strength (most, if not all, of the dissolved ions have been eliminated) and is an exceedingly aggressive solvent in this form. As a result, substantial discrepancies in the ionic strength of the sample and the buffer solution of the pH electrode might give incorrect readings when using a pH metre. In these settings, electron transfer between the measuring and reference sides of the pH electrode is difficult to achieve.
Furthermore, because clean water has little, if any, buffering capability, the rapid adsorption of impurities into it can jeopardize a pH reading. A sample of deionized water, for example, exposed to air can quickly adsorb CO2 and create carbonic acid (H2CO3), lowering the pH of neutral water at 7.0 to as low as 5.6.
Combination of Strong Acid Cation + Weak Base Anion and a Strong Acid Cation + Strong Base Anion
Positively charged ions will be converted into their respective strong and weak acids by the SAC resin in the H+ state. Because of this, the effluent of a Strong Acid Cation in the H+ form has a low pH value. The Weak Base Anion in the OH- form removes the strong acids. The resultant OH- is mixed with H+ to generate H2O; however, the weak acids remain in the effluent since the Weak Base Anion resin does not remove them. Although the water is demineralized (or partially demineralized), the presence of trace levels of weak acids causes the pH to go below neutral. These weak acids also prohibit the SAC-WBA combination from achieving high resistance. Of course, the advantage of a SAC-WBA system is that it can produce a large volume of water at a low cost.
In contrast, a more thorough demineralization occurs in a SAC-SBA arrangement. The Strong Base Anion neutralizes the Strong Acid Cation's strong and weak acids and produces OH-, which mixes with H+ to form H2O. The issue is that during the service cycle, the Strong Acid Cation invariably releases a trace quantity of sodium, which enters the Strong Base Anion. The sodium subsequently reacts with the OH- ion to generate sodium hydroxide (NaOH), a strong base. The presence of a trace amount of NaOH raises the pH above neutral.However, if a sample of effluent from a Strong Acid Cation-Strong Base Anion was exposed to the atmosphere and then tested for pH, it would most likely indicate a lower value closer to neutral.
For treatment of water or wastewater, it is essential to analyze the pH values in different sources of water or the water fed into the system.
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