What are the various Commercial water treatment options?
Industrial water treatment systems meet a variety of purification and separation requirements. They range from relatively compact and simple to complex multipart processes for a variety of applications.
If you are new to water treatment, you may be wondering, "What is an industrial water treatment system and how does it work?"
Industrial water treatment is a complex family of technologies and systems, so this article summarizes a general overview of commonly used technologies and their capabilities to help you better understand the best solution for your plant.
What is an industrial water treatment plant?
Industrial water treatment systems purify water to make it more suitable for specific applications such as consumption, manufacturing, and even disposal. However, each system depends on the needs of the facility, and many of the technologies that make up those systems can be similar. In general, the most widely needed industrial water treatment systems typically include:
-Raw water treatment system
-Boiler water treatment system
-Cooling tower water treatment plant
The techniques selected and the order in which they appear in each water treatment system depend on the contaminants removed. Below is a breakdown of what may be included in a typical water treatment system.
1-Raw water treatment system:
Raw water is untreated water that naturally occurs in the environment, such as rainwater, groundwater, wells, lakes, and rivers. In an industrial environment, raw water can be used for cooling, flushing, product formulation and even human consumption if properly purified.
Raw water purification systems are typically used to pre-treat and optimize springs with the goal of improving production efficiency and process performance for specific applications. Examples include cooling tower/boiler water supply, process/production water and/or drinking water pre-treatment.
Raw water treatment often focuses on protecting downstream equipment from accumulation, contamination, corrosion, other forms of damage or premature wear from spring pollution. Raw water treatment systems typically remove suspended/colloidal solids, bacteria, and hardness.
The following steps show how a raw water treatment system normally works:
-Raw water is drawn into the system by gravity and / or pumping. Water usually passes through a metal grill or mesh screen to keep large objects out of the system, i.e., Clarification. -Then the water is passed to purification. This is a multi-step process used to remove suspended solids from a solution.
-This is followed by a settling step in which an electric current flows through the gravity settling device. This causes the solids to settle in a layer called the mud layer at the bottom.
-Finally, the stream is filtered by a gravity sand filter to trap small particles that have not settled.
If biological contamination or drinking water quality is an issue, the water can be disinfected to remove pathogens. Disinfection can be performed using chemical disinfectants (e.g., chlorine), physical disinfectants (e.g. UV or heat), and several forms of membrane filtration.
In some cases, a lime softening step can be added to reduce the hardness of the high mineral or sulphate stream. This process uses lime or soda lime to raise the pH of the stream. This causes the mineral components to settle out of the solution.
As microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), and nano-filtration (NF) have become more affordable in recent decades, these are replacing traditional techniques such as clarification and softening of lime scale.
2-Boiler water treatment system:
Boiler water treatment systems are used to protect boiler plant components and piping from damage from certain contaminants present in the boiler or auxiliary water supply lines. These pollutants include dissolved solids, suspended solids, and organics such as iron, copper, silicon dioxide, calcium, magnesium, aluminium, hardness, and dissolved gas. Without proper treatment, boiler water supply can cause sedimentation, corrosion and contamination of boilers and downstream equipment, which can lead to costly plant downtime, expensive maintenance fees and fuel consumption. It may increase and lead to boiler failure.
An effective boiler water treatment system works both by removing harmful pollutants before entering the boiler and by controlling the acidity and conductivity of the water. Treatment strands vary, but a typical system consists of primary treatment and possibly polishing, depending on the boiler pressure, steam consumption, and the chemistry of the boiler supply and make-up water.
When using a boiler, water is lost due to steam consumption, loss of condensed water return, and leakage. This water needs to be replaced with so-called make-up water. Make-up water can be taken from a treated city supply or raw water treatment system. Streams are typically filtered through one or more filtration units to remove precipitates, turbidity and organic matter.
3-Cooling tower water treatment system:
Cooling tower water treatment systems are used to protect tower components from damage caused by contaminants present in feed water, circulating wateror blowdown water. These impurities include chloride, hardness, iron, biomaterials, silicon dioxide, sulphates, TDS and TSS. Untreated cooling tower water supply can cause dirt, corrosion, biological growth, and contamination of cooling tower equipment, and over time, costly plant downtime, reduced productivity, and lead to maintenance or replacement costs.