Water softening system:

The water softening system is the filtration system that removes calcium and magnesium, which are the basic reasons hardness of the water. The hard minerals in the water combine with the resin beads within the filtration unit, absorbing and clumping together like raindrops on an umbrella. The water softening system makes the hard water softer and reduces its harmful effects, as

The chemical removal of Ca2+ and Mg2+ is usually achieved by dosing appropriate salts in solution which form precipitates or whose dissolution releases sparingly soluble salts, e.g., bicarbonates. One preferential reaction may also place when acidic conditions prevail, i.e., the formation of sparingly soluble hydroxides instead of bicarbonates. The precipitation of natural or synthetic zeolites, using lime, soda ash or sodium carbonate and membrane processes.

Basic principle:

The principle of operation in many types of this technology relies on ion exchange. One substance (typically a salt such as sodium chloride) exchanges ions with another substance in solution by which hardness of water can be reduced.

An effective way of reducing hardness:

The water softening process is a very effective way to reduce hardness in water. Still, because this method removes minerals, it will not work if there is the presence of salt-based minerals that are meant to be part of the drinking water, i.e., sodium chloride (commonly known as salt), which could cause issues if present in excess amount.

Methods of water softening process:

The first method of the water softening process is adsorption. This technique uses ion exchangers to remove the hard ions from water, including calcium and magnesium. Adsorption methods include both the liquid phase (wash) and the gaseous phase (regeneration). The wash cycle generates a chemical that reacts with the hard water to produce soft water. The term “wash” is used for both the chemical product that reacts with calcium and magnesium salts or any other residues found in hard water, as well as for the process of washing out these undesirable particles from the ion exchanger surface.

The water softening process includes precipitation, which uses pH changes by adding caustic soda or lime. There are two types of precipitation methods: coagulation and flocculation. The coagulation method adds aluminium sulphate to form Al(H2O)63+, which removes the calcium and magnesium ions in water. The flocculation method also adds poly-aluminium chloride (PAC) to form flocs consisting of various hydrated aluminium salts; this can remove ferric iron, manganese, colour bodies, and some organic compounds from the water.

Benefits of water softening systems:

The use of water softening systems has many benefits.

  • It removes all those ions like calcium and magnesium ions and other pollutants that cause hardness in water.
  • Prevents the build-up of scale within hot water cylinders or boilers, reducing heating costs.
  • A water softener system can also remove odours from the water supply.
  • It reduces organic contaminants like chlorine and toxins like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Homes and industries use water softener systems for many purposes, such as cooling towers, where hard water causes rapid build-up on heat exchange surfaces, thereby reducing heat transfer efficiency.

Summary:

The water softening system reduces the hardness of water by removing calcium and magnesium ions. The main hardness components are Calcium carbonate CaCO3, Magnesium carbonate MgCO3 and Bicarbonate HCO3-. These ions lead to formation of scales consisting mainly out of these compounds were they dissolve due to their high solubility. There are two main ways of softening water: ion exchange resins and salt-based water softeners.

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