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Separation Process Engineering: Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, Third Edition by Phillip C. Wankat

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18.5 Ion Exchange

Ion exchange is a unit operation in which ions held on a solid resin are exchanged for ions in the feed solution. For most people the most familiar ion exchange system is water softening, which replaces calcium and magnesium ions (“hard” water ions) in the feed water with sodium ions (“soft” water ions). If the feed water containing calcium and magnesium is continued, eventually the resin will become saturated with these ions and no additional exchange occurs. To produce soft water the resin needs to be regenerated, which can be done with a concentrated solution of sodium chloride salt. A number of other ion exchange separations are done commercially.

The most common materials used for ion exchange are polymer resins with charged ...

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