Hydroflux Pty Ltd

- Groundwater Remediation Processes of Ion Exchange



Over the past decade, management of contamination in groundwater and surface water supplies has been growing in importance around the globe. Communities are reliant on the quality of these water supplies for drinking water, for irrigation and for industrial uses. Historically, management of ground and surface water for complex contaminents such as organics was challenging and often expensive. Common practice involved oxidation in the presence of catalysts (advanced oxidation-AOX), air stripping or adsorption onto activated carbon. While these practices still have valuable applications, the introduction of ion exchange resins into this area provided an attractive alternative.

Strong Base Anion (SBA) and Weak Base Anion (WBA) resins provided significant improvements on traditional adsorption technologies for treating organic hydrocarbons such as activated carbon. In many applications, anion IX resins showed significant improvements in operating capacity, reducing replacement or regeneration frequencies. Regeneration could also be performed in-situ rather than relying on ex-situ steam based processes.
Higher capacity resins allowed for adsoprtion/IX technologies also meant that high energy/cost operations such as AOX and air stripping were less viable.

Similarly, Strong Acid Cation (SAC) and Wak Acid Cation (WAC) resins provide alternative solutions to traditional metal hydroxide and metal sulphide precipitation and clarification processes. Metal sulphide treatment is becoming increasingly unpopular in remediation processes. Sulphide precipitation typically utilises sodium sulpide solution, which is extremely challenging to manage. Significant care must be taken to avoid generating anoxic conditions in receiving water ways. Care must be taken to avoid the generation of H2S gas in process piping and equipment.

Metal sulphide precipitation has often been implemented for the management of heavy metals when treated water criteria (e.g. ANZECC 2000 guidelines) are below the solubility limits of metal hydroxide species.

Ion exchange processes remove these same contaminants (e.g. Lead, Copper, Nickel, Cadmium, Zinc, Chromium) to below ANZECC guidelines values. Due to the highly selective nature of these resins, run times can be in excess of several years without requiring resin replacement or regeneration.

Hydroflux has a wide range of HyX ion exchange processes for management of groundwater and surface water. Some examples of these include:

  • Metal and Heavy Metal Remediation
  • PFAS remediation
  • Perchlorate remediation
  • Remediated soil washing plant wastewater treatment and recycling
  • Organic Carbon (Tannin/Humic Acid) Treatment of surface water
  • Water Softening
  • Nitrate Removal

Some of the advantages of the HyX processes include;

  • Custom, in-house design & manufacture of FRP Vessels (up to 2m bed depth) provides effective, high capacity treatment at low cost
  • Proprietary resin loading and unloading systems for easy media change-out
  • Wide range of resin options
  • In-house design and fabrication of complete treatment process to ensure effective resin pretreatment

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