Ion Exchange Resin Selection and Supply

Clean TeQ has over 30 years of experience with ion exchange applications in water treatment, metal processing and other sectors, and can support customers with resin selection, resin testing, ion exchange flow-sheet design and ion exchange equipment supply and installation.

Resin Supplier Network

Having experienced first-hand the process and treatment challenges end-users face, Clean TeQ is working with a range of resin manufactures across Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and North America and can help customers select resin products that offer optimal performance at minimal cost. When the commercially available resins do not meet the process requirements, Clean TeQ works with manufacturers to adjust production processes and change the characteristics of resins. Clean TeQ has also developed its own resin formulations for use in specific applications.

Resin Selection

Correct resin selection can make-or-break an ion exchange project:

  • Clean TeQ combines the fundamental chemistry of ion exchange with an understanding of practical engineering to determine the optimal trade-off between resin loading capacity, selectivity and unit cost.
  • Even for a particular functionality, the loading capacity and durability of resin varies from product-to-product. A slight change on your next resin fill could easily lead to cost reductions.
  • Resin morphology (i.e. resin’s physical structure) is also often overlooked, but it can be critical in terms of a resin’s resilience to fouling and physio-chemical stresses.

For a given project, Clean TeQ’s resin recommendation will always reflect a balanced consideration of critical process characteristics such as loading capacity, selectivity for the targeted value-metal or impurity, resin particle size distribution and hydro-mechanical strength, whilst always remaining cognisant of the impact the resin first-fill can have on project capital cost.

IX loaded resin 1
Ion exchange resin for copper recovery

Different Resin Types

The most common classes of ion exchange resin Clean TeQ works with are shown in the table below:

Resin TypeFormTypical Use
Strong Acid Cation (SAC)Na+ or H+• SAC resin provides good overall extraction of cations across a wide range of feed water pHs
• It is typically used for hardness and divalent cation removal from water
•Depending on temporary hardness and overall treatment objectives, resin in either the Na+ or H+ form will be selected by the Clean TeQ engineering team
•In the Na+ form, resin is usually regenerated with NaCl (salt)
•In the H+ form, resin is usually regenerated with hydrochloric acid for standard batch IX systems, or sulphuric acid when using Clean TeQ’s continuous IX systems
Weak Acid Cation (WAC)Na+ or H+•WAC resin is used to treat feed waters at pH ≥ 5
•Its relatively high loading capacity for hardness cations can make it a great candidate resin when high Na background concentrations exist
•In the H+ form, WAC is also used for dealkalisation
•Regenerants for WAC forms are the same as for SAC
Strong Base AnionVarious forms including HSO4, SO42- and OH   Type I and Type II•SBA resin provides good overall extraction of anions across a wide range of feed water pHs
•SBA resin is also used by Clean TeQ in the removal of certain metal contaminants, including uranium
•Resin is usually regenerated using sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide, although there are also alternative reagents which can be applied
•Type I and Type II differ in terms of amine structure, giving a further degree of processing capability
Weak Base AnionFree Base•WBA resin can be used to remove free mineral acid from feed water
•When this mineral acid is associated with sulphates, significant TDS reductions can result
•Resin is usually regenerated with sodium hydroxide for standard batch IX systems, or slaked lime when using Clean TeQ’s continuous IX systems
ChelatingVarious, including H+ and Na+•Chelating resins allow a more targeted approach to removal and recovery of metal cations
•With the right process insight, this selectivity can be further manipulated using pH.
•Examples of Clean TeQ’s use of chelating resins includes:
     IDA (Iminodiacetic acid) resin for scavenging copper from dilute wastewater
     AMP (aminomethyl phosphonic acid) resin for recovering scandium from complex metal liquors
Other types of adsorbents Various•Clean TeQ will also assess the viability of several classes of non-polymeric adsorbents in identifying suitable treatment regimens for clients.
•These adsorbents include:
     Activated carbonaceous materials
     Activated siliceous materials
     Iron oxides
     Zeolites

How Clean TeQ Can Help?

Clean TeQ can help your current or future ion exchange project through the following services:

  • Flowsheet configuration design and other engineering services through to EPCM / Lump Sum Turn-Key plant delivery
  • Resin procurement, including all aspects of QA/QC
  • Test work program design, management and execution, including:
    • Resin screening programs to identify fit-for-purpose resin alternatives
    • Adsorption isotherms
    • Static column adsorption break-through tests
    • Static column desorption profiling
    • Adsorption and desorption kinetics characterisation
    • Piloting (lab or site based)

Contact Us

If you would like assistance with resin selection or supply for your current or future project, please contact us.