Boron is a metalloid that is found in food and the environment. In natural, waters boron usually exists as a form of boric acid or borate ions, with the majority of the Earth’s boron occurring in the ocean. Fresh surface water typically contains a small concentration of boron, but can be significantly increased as a result of wastewater discharges as boron is an ingredient of domestic washing agents.
A higher boron concentration can be present in groundwater as a result of leaching from rocks and soils containing boron compounds. Compounds of boron can be commonly used in glass and ceramic manufacturing, soaps and detergents, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and agricultural fertilizers, and water high in boron should be treated before discharge.
Boron is an essential nutrient for plants, although in excess quantities it becomes toxic. In humans, high concentrations of boron can be harmful, especially to children and infants, and the World Health Organisation provides a guideline limit of 0.5 mg/litre for drinking water.
Treatment of boron in water can be difficult, with conventional water treatment methods often not significantly effecting boron concentrations. Membrane methods such as reverse osmosis (RO) can be used to reduce boron concentrations, however it can struggle to meet the required removal targets.
Our CIF® (continuous ionic filtration) technology can reduce or remove boron from water, using either a boron specific, or strong-base anion exchange resin. The process combines continuous and concurrent physical filtration and ion exchange in a single robust process where pre-treatment usually isn’t required. CIF® plants typically have a low capital and operating expenditure and achieve high recovery rates.
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