Ion Exchange Resin | History & Development

Ion Exchange Resin | History & Development

History of Ion Exchange Resin:

Two Englishmen Thompson and Way, first recognized the process of ion exchange in 1850. They reported that when a fertilizer solution poured over a column of soil, ammonia in the fertilizer solution was replaced by calcium from the soil.

Ion exchange was not used for any industrial application until 1905.

At that time a German chemist Gans, used a synthetic sodium aluminosilicate cation exchange material called zeolite in water softeners.

Gans’ water softeners exchanged sodium ions in the zeolite for both the calcium and magnesium ions in the water. softening water through the process of removing these hardness ions.

A naturally occurring zeolite called greensand later replaced synthetic aluminosilicate for use in softeners. Greensand has greater physical strength than aluminosilicate because It was more suitable for industrial applications.

 In 1944, strong acid cation (SAC) exchange resin was produced by co-polymerization of styrene and divinylbenzene.

The styrene-divinylbenzene (S-DVB) copolymer is very stable and has more capacity for ion exchange than greensand.

A styrene-divinylbenzene strong base anion (SBA) exchange resin was developed in 1948. It was capable of removing all anions including silica and carbon dioxide in water.

Many modifications have been made to the copolymer structure of the original SAC and SBA styrene-divinylbenzene ion exchange resins since 1948.

These modifications have been made in an attempt to meet specific industrial needs and to provide increased resin life.

Application of Ion Exchange Resin:

Ion exchange resins are selected to treat specific process water with a specific treatment objective, such as demineralization (deionization), softening, dealkalization or organic scavenging (organic matter removal)

Demineralization or deionization is the complete removal of ions from the process water. Only pure water remains after treatment.

Demineralization requires Strong Acid Cation (SAC) and Strong Base Anion (SBA) resins because Weak Acid Cation (WAC) resin does not remove all cations and Weak Base Anion (WBA) resin does not remove weak acids i.e. carbonic acid and silicic acid.

Water Softening process uses Strong Acid Cation(SAC) resin in Sodium(Na+) form.Softening process only removes calcium and magnesium ions from water.


pH Level of Water | pH of Drinking Water

pH Level of Water | pH of Drinking Water

What is pH level of water?

The term pH means “Power of Hydrogen” or “Potential of Hydrogen” in chemistry. But simply pH level of water indicates the concentration of hydrogen ion in water.

pH Formula & pH Scale:

 pH = -log[H+] 

Based on hydrogen ion concentration pH scale is developed. pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. pH value 7 is considered as neutral water.

Water having a pH value between 0 to less than 7 is considered as a acidic water & from greater than 7 to 14 considered as basic or alkaline water.

pH scale of water

Simple Table To Remember pH Scale:
pHNature of Water
>7.0Basic or Alkaline

pH Test:

It is accurately determined by pH Meter. However you can also check approximate pH value by pH indicator or pH test strips.

Nowadays, It’s very easy to test pH of water. All you need to do is simply purchase the pen type pH meter & dip it into the water sample.Display shows the pH of sample.

 Remember, if pH of drinking water found within the range of 6.5-8.5. There is a no need to take any action. This range is recommended by EPA 

pH Calculation:

Let’s take example & Calculate pH:

How to calculate the pH & hydrogen ion concentration of 0.1M Hydrochloric Acid?

Hydrochloric Acid(HCl) is strong acid. It is fully dissociate into H+ and Cl- ions.

Formula to calculate pH:

 pH = -log[H+]  [H+] indicates the concentration. In our example it is 0.1M

pH = -log[0.1] =1

So, The pH of 0.1M Hydrochloric Acid is 1.

Formula to calculate Hydrogen ion(H+) concentration

 H+ = 10 ^ -pH 

H+ = 10 ^ (-0.1) = 0.1M

This is reverse calculation of pH.

Important Note:
You can easily calculate pH of all strong acid and bases by simply putting molar concentration value in above formula.

Therefore, Ka & Kb value requires in order to calculate pH of Weak Acid & Bases.

Here, Ka & Kb value represents weak acid & Weak base.

Remember that Ka & Kb values are very small because weak acid & bases are not completely ionized in water.

Let’s take another example & Calculate pH of Weak Acid:

How to calculate pH of 0.7M Acetic Acid? Ka value of acetic acid is 1.8 × 10^(-5)

Dissociation of acetic acid,


Ka = [H+][CH3COO-] ÷ [CH3COOH]

put values in formula,

1.8 × 10^(-5) = [x] × [x] ÷ [0.7]

X2 = 1.8 × 10^(-5) × 0.7

X = √[0.7 × 0.00018] = 0.0112

0.0112 is the concentration of H+ ion in 0.7M acetic acid solution.

put this value in pH formula,

pH = -log[0.0112] = 1.95

So, The pH of 0.7M acetic acid is 1.95

In summary, pH level of water indicates the nature of water. Water having a very low or very high pH is a sign of contaminant present in water.

What is Alkalinity of Water

What is Alkalinity of Water

Alkalinity of Water

Alkalinity means acid neutralization capacity of water. When we add acid in water (adding H+ ions) water absorbs H+ ions without showing significant change in pH mainly it is due to carbonate, bicarbonate & hydroxide ion present in water or the mixture of two ions present in water. The possibility of OHand HCO3 ions together is not possible since they combine together to form CO3-2 ions.

OH- + HCO3- ⇒ CO3-2 + H2O

Two types of Alkalinity present in water,

  1. P-Alkalinity also called Phenolphthalein Alkalinity because Phenolphthalein indicator used for analysis
  2. M-Alkalinity also called Methyl orange Alkalinity because Methyl orange indicator used for analysis

In alkalinity analysis different ions can be estimated separately by titration against standard acid solution, using selective indicators like phenolphthalein and methyl orange.

Below reaction occurs during analysis:

  1. OH- + H+ ⇒ H2O
  2. CO3-2 + H+ ⇒ HCO3-
  3. HCO3- + H+ ⇒ H2O + CO2

The neutralization reaction up to phenolphthalein end point shows the completion of reactions (1) and (2) only.

The amount of acid used thus corresponds to complete neutralization of OH– plus half neutralization of CO32–.

The titration of water sample using methyl orange indicator marks the completion of the reactions (1), (2) and (3).

Based on above three reaction,

Alkalinity Relationship:
P-Alkalinity = Total Hydroxide + 1/2 Carbonate
M-Alkalinity = (Total Hydroxide + 1/2 Carbonate) +1/2 Carbonate + Total Bicarbonate
Alkalinity Summary Table
IonP = 0P = 1/2MP > 1/2MP < 1/2MP = M


1.Phenolphthalein alkalinity (P) = 0; that means the volume of acid used till the completion of reaction (1) and (2) is 0. This can only happen when both OH– and CO32– ions are not present in water. Alkalinity is present due to HCO3– ion only which can be determined using methyl orange indicator and called methyl orange alkalinity (M).

2. P = ½ M; indicates that only CO32– ions are present. Using phenolphthalein indicator neutralization reaches upto HCO3– but using methyl orange indicator the complete neutralization of HCO3– takes place.

3.P > ½M; implies OH– ions are also present along with CO32– ions. Upto phenolphthalein alkalinity OH– ions will be neutralized completely whereas CO32– will be neutralized upto HCO3– ion. But using methyl orange indicator HCO3– will be completely neutralized along with OH– and CO32–.

4.P < ½ M; indicates that beside CO32– ions HCO3– ions are also present. The volume of acid required for the neutralization upto phenolphthalein end point correspond half neutralization of CO32– (equation 2). Neutralization using methyl orange indicator corresponds to HCO3– obtained from CO32– and HCO3– originally present in the water sample

5.P = M; indicates only OH– ions are present.

Alkalinity of water is very important parameter in boiler water treatment program. Based on alkalinity analysis we can predict the presence of free caustic as mentioned in above table. Free caustic is responsible for caustic corrosion in boiler system.

Water Hardness | Water Hardness Scale

Water Hardness | Water Hardness Scale

What is Water Hardness?

Simple defination of hardness is the amount of calcium & magnesium ions present in water. It is divided in two parts carbonate or temporary hardness and non-carbonate or permanent hardness.

It is a major source of scale in water systems i.e.boiler water & cooling water systems. Softening is proven method for removal of hardness from water.

Let us discuss both the types of hardness in detail:

#1. Carbonate or Temporary Hardness

Carbonate and bicarbonate ions are responsible for this type of water hardness.It is also known as temporary hardness because it removes from water when we boil the water.

When we boil the water carbonate & bicarbonates ions present in water decomposes & insoluble carbonate is reformed.Boiling the water causes the precipitation of calcium and magnesium carbonate so that, calcium and magnesium ions are remove from water.

Example: CaCO3, MgCO3, Ca(HCO3)2, Mg(HCO3)2

#2. Non-Carbonate or Permanent Hardness

Chloride and Sulfate (non-carbonate) ions are responsible for this type of water hardness.It is also known as permanent hardness because it isn’t remove from water by boiling it.

It is only remove from water either by softening or demineralization process.

Example: CaCl2, MgCl2, CaSO4, MgSO4

Water Hardness Scale:

As a general rule for classification of hardness, Water having hardness below 60 ppm is considered as soft water,61 ppm to 120 ppm as moderately hard; 121 ppm to 180 ppm as hard & above 181 ppm as very hard.

Total Hardness
ppm as CaCO3
Grains per gallonGerman degreesClark degreesFrench degreesWater Type
61-1203.56-7.013.42-6.724.27-8.46.1-12Moderately Hard
>180>10.53>10.1>12.6>18Very Hard

Water Hardness Measurement:

Water harness analysis divided in three parts namely total hardness,calcium hardness & magnesium hardness.

Total hardness is a sum of calcium & magnesium hardness.

 Total hardness = Calcium Hardness + Magnesium Hardness 

To determine total hardness ammonia buffer solution is added to the sample to maintain the pH of around 11. Then Eriochrome Black T indicator is added so the wine red color is developed in the sample.

After that sample is titrated against EDTA solution and sample color will change from wine red to blue. This is the end point of total hardness titration. 

Determine the calcium hardness by titration sodium hydroxide solution is added to the sample to maintain pH & then murexide indicator is added. Sample color turns into pink & titrate the sample against EDTA solution this time sample color will change from pink to purple. This is the end point of calcium hardness test.

Magnesium hardness is the difference of total hardness & calcium harness value. It is determined by subtracting calcium hardness value from total hardness value.

Magnesium Hardness =  Total Hardness – Calcium Hardness

Water Hardness Conversion:

Convert FromMultiply by
CaCO3(mg/L)Grains per gallonGerman degreesClark degreesFrench degrees

In Conclusion, Water hardness is a major source of scale in water treatment system. It is very essential to remove it from water by selecting proper water treatment program.

What Is Normality In Chemistry

What Is Normality In Chemistry

What is Normality?

Normality in chemistry is very important term & very useful to making reagents for analysis.

Unfortunately, many professional even experienced professionals don’t have the clear basics concept of normality.

I guarantee you after reading this article you have solid understanding about normality & its calculation.

Defination: Normality in chemistry means numbers of equivalents per liter of solution.It is denoted by symbol N.

Normality in chemistry defined by below formula:

 Formula: Normality(N) = Numbers of equivalent(n) / Volume of Solution(L) 

Another very important factor is how to calculate the equivalents of substance.You can easily calculate equivalent by dividing molecular weight by its valency.

Let’s take example and calculate numbers of equivalents of Hydrochloric Acid & Sulphuric Acid.

 Formula: Molecular Wight(gm/mol) / Valency 

What is valency in chemistry?

The “valency” or “valence” of an atom or molecule described as how may hydrogen atoms it can bond with. In our example,

Hydrochloric Acid – HCl have a one hydrogen atom so, the equivalents of Hydrochloric Acid is  36.46/1 = 36.46

Sulphuric Acid – H2SO4 have two hydrogen atoms so, the equivalents of Sulphuric Acid is  98/2 = 49

How to calculate normality of concentrated hydrochloric acid?

First, note down three things form packing label of solution:

Specific gravity
Specific gravity means the substance is how much heavier or lighter in compare to the water. It is unit less because it shows the comparison.
Assay Percentage
Assay indicates the purity of substance in percentage. To convert percentage in decimal simply divide assay by 100.
Equivalent weight
Assay indicates the purity of substance in percentage. To convert percentage in decimal simply divide assay by 100.

Use below formula to calculate normality of any commercially available liquid solution:

 Normality = Specific gravity × Percentage of purity in decimal × 1000 ÷ Equivalent weight 

If you see label of reagent bottle of hydrochloric acid you will get below three values:

  1. Specific gravity – 1.18
  2. Assay – 35.4 (convert it into decimal divided by 100. 35.4/100 =0.354)
  3. Molecular Weight – 36.46 gm/mole (Calculate equivalent weight divided by its valency. valency of hydrochloric acid is 1. that means 36.46/1 =36.46)

Put the above values in formula,

Normality = 1.18 × 0.354 × 1000 ÷ 36.46 = 11.46 N

Important Note
If any substance or chemical have the same molecular weight & equivalent weight then Molarity & Normality of that substance or chemical will be the same

How to calculate normality of concentrated sulphuric acid?

If you see label of reagent bottle of sulphuric acid you will get below three values:

  1. Specific gravity – 1.84
  2. Assay – 98 (convert it into decimal divided by 100. 98/100 =0.98)
  3. Molecular Weight – 98.08 gm/mole (Calculate equivalent weight divided by its valency. valency of sulphuric acid is 2. that means 98.08/2 =49.04)

Put the above values in formula,

Normality = 1.84 × 0.98 × 1000 ÷ 49.04 = 36.77 N

Normality Calculator For Concentrated Liquid Chemical

This is very handy tool for science student to make reagents for analysis. You can easily calculate normality of any concentrated acid or base liquid solution by using this normality calculator.

In conclusion, Normality or equivalent concentration of the solution indicates how many equivalent are present per liter of solution.

Molarity Formula With Example – Molarity Calculator

Molarity Formula With Example – Molarity Calculator

What is Molarity?

Molarity means numbers of moles of solute per liter of solution.It is denoted by symbol M. Based on this defination the molarity formula becomes as below:

 Molarity(M) = Numbers of Moles of Solute(n) / Volume of Solution In Liter(L)———(1) 

To understand molarity concept first you need to know what is mole & How to calculate it.

 Mole = Weight of substance in gram / Molecular weight of the substance (gm/mol)——- (2) 

  1. Calculation of Numbers of Mole in Solution:

To calculate mole we take example of Sodium Hydroxide(NaOH). Suppose, we dissolve 40 gm of NaOH in one liter of solution then what is the numbers of mole present in this solution?

  • First, Calculate molecular weight of NaOH
  • Na=23 g/mol + O=16 g/mol + H=1g/mol=23+16+1=40 g/mol
  • In our example we dissolve 40 gm of NaOH in one liter water that means weight of substance becomes 40 gm

Let’s put above values in molarity formula (2),

 ♦ Mole = Weight of substance in gram / Molecular weight of the substance (gm/mol) 

Mole = 40/40 =1

Now, we have numbers of mole available with us & we also know the volume of solution so put both the values in formula(1),

 ♦ M = Moles of Solute(n)/ Volume of solution in liter(L) = 1/1 =1M 

In conclusion, simplest definition of molarity is when we dissolve substance exactly the same weight as its molecular weight in one liter of water then the molarity of the solution becomes 1M .

Let’s take another example,

How to calculate Molarity of concentrated HCl?

Three things requires in order to calculate molarity of concentrated solution in our case it is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid(HCl):

  1. Molecular Weight :    36.46 gm/mole
  2. Specific Gravity :        1.18
  3. Percentage of Purity : 35.4% (Convert into decimal divide it by 100. 35.4/100=0.354)

Please note that all of the above information you can find on packing lable of solution.

Important Note:
♦ Remember this molarity formula to calculate molarity of any commercially available liquid solution:
 M = Specific gravity × Percentage of purity × 1000 ÷ Molecular Weight 

Put above values in this formula;

M = 1.18 × 0.354 × 1000 ÷ 36.46 = 11.46 M

So,finally the molar concentration of concentrated solution is 11.46 M.

Molarity Calculator For Concentrated Liquid Chemical

Molarity Calculator is very handy tool for science student to make reagents for analysis. You can easily calculate molarity of any concentrated acid or base liquid solution.
All you need to do is only enter the three values which is mentioned on label of reagent bottle.

Hope, This article will clear your concept about molarity formula & its calculations.



3 Types of Circulation In Boiler

3 Types of Circulation In Boiler

Circulation in Boiler:

Types of water circulation in industrial steam water tube boilers:

Water circulation in boiler can be classified in three different types of systems.

  1. Natural Circulation
  2. Controlled Circulation
  3. Combined Circulation

#1.Natural Circulation In Boiler:

Boiler feed water which is pumped with high pressure boiler feed water pumps first reaches at economizer. Here temperature of the boiler feed water is around the saturation temperature corresponding to its pressure. Saturation temperature means the temperature at which water vaporization is starts for a given pressure. It is also called the boiling point of water. Feed water flows through economizer gets further heated by flue gas and enters into the steam drum. Steam drum acts as a pressure vessel and separates steam and water from steam water mixture.

Normally steam drum water level is maintained around 50%.It means steam drum is half filled with water & remaining 50% above the water level contains steam. Water inside the drum flows down through down comer pipes and distributed by bottom header to water walls. Down comer pipes are outside the boiler furnace while water walls are inside the furnace. Water rises through water wall tubes are exposed to furnace heat. When water rises upside in tubes, a portion of the water is converted into steam and continue to rise upwards as a mixture of steam and water. Heat absorbed in water wall is latent heat of vaporization creating a mixture of steam and water.

The ratio of the weight of water to the weight of steam in the mixture leaving the heat absorption surface is called circulation ratio. This mixture is continuously rises till it reaches back to the steam drum. Separated steam from steam drum is sent to the turbine.

The value of circulation ratio varies from 6 to 30 in industrial boilers. Circulation ratio for utility high pressure boilers is between 6 to 9.Circulation ratio is higher side as the density difference between steam & water is high. Medium pressure industrial boilers adopted higher circulation ratio. These boilers have to respond quick load changes.

The circulation, in this case, takes place on the basis of thermo-siphon principle. The Down comer contains relatively cold water, whereas the riser tubes contain a steam & water mixture, whose density is comparatively less. This density difference is the driving force, for the mixture. Circulation takes place at such a rate that the driving force and frictional resistance are balanced.

As the pressure increases, the difference in density between water and steam decreases. (See Fig. 3). Thus the hydrostatic head available will not be able to overcome the frictional resistance for a flow corresponding to the minimum requirement of cooling of water wall tubes. Therefore natural circulation is limited to boiler with drum operating pressure around 175 kg/cm2.

#2.Controlled Circulation In Boiler:

If the Operating pressure of boiler is between 180 kg/cm2 to 200 kg/cm2 then circulation in boiler is to be assisted with mechanical pumps, to overcome frictional losses. To regulate the flow through various tubes, orifice plates are used.

#3.Combined Circulation In Boiler:

This circulation in boiler is applicable to the boilers which are operating at critical pressure. In this system phase transformation is absent means water is directly converted into the steam at these pressure and temperature. Generally, operating pressure of this system is 260 Kg/cm2


Cation Conductivity & Degassed Cation Conductivity

Cation Conductivity & Degassed Cation Conductivity

What is Cation Conductivity?

This term is generally applicable in boiler water treatment.The concept is same as Strong Acid Cation(SAC) column works in DM Plant. To measure cation conductivity water sample is passing through cation column filled with cation resin in the hydrogen (H+) form. It is also known as acid conductivity.

Why It is Important:

Cation resin removes positively charged ions (cations) & replaces with H+ ions. In a high purity water cation present in ppb levels very small amount. For instance,If NaCl is present in this case when we passing sample through cation column  Na+ ion is removed & Clion react with H+ ion produces HCl (hydrochloric acid) that have a higher conductivity.

Please keep in mind that particular cation or anion is separately not present in water. Always they are present in combination with each other. e.g. NaCl,MgCl2 etc.

As name suggest it is a measurement of the conductivity after removing cations from water sample. it is indirect measurement of anions present in water, mainly chloride & sulphate present in steam samples.

In other words cation conductivity magnifies the anion present in water & indicates steam purity. Most steam turbine manufacturer recommends cation conductivity limit of <0.3 µs/cm.

High conductivity observed in water sample due to below points:

  1. Exhausted cation column
  2. Overfeed of amine & oxygen scavenger chemicals
  3. Total organic carbon or organic decomposition products(acetate, formate) present in high level
  4. High level of anion contamination present in water.

In practice, well controlled & maintained feed water chemistry can consistently maintain cation conductivity below 0.5 µs/cm when using organic amine and organic oxygen scavenger.

Degassed Cation Conductivity:

The degassed cation conductivity measurement uses the same ion exchange strategy as the cation conductivity measurement.  The degassed measurement incorporates a reboiler to remove volatile compounds (like ammonia, amine, volatile organics, and CO2) from the steam to provide a more accurate indication of sulfate and chloride levels.

In the degassed measurement, the sample passes through a reboiler.  Volatile organic compounds and CO2 are vented to atmosphere.  Non-volatile inorganic compounds (like sulfate and chloride) remain behind.  Thus, the degassed cation conductivity measurement provides the most accurate indication of inorganic anion levels (salts) in the steam.

Most steam turbine manufacturers recommend cation conductivity limits of 0.2-0.3 uS/cm.  As stated earlier, the steam turbine manufacturer limits are not realistic unless ammonia and hydrazine are the only products used for feedwater treatment.  In practice, well-controlled feedwater chemistry can consistently maintain cation conductivities in the 0.4-0.8 uS/cm range when using organic amine or organic passivators.




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