Water resources are becoming scarcer these days, and this has created an issue with respect to cleaning it properly. That should possible explain the emergence of better and effective measures for water treatment. What are the emerging water treatment technologies and how do they work? Let us check out the best emerging water treatment technologies.
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Water treatment technologies have been growing consistently. This has a precursor in the form of several factors. Science has discovered newer contaminants. This has made it essential to launch new technologies to contain them. There is also a promulgation of new standards for water treatments and its potability. The third important factor that would play a major role would be the cost involved in the technologies. There are different types of water purification systems are being used to purify water.
With that background, here are the top five emerging technologies used in water treatment across the world.
Membrane filtration technology will ensure that the molecules within the feed water are separated from the water through the use of membranes. Of course, the exact performance and speed of the water flow will be dependent upon the pressure, concentration and the temperature of the solutes in the water.
You can differentiate the membrane filtration technology into low pressure and high-pressure membrane filtration. The low-pressure option is further classified into micro and ultrafiltration while the high-pressure membrane filtration technology involves nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. The differentiation lies in the application of pressure for cleaning the water. The low-pressure option uses the pressure rating of 10 to 30 psi, while the high-pressure option uses pressure ratings at 75 to 250 psi.
The technology also involves several membrane configuration options like spiralwrap, tubular, flatsheets and capillary. The specific use cases where the membrane filtration technology provides you access to include desalinating the sea water and treating the brackish water efficiently. It also helps you in demineralization of the water. This can also be useful in the boilers and pharmaceutical industries. This can also be useful in treating the municipal effluents and zero liquid discharge options.
The UV technology focusses on the utilization of the UV rays and their effects of UV light as a germicidal. Water flows through a constricted regions around the series of UVV lamps. The microorganisms in the water are deactivated through the use of UV light.
The technology works on the basis of the ability of the UV light in disrupting the DNA structure of the microorganisms and thus stop them from reproducing. The technology has been used since the 1950s in a smaller dimension, but it has now been developed as one of the mainstream technologies for treating water.
The technology is capable enough but suffers the inability of not being able to oxidation. Thus the technology is limited to water treatment systems that are not reliant on disinfection of color, taste, and odor. Yet another challenge you may come across would be the presence of a high level of particulate material in the water. The high density of particulate material can prevent the microorganisms from being controlled by the UV light.
However, the technology needs just a little amount of exposure to the UV light for effective disinfection. This will help you reduce the total time taken for disinfection and also reduce the power consumption as well. That should explain why technology is used by most of the municipalities.
The water treatment technology works on the basis of almost ambient temperature option and uses the highly reactive radicals in the process. One of the primary oxidants used in the process is Hydroxyl radical, though a few other options are also made use of.
The Hydroxyl radical is indeed one of the popular options compared to the Chorine. It can oxidize practically any kind of impurity present in the water. Advanced Oxidation technology also makes use of oxidizing agents like ozone or hydrogen peroxide. It also makes use of other options like UV and catalysts such as TiO2.
There are several advantages of Advanced Oxidation technology. It does not come with any highly harmful by-products. Moreover, it does not come with any issues associated with toxic chemicals. If you are looking to remove the resistant organic compounds, Oxidation should be one of the best options to go with.
The technology makes use of three primary options in terms of oxidizing agents – ozone, ozone with hydrogen peroxide addition, and UV with hydrogen peroxide addition. You will find it is one of the best options in the use cases that involve oxidation of synthetic organic chemicals, color, taste-and-odor-causing compounds. The process can be one of the best options for use with drinking water treatment.
The Ion Exchange water treatment can be one of the excellent options for controlling the water contamination for household usage. In fact, technology has always been widely used in chemical and engineering spheres.
Of course, the technology is not used for a wide range of application. The ideal use cases where it can be useful can be the water softening requirements. It is either used at the household water treatment plants or even industrial application where you need fully demineralized water. The process makes use of the ionization between the water to be treated and the ion exchange resin. It is one of the best and affordable solution because the resin can be regenerated and reused continuously.
The ions present in the water to be treated are exchanged with those on the resin. This will help you effectively remove the contaminants from the water. The technology makes use of several resins prime among them being strong acid cationic (SAC) resin, weak acid cationic (WAC) resin, strong base anionic (SBA) resin, and weak base anionic (WBA) resin.
The technology is mainly focussed on decarbonization and softening of water. Apart from the potable drinking water, the technology also finds use in boiler feed water applications.
This should be one of the most environment-friendly and newest technology when it comes to water treatment. While most of the options discussed so far focus on the use of physical or chemical disinfection, the biological filtration depends on none of these.
In fact, the water treatment industry has always been apprehensive of the biological processes. There has always been a concern where you find the addition of microorganisms into the water. Ozonating the natural water is one of the best options you can utilize for enhanced disinfection of the water through biological means.
The technology is still being evaluated and checked out. The pilot studies have conducted with the use of granular-activated carbon (GAC) or anthracite. The element is used as the best attachment for the biofilm. The Anthracite is preferred in comparison to the GAC. We may need to wait for a while before the technology finds frequent or regular use.
The water industry has time and again focus on embracing new technologies for use. The five technologies we have discussed have also been opted for in several prominent water treatment plants. We have been witnessing newer technologies and definitely looking ahead to finding the above technologies widely used in municipal water treatment.
The real challenge lies in making the technology really powerful and cost-effective. In fact, the latter is more important as the high cost can indeed be a deterrent in opting for the solution no matter whether it is one of the best options.