Innovations in process water treatment: towards a sustainable future

Innovations in process water treatment: towards a sustainable future

The process water treatment industry has undergone a remarkable transformation thanks to innovative technologies in an ever-changing environment. Advanced technologies are being used to improve water purification and reduce the use of chemicals and energy, contributing to achieving sustainability goals. By combining environmental protection and innovative technologies, the global process water treatment industry is able to address global water challenges, creating a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future.

According to a recent report by Allied Market Research, the global process water treatment industry is expected to demonstrate an excellent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period (2021-2030).

Let’s take a closer look at some of these innovative technologies for process water treatment.

Active carbon filters

Activated carbon filters are used to remove free chlorine and organic materials present in water sources. This filtration method involves the use of an activated carbon bed to destroy impurities and contaminants through chemical adsorption. Activated carbon is made from natural materials, including coal or coconut shells, which have a high carbon content. Before it is used in water treatment, this carbon-containing material must undergo additional processing to become “activated.”

Carbon filters are usually activated by steam or chemicals. When activated by steam, carbon filters have a fine pore structure which makes them effective in absorbing both liquid and vaporous compounds. On the other hand, when activated by a chemical reaction, carbon filters have an open pore structure which makes them better at absorbing large molecules.

Chlorine formation

Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to water to remove harmful microorganisms, but it can lead to the formation of unwanted byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs). Excessive levels of THMs can pose health risks, leading the EPA to set limits for THMs in drinking water. Methods such as filtration and the use of chloramines (chlorine mixed with ammonia) help reduce THMs. More advanced technologies such as ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and UV disinfection are being used to address concerns and maintain water purity without the drawbacks of chlorination.

Distillation

Distillation is used to remove suspended and dissolved contaminants from water in water treatment. The process involves heating water to produce steam, which is then collected and cooled to form distilled water. The high temperature of distillation removes viruses, bacteria, and spores, while volatile organic compounds (VOCs) evaporate. Distillation is often the preferred method for producing water for injection (WFI) for pharmaceutical or medical applications.

Electrodeionization (EDI)

Electrodeionization, also known as continuous electrodeionization (EDI, CEDI or CDI), uses semi-permeable membranes and ion exchange resins to reduce ion concentrations in water. Ion exchange resins are constantly regenerated by an electric current that removes dissolved ions. These dissolved ions are continuously removed from the system during regeneration. Although electrodeionization is environmentally friendly, upstream pretreatment, usually with reverse osmosis, is required to achieve the best economic efficiency.

The impact of COVID-19

The process water treatment industry has been hit by both short-term and long-term effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short term, lockdown measures and international trade restrictions have disrupted the supply chain, resulting in shortages of equipment and chemicals essential for water treatment. At the same time,Direct demand for process water treatment solutions decreased as industrial facilities were temporarily shut down during the pandemic.

The pandemic has increased the focus on meeting the demand for water purification systems in specific sectors, particularly healthcare facilities and essential services, to ensure a safe and hygienic water supply.

In the long term, the pandemic has shown how crucial it is to have strong and sustainable water management practices. Businesses are investing in water treatment for their operations to ensure a constant and clean water supply. Strict safety and hygiene measures in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and food processing emphasize the need for reliable water purification systems.

In addition, the public is increasingly aware that viruses can be spread through water, underscoring the urgent need for powerful disinfection and virus removal methods in the treatment of water for commercial use.

Harshada Dive is a certified computer technician. She has worked as a customer service representative for many years. As an Associate Content Writer, she enjoys experimenting with trending topics and developing her unique writing skills. When Harshada is not writing, she enjoys gardening and listening to motivational podcasts.