Find all the contact information for the LANXESS sites worldwidefind out more
The shortage of clean water has become a global problem. Population growth, air pollution, and climate change will all exacerbate the situation and especially megacities will have to manage their available water carefully.
Products and processes from LANXESS are already used for water treatment worldwide, helping companies and communities alike utilize water as efficiently as possible. These products play an important role in the purification and treatment of drinking water, wastewater, and industrial process water. Crystal clear water for today’s and tomorrow’s megacities.
Water is needed for a whole host of applications that extend far beyond our daily drinking requirements. And the demands of the various branches of industry are as diverse as they are challenging. At power plants, for example, limescale deposits need to be systematically removed, because they would significantly impair plant operation and could even damage components. The principle is the same for both large- and small-scale applications. Domestic appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and coffee machines last longer if the water contains only small quantities of dissolved limescale.
The necessary softening is achieved, for example, using ion exchange resins from LANXESS’s Liquid Purification Technologies business unit, which are sold under the Lewatit® brand. In simplified terms, ion exchange resins are tiny beads with a diameter of between 0.3 and 1.2 millimeters that absorb positively or negatively charged particles (ions) and release other particles in exchange. Manufacturers of semiconductor products and solar panels need more than just limescale-free water, though.
They depend on ultrapure water that is free of virtually all foreign bodies. This is hardly surprising, because even a single foreign molecule could cause a short-circuit and thus an irreversible defect in components. Ion exchange resins can achieve this level of purity, too.
Many regions across the globe depend on the desalination of seawater or brackish water to produce usable water. Examples include the Arabian peninsula, northern Africa, and even parts of the United States and Australia. This is where efficient reverse osmosis technology comes in – a process that involves forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane at high pressure.
This membrane is structured in such a way as to block certain ions, thereby removing substances such as salt but also other ions such as boron or silicates from the water. LANXESS’s Liquid Purification Technologies business unit supplies high-performance membrane elements under the Lewabrane® brand name. Depending on the intensity of use, these elements can produce salt-free water over a period of many years.
In some parts of the world, the groundwater from which people take their drinking water is contaminated with arsenic, a toxic semi-metal. Examples include Argentina, Chile, the west of the United States and parts of both Mongolia and southeast Asia. In most cases, this toxicity develops naturally in the form of ions in the groundwater, but in isolated cases people are also partially responsible for the contamination. Bayoxide E 33 from LANXESS’s Inorganic Pigments business unit is an effective, economical and efficient solution for removing this hazardous substance. The porous granules adsorb arsenic but also other undesirable substances in the water, such as lead and phosphate. Consequently, they are also suitable for purifying industrial wastewater the world over.
LANXESS’s Functional Chemicals business unit knows a great deal about water conditioning. Its portfolio includes Bayhybid® and Baypure® which, unlike ion exchange resins, simply “conceal” rather than absorb ions. This prevents, for example, the formation of salts such as calcium carbonate with poor solubility in water. As a result, deposits in pipes and boilers are effectively ruled out. Both products have a wide range of applications.
While Bayhybid® is used, for example, to treat textiles prior to dyeing and as a binding retarder in screed and concrete, Baypure® is primarily used as a dispersing agent for water hardening in washing machines and dishwashers, and also in cooling water circuits. The two products share a common benefit in that their composition means they are completely harmless to the environment when released into wastewater after use.