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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.
The high-efficiency ion exchange resins that LANXESS manufactures and supplies under the brand name Lewatit® clean water in a very smart way: Lewatit® takes the form of small beads less than a millimeter in diameter. These are made of a porous plastic, and the pores are functionalized with specially designed molecules. When ions flow past these molecules, they stick to them like flies to flypaper. In return, the ion exchangers release other ions so that the charge balance of the solution is preserved – hence the name "ion exchanger". These ions may be simple sodium, or they might be hydrogen ions, which in combination with hydroxide ions yield nothing other than water.
After all, it takes only a few cubic meters of ion exchangers to clean hundreds of thousands of liters of water.These efforts are rewarded with almost indescribably clean water. The water that drips from the outlet of a system filled with Lewatit ion exchangers has truly earned the formula H2O. Special Lewatit® ion exchange resins are also frequently used in cartridge water filter systems, for example.There will be only one boron atom, for example, among every 20 billion water molecules. By way of comparison, that corresponds to a couple of sugar cubes dispersed in Lake Constance (55 cubic kilometers of water). But that much boron would hardly be noticed in this context: according to the World Health Organization (WHO), normal drinking water typically contains a few million times more boron than a highly purified Lewatit® filtrate would. Water this pure can be used to bathe microchip wafers with perfect confidence.
Another future-oriented solution for water treatment are the new Lewabrane® Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane elements, a membrane filter technology, in which a kind of selective partition allows certain substances to pass through while blocking other unwanted kinds. This allows to filter nitrates, pesticides, viruses, and bacteria out of the water.
One of the most dangerous contaminants of drinking water is arsenic. With the iron oxide adsorber Bayoxide® E 33 and the hybrid adsorber Lewatit® FO 36, LANXESS offers highly developed systems for removing toxic heavy metals and transforming contaminated water into safe drinking water on a large scale. And last but not least, rubbers developed by LANXESS help to reduce water loss during transportation. They serve to seal water pipes safely and thus ensure that this precious resource will reach more and more people.
LANXESS is not only fine-tuning water treatment itself, but also reducing the need for waste water treatment. Baypure® is a complexing agent that develops its full softening effect extremely quickly and very strongly. This is what enables surfactants to provide their full cleaning power at the first swipe.
Baypure® is readily biodegraded and requires no special labeling. And it’s needed for use in especially harmless cleaning products such as household cleansers and stain removers, but it is mostly used in dishwasher detergents for household and in the “car shampoo” formulations at drive-through car wash stations. Here the use of Baypure® reduces the need for surfactants and for water pretreatment.