Manufacturing High Quality Purified Water. Part 1 Removing Ionic Impurities.

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High quality purified water is a must in aqueous toiletry formulations. You can use the finest of raw materials and have the best processes in place, but if you are using poor quality water, it will most likely be detrimental to your formula. These detrimental effects can be apparent from the completion of your batch or may take place over time. If these detrimental effects take place over time, your product may already be in the field.

This may lead to customer complaints, a product recall or even a loss of business and reputation. Manufacturing high quality purified water for toiletries does not need to be overly complicated or extremely expensive. The best place to start is to find and set a water quality specification you are trying to achieve for your product formulations. There is much information on the internet and in books to determine what specifications you want to achieve. You may even want to contact your local water filtration company for advice. Once you have a specification set, you can determine the type of water system you want to use. Two of the main goals for achieving high quality purified water should be removing ionic and organic impurities. Ionic impurities can wreck havoc on any product formulation. Ionic impurities can cause unstable emulsions, out of spec viscosities, color drifts, color bleaching or even a yellowing of product over time. The list goes on and on. Ionic impurities need to be removed to produce a high quality stable product. Removing ionic impurities is achieved by using water deionization filtration tanks. There are Cationic resin, Anionic resin and mixed bed resin tanks. Cationic resin tanks have a positive charge and remove ionic impurities such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and manganese. Anionic resin tanks have a negative charge and remove ionic impurities such as nitrates, chlorides, sulfates, carbonate, silica and bicarbonates. These two types of tanks can be placed in tandem inline on your water filtration system. A mixed bed resin deionization tank is a combination and contains both Cationic and Anionic resins. This achieves both negative and positive charge deionization. There are other pieces of equipment that should always be attached to the deionization tank/tanks. A pre-filter should be placed before the tank/tanks. This will help eliminate any sediment that may be in the city water from entering the tank/tanks. A pressure regulator and or a flow meter should be placed before the deionization tank/tanks also. Most deionization tanks have both a pressure rating and a water flow rating. Rising above these ratings will make your water not meet specification and deemed unusable. A resistivity sensor should be placed after the tank/tanks. The light will indicate when your tank/tanks have lost their charge and are spent. This means it is time to change to a new tank/tanks. The sensitivity of your resistivity sensor should be based on the water specifications that were decided to achieve. These suggestions are enough to get you going on removing ionic impurities. These suggestions are by far not the only way to do this process but are tried and proven processes for removing the ionic impurities. In the next blog I will write about removing organic impurities.

TRAVIS MCCHESNEY Arizona Natural Resources Senior Manufacturing Manager