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Drinking & Process Water
Minerals correct the acidity of water or effluents by adjusting their pH either closer to neutrality (pH = 7) or to a given pH target. Natural waters containing excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to equilibrium are aggressive. Excessive CO2 can be neutralized by adding carbonate-based products to recover the water’s pH equilibrium.
Fine suspended solids in water can be agglomerated and removed by coagulation and flocculation using agents such as lime, FeCl3 and polymers.
Heavy metals are less soluble in water in specific pH ranges, where they form precipitates. Other ions such as sulfates, phosphates or fluorides can also be eliminated from water by adjusting its pH.
Drinking waters lacking minerals (e.g. dissolved Ca++ and HCO3-) can be remineralized by adding lime. Depending on the water’s CO2 equilibrium, CO2 will be added at the same time (fizziness). Remineralization generates dissolved calcium bi-carbonates Ca (HCO3)2 that stabilize the water at its equilibrium pH.
Hard waters contain high levels of soluble bicarbonates HCO3-. Softening the water by adding lime involves their precipitation in the form of insoluble carbonates CaCO3 or MgCO3.