Ion exchange versus osmosis device

Miscellaneous DenNorske August 8, 2016 0 3

The mineral that is mainly responsible for calcification is calcium. Water in which much calcium is dissolved is also called hard water. Water can be softened with a water softener. The most famous water softeners are:

  • A. Ion Exchange
  • B. Osmosis Device
  • C. Anti-lime magnet

An ion exchanger and an osmotic device having a major agreement: they serve both as a softener because she lime / calcium filter out water. Since the operation of a lime magnet is not 100% solid state and lime is not effectively removed from the water, we discuss below exclusively reverse osmosis and ion exchange.

The various advantages and disadvantages of the two softeners in a row ...

The effect of a calcium ion exchange on

Ion exchange is a form of deionization. An ion-exchange resin comprises a cylinder / resin bed with resin beads. To a part of the resin beads is sodium bound; these are also called anti-calcium resins. When the resin saturated with sodium balls come into contact with hard water, the calcium ions will be exchanged for sodium ions. For each calcium ion, two sodium ions again.

This exchange process of calcium and sodium continues until all of the resin-bound sodium ions have been used up. A fully saturated calcium resin filter needs to be regenerated by this in order to rinse with softening salt / regeneration salt, consisting of sodium chloride. This should always be done according to the instructions of the ion exchanger.

Here, the advantages and disadvantages of an ion exchanger with respect to calcium ions and calcium deposits ...

Benefits ion exchange:

  • No more limescale!
  • With a "Kati-Ani-Filter" specific undesirable cations and anions can be selectively 'exchanged' for its desirable counterparts.
  • Deionized water can be produced quickly and in large quantities.
  • There is little or no wasted water through an ion exchanger.
  • The cation-anion difference either acid-base balance can be adjusted, if desired, with certain types of resin; thus can be produced extra extra acid or alkaline water.
  • Filter cartridges or cartridges can be replaced, replenished and / or regenerated and thus need not be discarded.
  • The vast majority of ion exchangers consume no electricity.
  • In state of the art ion exchange resin regeneration of resins usually find semi-automatic or fully automatic.

Disadvantages ion exchange:

  • An ion exchanger is expensive to buy: 750 up to 3000 euro.
  • Resins must be regenerated periodically.
  • About once a year, to be replaced kunstharsgranules.
  • Some ionharsen be relatively short, and are to be regenerated earlier. The effectiveness and its ability to take relatively quickly and exponentially decreases as the resin filter becomes saturated or exhausted or loaded.
  • Effectiveness of ion exchange is highly dependent on the type of resin used and resin quality ...
  • A "mixed bed" of mixed cation and anion resins is recommended, but also used up quickly.
  • Ion exchangers are still somewhat more difficult to obtain than osmosis equipment; in the Netherlands are mainly Aqua Cell and Lenntech known suppliers and installers of ion exchange resins for water softening.
  • There are relatively few places where you saturated ion exchange resins can be regenerated and resin columns can be refilled.
  • To get deionize, the flow of the water supply should not be too high.
  • In case of non-continuous use of an ion-exchanger can be the growth of algae, fungal and bacterial growth in the growth occur in the ion-exchanger.
  • Is a resin column saturated, your ion exchanger basically useless.
  • There must be considerable tinkering with your plumbing system to mount on an ion exchanger, to build a bypass and carry wastewater.
  • An ion exchanger is relatively harmful to the environment because of the regeneration of used salts.

The operation of a reverse osmosis device to limes

Reverse osmosis water filtration is a technique in which water under considerable pressure is pushed by a semi-permeable osmosis membrane. The osmosis bladder late indeed extremely small water molecules, but no larger floating in the water or solutes. A quality osmosis device with a decent pump and a high-quality semi-permeable membrane filters up to 99% percent of all pollution in tap water.

Advantage osmosis:

  • No more limescale!
  • A well-osmosis device filters more "foreign" substances from your water than a good ion exchange; Not only ions or minerals or electrolytes, but also organic compounds, chemical pollution and micro-organisms, ...
  • ... In return, an osmosis membrane is not selective; it is only in the size of water solutes which determines whether or not particles are filtered out of the water or not.
  • An osmosis filter for home use is relatively inexpensive to purchase: +/- 350 euros.
  • Osmosis is very practical for material contamination for both tap water and rainwater.
  • There is usually no need to use special salt.
  • Nearly 100% pure water; This can be useful for cleaning purposes, but drinking water must contain correct certain macro minerals and trace elements.
  • The acidity of osmosis filtered water is usually neutral.
  • Osmosis devices are now on sale everywhere.
  • Parts and accessories of reverse osmosis filters are relatively easy to obtain.
  • A membrane will always retain a certain percentage of ions and others, regardless of the concentration of dissolved substances, net flow rate and pressure.

Disadvantages reverse osmosis device:

  • There are a lot of osmosis filters of inferior quality on the market.
  • Much water wastage: around two thirds of the water supply ends up as waste water, unless you dock an additional bypass and the lime-rich waste water for toilet
  • You need quite a long wait for a nice amount of osmosis water unless you have a separate booster pump
  • The water production is often a lot lower than promised.
  • Higher electricity consumption in relation to the pump.
  • A osmosis system is generally maintenance even more sensitive than an ion exchanger, so more maintenance costs.
  • Osmosis efficiency is highly dependent on the existing semi-permeable membrane.
  • The water temperature should be optimal for a high reverse osmosis purification.
  • Although still sometimes the opposite is claimed, an osmosis unit should also be cleaned periodically due "fouling" and "scaling: scaling and fouling.
  • It should be quite doctored to the water pipes to install a device-osmosis, to construct a bypass, and to be able to carry off waste water.

A disadvantage of the two filters is that substantially all of macro minerals and trace elements from the water to disappear, which is for the purpose of scale deposits is ideal, but for drinking water is not necessarily positive or beneficial. For this reason, demineralized water at the end of the ride even sometimes enriched with a mineral filter.

Incidentally, deionized drinking water no longer be de-acidified or alkalized / are made alkaline, because there are no longer dissolved ions are present.


Reverse Osmosis is cheaper, easier and more widely applicable; ion exchange is more effective and faster but is also more expensive, more environmentally responsible and more work. At best, you have a mixed filter ": an ion exchanger + osmosis unit in one. Such a device pumps supply water through a mixed bed ion exchanger and by an osmosis membrane. Such a system typically has the largest self-cleaning ability.

Your water-using appliances go through a quality waterfiltreersysteem longer, you save cleaning and having to scrub less often and hard ... but a softener can run into thousands of euros regarding purchase, installation, maintenance, cleaning, refills, etc., so payback do you such expensive water filtration device not just ...

For the drinking water quality in any case you do not have to purchase a reverse osmosis unit and / or ion exchange, for your tap water is by supplying water company to some extent deionized and / or osmotic purification. That does not alter the quality of Dutch tap water can be improved. This is especially true when there is exceptionally hard water coming from your faucet and you have old or poor quality water pipes in the house that contaminating the water with copper, lead or asbestos.

Because there is still a lot of water in calcium can sit, descaling / softening by ion exchange and / or reverse osmosis essentially an extremely effective way to prevent limescale.

Do you want your tap water descaling, annealing in other words with the aid of an osmosis device and / or an ion-exchange? Let us know what your preference goes to and why!

Photo credits: Petronel00