The raw water of water treatment works ‘the Blankaart’ (Belgium) is characterized by high levels of NOM (Natural Organic Matter), alkalinity and sulfate. From 2006 until present, the possibility of applying fluidized ion exchange for NOM removal has been investigated at the plant. Pilot testing using Miex® (Magnetic Ion Exchange) resin demonstrated that under standard operating conditions, a TOC (Total Organic Carbon) removal efficiency of 40 to 50% can be achieved. Moreover, jar tests demonstrated that the application of ion exchange as a pretreatment for enhanced coagulation would allow the coagulant dose to be reduced by 60% without compromising effluent quality. Finally, column experiments were conducted to evaluate (i) the effect of full brine reuse and (ii) the possibility of using less expensive conventional ion exchange resins instead of the patented Miex® resin. Recuperation of the waste brine after flocculation with a ferric salt and dewatering was found to have no significant impact on the NOM removal efficiency. Column experiments with Miex® and conventional type 1 anion exchange resins revealed that the fluidization characteristics of both types of resin allow use in fluidized bed systems and that with both types of resin, similar NOM removal efficiencies can be attained. However, higher contact times are required when conventional resins are applied.

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