Ion exchange resins and membranes for the Asian region

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Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is showcasing ion exchange resins from its proven Lewatit range and its Lewabrane reverse osmosis membranes at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) to be held from 2 – 4 June 2014 in Singapore.

Alexander Scheffler, director of Membrane Business in LANXESS' Liquid Purification Technologies business unit, said: "The Asian market is becoming one of the most important markets for our reverse osmosis membranes and we proudly introduce our new development for seawater desalination membranes. The new seawater membranes are already undergoing extensive pilot testing in Egypt."

Asean's water issues

Indonesia and Thailand have long been reliant on natural resources such as groundwater extraction – which can cause ‘sinking' or subsidence. About 40% of Jakarta is below sea level – this issue is exacerbated by Indonesia's estimated population growth of about 60% in the next 20 years, which will only increase water consumption needs.

Conversely, water-scarce Singapore, which imported water from Malaysia for decades, has strategically developed its water treatment sector.

One of the major advancements has been the introduction of seawater desalination technology. It is home to one of Asia's largest seawater desalination plant, and it is projected that desalinated water will meet up to 25% of Singapore's water demand by 2060, highlighting its importance for years to come.

A spiral wound membrane is cut to length for a reverse osmosis element.
A spiral wound membrane is cut to length for a reverse osmosis element. The dimensions of the Lewabrane modules from LANXESS match those of standard elements, which means they can be easily installed in the standard pressure vessels of reverse osmosis plants.

The Lewabrane membrane separation elements made at the Bitterfeld site in Germany for reverse osmosis (RO) are specially developed by LANXESS for industrial water treatment and the treatment of drinking water. The range currently includes products for the desalination of brackish and low-salinity waters. Main areas of application include the production of boiler feed water, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and full demineralization for microchip fabrication.

All Lewabrane membrane elements comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for the health-related implications of drinking water system components. The U.S. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International) has certified that all membrane elements currently sold by LANXESS are safe for use in the treatment of drinking water, a market segment with strong growth potential.

Lewatit is a leading brand in the field of ion exchange resins. LANXESS markets some 200 different product grades for numerous industries and applications. A combination with the company's membrane separation elements is possible, depending on the parameters of a given application. While membrane technology is very cost-efficient for water with a high salt content, only ion exchange resins (IEX) can purify water with low salt concentrations to the point where only trace amounts remain. With both methods connected in series, water of the highest purity can be produced even from very poor-quality water.

State-of-the-art membrane separation elements of LANXESS' Lewabrane range for industrial water treatment and the treatment of drinking water.
State-of-the-art membrane separation elements of LANXESS' Lewabrane range for industrial water treatment and the treatment of drinking water.

Scheffler added: "Our service includes assistance with plant design, encompassing both applications development and the economic and ecological aspects."

Unique planning software

LewaPlus software from LANXESS supports the simulation and design of both RO and IEX processes for water desalination. It is the only planning tool currently available that makes it possible to design very complex water treatment systems and draw direct comparisons between calculations for RO and IEX processes.

The latest version 1.5 offers a number of new features, such as the configuration of seawater desalination plants. Detailed information on LANXESS membrane elements can be found at The LewaPlus design software can also be downloaded from this website free of charge.

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