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Ion Exchange Australia offers a complex approach to various aspects of ion exchange technology and materials. Those include the processes of recovering valuable metals, removing toxic compounds, processing mining wastes, purifying drinking and industrial water and treating waste water. We provide our customers with services at all stages of the technology implementation from laboratory tests and pilot plant trials to full scale plant design, construction and operation.


     About Ion Exchange

The ion exchange phenomenon has been known for over a hundred years, however ion exchange became a commercially successful technology only in 1940-50s, when a range of synthetic ion exchange resins were formulated and introduced. As a technology ion exchange comprises of two components - ion exchange materials (resins) and processes. The resins are characterised by specific properties such as selectivity towards particular ions, ion exchange capacity, mechanical strength, osmotic stability. Depending on the application the ion exchange resins can be used in a number of processes which can be subdivided on batch and continuous, co-current and counter-current, moving bed and mixed bed types of processes.


     Major Applications of Ion Exchange

Ion Exchange Australia supplies ion exchange resins for a variety of typical and/ or specific applications. Most typical example of application is water purification, which includes softening, dealkalisation and decontamination. This process can be used in the preparation of drinking and industrial water and is utilised in many industries such as food and beverage, power generation, chemical and petrochemical, electronic and semiconductor, and many other industries. Some of these applications require preparation of high purity water. Ion exchange is also widely used in some specific industries, in particular pharmaceutical, biotechnology, organic synthesis, sugar and sweeteners.

Our particular interest is the hydrometallurgical recovery of valuable metals from solutions and pulps using continuous ion exchange technology and resin in pulp process. At this stage the ion exchange technology is a mainstream process in the hydrometallurgical extraction of uranium and gold and a supplementary process in the hydrometallurgy of base and rare metals. However, due to a number of technical and economic advantages the ion exchange technology and resin in pulp in particular could become mainstream processes for the recovery of metals from low grade ores, cut-offs, tailings and metallurgical wastes.



BIODIESEL   The development of the biodiesel production technology is becoming one of the promising methods to produce renewable fuel. A part of this technology is to use ion exchange resins to adsorb free glycerin and trace methanol and water as well as to remove residual catalyst. It makes the purification of crude biodiesel a more cost effective process.

COPPER MINING   A combination of heap leaching, solvent extracion and electro winning is currently most common technology in copper mining. Due to some process limitations it enables the recovery of only 75-85 percent of dissolved copper from the ore. The use of ion exchange as a supplementary process could improve the extraction rate by 5-10 percent and minimise some issues in the existing process

WINE AND BEER   Wine and beer industries are important part of the Australian economy. Ion exchange is able to contribute to the quality improvement of the Australian wine and beer. The major application of ion echange in this area is the beverage stabilisation by controlling tartare content and acidity, removing excessive amount of polyphenols and proteins, improving chemical and physical indices of colour value.

WATER TREATMENT   The water treatment is the most typical application and the largest market for ion exchange resins. It comprises of softening or cation exchange, removal of toxic compounds and heavy metals, demineralisation and desalination, preparation of ultr-pure water. One of the promising applications for ion exchange is water pre-treatment for reverse osmosis.

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