November 19, 2019
Why do we need demineralized water with a humidifier ?
Even though water is a common element we all know about, there are different type of water available for different usage: natural water, regular tap water, bottled water, drinkable water, industrial water, distilled water, and steam-condensed, purified water.
When using industrial water, the degree of impurity in the water is further increased, making it difficult to use when installing a humidifier above operators. Even in natural water and tap water, the water is not completely pure. Hardness components such as calcium, and salt components such as sodium or silica are dissolved. This may cause problems for industrial machinery when using this kind of water during production due to white flying particles (minerals).
This is the reason why many industries use purified / demineralized water instead of tap water. The purity of water is generally expressed by the conductivity of this water (ease of passing electricity). Indeed, if the water is charged with residual components such as minerals, it will allow the electricity to pass through more easily.
What is purified water?
Purified water is water that went through a process meant to remove all impurities. Indeed, even if the water is colorless and transparent, it contains multiple components.
For example :
- Miscellaneous matter (garbage, dust, clay, iron sand, etc.)
- Aquatic life (bacteria, microorganisms, etc.)
- Organic matter (algae or trees decomposed by the action of microorganisms, organic detergents leaked into nature, etc.)
- Inorganic salts (hardness components such as calcium, salinity, dissolved iron, etc.)
- Gas (carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, etc.)
The main properties of purified water
- It produces fewer residual components. Indeed, if the water contains many mineral components, a scale formation will happen and disturb the smooth operating of your machines. When it comes to humidification, scale formation has a negative impact that leads to reduced efficiency of the heat exchanger, increased energy consumption, clogging of pipes and nozzles.
- There is also a risk of organic particles or bacteria in the water, which can represent a health Since purified water has very few impurities, it will solve most of these problems.
- Purified water is a good solvent. Indeed, it can easily dissolve various substances and many gases from the air. Also, it is widely used in the process of cleaning impurities since it attracts particles.
How can we clean water to be bacteria free?
There are several methods to obtain purified water. The one you pick depends on the results you are looking for.
Distillation: Distillation involves boiling the water and then using natural condensation to store the vapor into a clean container, thus leaving the solid components behind. This process is quite expensive for industrial use.
Deionization: This is a process using chemicals to get rid of almost all the minerals ions such as sodium, calcium, sulfate, etc.
Reverse Osmosis: Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of dissolved and suspended particles, such as minerals, organic matter, or bacteria from water, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water.
For which solution is purified water used?
There are multiple industrial applications for demineralized water:
- Humidification water
- Electronic parts washing water
- Boiler water
- Scale preventing water
- Drinking water
- Medical applications
Is deionized or distilled water enough for humidification?
Although deionized or distilled water is clean from impurities, it is less common than using a reverses osmosis unit for industrial usage due to its running cost. In addition, as demineralized water (or RO water) is kept in water tank, the extra measure of filtering via an UV lamp will guarantee a bacteria-free water as stagnated water can develop bacteria and mold growth. This is crucial when having humidifiers spraying above operators in factories. Legionella free and bacteria free water is severely regulated as a safety and health measure in industrial manufacturing factories.
For which IKEUCHI units is demineralized water mandatory?
With our humidification units, we recommend a reverse osmosis unit to purify your water through membrane and filter, linked with a UV lamp to destroy any bacteria left. As a matter of fact, water used for humidification must be very pure to avoid any hazard :
- Minerals particles can cause the pipes and nozzles to clog. They also could affect the production process (electronic devices, precise manufacturing, paint, paper, etc..).
- All types of particles still present in the water can increase the risk of respiratory issues and allergies.
- Finally, bacteria can develop if the water is not purified, leading to an increased risk of infectious diseases.
- As seen in this article, the right level of humidification brings several health benefits when used with purified water.
Purified water is the key solution to a sustainable and safe humidification system, to take into consideration if you are looking for optimizing your production while protecting your employee and machines.
Léo CHAMBRETTE – IKEUCHI EUROPE B.V. (updated by Nina MONCEAUX)