The Importance of Deionized Water in Industrial Applications


International standards for manufacturing practices are very stringent to ensure the safety and the best quality products and practices for the consumers. This is especially true for water. Water is essential to many medical, manufacturing, food processing, and other industrial applications.

Why is there a need for deionized water?

Water that undergoes the deionization process is regarded as almost “pure water” and therefore it is vital to many industrial processes which needed high-quality, uncontaminated water.

Deionized water follows this process of purification:

1. Organic trap – Water is passed through an organic trap to remove organic compounds in the water. Organic traps are ion exchange resins with a strong base anion resin. Most organic compounds are slightly negative (cationic) and the organic traps absorb these compounds.

2. Twin-bed Deionizers – After removing the organic compounds, water is passed through a twin-bed deionizer which has two separate chambers for cationic and anionic processes using acid and caustic solutions.

These two processes result in deionized water meaning water with no organic and ionic impurities. However, there are other impurities present in water and further purification is needed to produce high-quality, pure water for many industries.

3. Mixed Bed Resin – This filter has a pore size of greater than 0.05 micrometer which retains impurities larger than the pore size.

4. Ultra Violet Treatment – There are microorganisms in water, bacteria as well as unicellular organisms such as amoeba. A strong Ultra Violet Treatment kills these microorganisms.

5. Filtration – The last phase of the water purification involves the water passing through a 0.02-micrometer filter. This further sifts any remaining impurities left by the preceding phases.

The result of this long but meticulous process is an ultrapure type of deionized water. This type of water is very valuable in many industries.

It is used in dialysis centers as well as other laboratory applications. It is used in the laboratory as a reagent. Ultrapure water is essential to make accurate measurements for biological samples which use a very small amount like serum and plasma. It is also an indispensable item in a microbiology laboratory where glassware and other instruments are rinsed with deionized water before sterilization. Preparations of media also need deionized water to ensure that the media is sterile for the biological insulation of biological samples.

Deionized water is also used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. It is mainly used for water-based solutions. Since deionized water is free from impurities, it makes the perfect choice for use as a reagent and solvent because it is unlikely to produce undesirable side effects due to impurities.

In electronics production, it is being used extensively for processing and cleaning silicon wafers. It is also used to clean optic fibers when these are needed to be scrubbed thoroughly before coating.

Deionized water is also effective in an automotive battery where is it used to top up lead-acid batteries of many cars, trucks, and other vehicles. It is also used as a cooling agent in automotive as well as in airplanes, but due to its cost impracticality, this is not practiced today.

Believe it or not, it has even found its use in your local carwash. It is used as a final rinse and since it has no dissolved solutes, there are no spots left after the car has dried.

However, it is not advisable for home use except in small to average amounts. Although it is a good thing that all the impurities are gone and filtered out, some of these impurities are essential for the body. Some salts found in tap water are needed as electrolytes.