Water Deionization

Deionized water is critical not only to many industries, but also across many commercial business sectors. Water deionization systems are very important for numerous processes in industrial settings such as food and beverage manufacturing, bottling plants, metal powder coating and finishing, and cosmetic & pharmaceutical manufacturing. Viridian water systems is proud to supply the industry with quality water deionization solutions that can be trusted to work.

Deionized water systems employ an ion-exchange principle to achieve ultra low conductivity water via the separation, purification and decontamination of input water. The deionization of water is a process that involves water flowing through several beds of ion-exchange resin in an effort to separate dissolved contaminants from pure water.

Mechanism behind water deionization

There are two kinds of commercial ion-exchange resins; strong–acid cation and strong-base anion. Cation resin beds play the role of replacing cations from feed water, such as calcium, magnesium and lead, with hydrogen ions in water deionization systems. Cation resin beds are charged by a strong acid, usually hydrochloric acid, and thus are saturated with H+. When cation-rich water flows over the charged resin, an exchange of ions takes place, and hence the name of the process. Anion resin beds, in contrast, are charged with sodium hydroxide, and take part in the process of anion ion exchange. Water deionization systems make use of these resin beds to replace anions in the intake water with hydroxyl ions from the resin. This is a technology that completely purifies water, because it removes unwanted ions from input water, and replaces them with hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, which combine to form pure water.

Examples of common cations include: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, lead, copper and strontium ions

Examples of typical anions include: bicarbonate, nitrate, fluoride, chloride, carbonate, sulphate and silicate ions

There are essentially three kinds of water deionization system solutions available:

Co-current water deionization

This is a separate resin bed water deionization technology, in which there is one column for cation charged resin, and an entirely separate one for anion charged resin. The phrase ‘co-current’ means that both the feed water as well as the regeneration chemicals flows in the same direction, usually from the top of an ion-exchange column to the base. There are notable drawbacks to this process, namely lower product quality due to somewhat sooner exhaustion of regeneration chemicals in the first portion of the column during the regeneration phase.

Counter-current water deionization

Counter-current water deionization, much like co-current deionization, is a second kind of separate resin bed water deionization technology. Similar to the aforementioned process, counter-current water deionization takes advantage of water flowing through entirely separated pillars of cation and anion charged resin, respectively. The biggest difference between counter-current and co-current water deionization is that the chemical regenerates, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid, flow upwards, while the water flows downwards throughout the columns of resin, thereby actually enhancing the efficiency of the technology. A lot less time and chemicals are required to thoroughly regenerate the system using the counter-current water deionization method as opposed to the co-current water deionization method. This leads to significantly reduce operational cost, and therefore a more desirable option for clients in the industry.

Mixed Bed water deionization

Water deionization systems that utilize mixed resin bed technology are typically comprised of a single tank with a mix of both cation and anion charged resin. A tank with both resin types makes for a much greater turnover of ion exchange per cubic foot, and this significantly enhances the efficiency of the water deionization process.

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