The enjoyment a person gets out of drinking water isn’t as straight-forward a process as you might think. There are many scientific and technological processes at work, such as ion exchange technology, which are improving the water drinking experience.
Ion Exchange Technology: What Exactly is an Ion?
Simply put, an ion is a charged atom or molecule. This occurs when the number of electrons in that charged atom or molecule does not equal the number of protons.
- If there are more electrons than protons, then the atom is considered a negative ion. Another term for this is “anion.”
- If there are more protons than electrons, then the atom is considered a positive ion and is referred to as a cation.
So this begs the question, what the heck do ions have to do with the quality, taste, and experience of drinking water?
Ion exchange water filters have emerged on the market as a way to reduce the overall “hardness” in water, which helps improve the taste of our water, and anything we use our water for, like our morning cup of coffee.
The Science Behind Ion Exchange Water Filters
The hardness of water, also known as water’s alkalinity is the measurement of calcium, magnesium, sulfate, and chloride in its contents.
These minerals, depending on their quantity in any given source of water, can have an extreme effect on the taste and odor of our water. Therefore, ion treatment technology seeks to remove these ions and replace them with chemicals that create “neutral” water.
To maintain proper neutrality of water, ion exchange filters help achieve the equal removal of both negatively and positively charged ions, as appropriate.
For example, if calcium is impacting the hardness of a water source, then the ion exchange filter will replace those calcium ions (negative charge) with sodium (positive charge) to maintain a neutral charge for that water.
Challengers to the Ion Exchange Water Filter Method
At ZeroWater, we live by our 5-stage water filtration system that exclusively leverages ion exchange technology. This has led to ZeroWater’s promise of removing the most contaminants of any pour-through water filter pitcher.
We are incredibly proud of this, though, at the same time, we recognize the three other schools of water filtration that each carry its unique advantages.
- Activated Carbon Water Filter: Using sponge-like absorption, activated carbon water filters represent the most common sense of a filter. Essentially, they act as a barrier between the clean water and the water in need of filtering. While it is commonly seen, this should be considered a less sophisticated method, and the filter’s purity and longevity often follow suit. Keep in mind that activated carbon’s core function is to endorse chlorine reduction and other basic metals like zinc, copper & mercury.
- Reverse Osmosis (RO): This has more overlapping similarities to ion exchange, as RO leverages a scientific process that pushes water through a semi-permeable membrane to deionize and decontaminate the water.
- Distillation: This three-step process (fermentation, distillation, finishing) uses heat to separate the elements of the water that are desired, and not desired. Distillation has advantages at industrial levels, where a massive volume of water is being treated, but doesn’t make as much sense for single-family households.
Ion Exchange Vs. The Field
Through many years of research, trials, and taste tests, ZeroWater continues to swear by ion exchange technology. No other process can provide a combination of healthy water and good-tasting water at the convenience of ion exchange.
From our standpoint, ion exchange technology presents the following advantages over its competitors.
- It is effective and efficient in softening your drinking water.
- Improves taste and smell of tap water.
- It can be easily reused and recharged.
- Maintenance is relatively cheap.
- The resins have a long life.*
*Resins in ion exchange water filters refer to the polymers that bind the positively charged ions using sodium. They are uniquely designed to attract calcium and magnesium, which are direct contributors to water’s hardness. By these resins having a long life, it means that the critical scientific process of the sodium polymer attracting and therefore removing from the water troubling chemicals like calcium and magnesium, you get to experience better-tasting water for a longer period.
ZeroWater: Better-Tasting, Affordable Water
Most ion exchange filters on the market can cost you hundreds of dollars, which don’t even take into account the time spent installing your filter!
With ZeroWater, we offer affordable solutions that come ready-to-use, so that you are enjoying soft water from the comforts of your home, or out and about.
If ion exchange water filters can help improve the quality of the drinking water in your home, office, or business, get in touch with the ZeroWater team today.