Reducing Fluorine in Influent Water at a Commercial Baking Facility
One of the world’s largest commercial baking companies experienced excess amounts of fluorine in the influent process water for a few of their production facilities. They used a special catalyzed activated carbon to control the fluoride levels, but it did not perform as effectively or consistently as they wanted and levels of fluoride leakage exceeded their permitted effluent amount.
Although generally not considered harmful in water, the geographic region of the production plant has naturally occurring fluoride levels above the 1.5 ppm national standard. When heated and boiled in production processes, the levels become even more concentrated. As a result, the plant removes it to stay in local compliance. Long-term exposure to water with high levels of fluoride produces adverse health effects including dental fluorosis, decreased thyroid function, osteosarcoma, and others.
Purolite built a relationship with an OEM named Synergy Ambiental Mexicana over ten years and worked with them on many special applications projects. When their customer experienced the fluoride issue, they called Purolite to help develop a solution.
As it turned out, Purolite worked with the baking company on problems with Nitrate removal in the past within a different location facility. With the new challenge, we needed to do a fresh evaluation of their system and adapt their existing columns to use Purolite resins.
It was important to listen and understand the customers limitations, expectations and requirements for their process. They were not able to invest in new technology and were hesitant to work with a solution that they had no experience with. The company already had a significant investment in the carbon system—which did not work—and were left with a reduced budget to find a solution.
After running detailed calculations on initial water quality and throughput, we determined that they could achieve targeted leakage levels with several Purolite resins. Purolite® A200 Strong Base Anion Resin was determined to be an excellent solution due to its high operating capacity and high regeneration efficiency. Both the OEM and the end user were in agreement with the proposed solution.
After installing the resins, the system reduced fluoride levels to 0 ppm and throughput of 48 hours. The initial estimate was a throughput of 16 hours, and expectations were far exceeded. Additionally, the more efficient run time saved significantly on operation costs and the customer was very satisfied.