Not all waters are the same – Energy Magazine


They change according to their need and what they mix with. On Earth there are approximately 1,386 million km3 of water, but only 2.5% of this total corresponds to water that can be made drinkable and consumed without major risk.

Mexico City.- Water is the most abundant substance in living beings and essential for life, but also the scarcest in recent years for consumption. It has qualities that make it a unique and highly prized substance, being pure it has no color, taste or smell, it is in constant movement and it is the only substance that can be found naturally on Earth in the three states of matter ( liquid, solid and gas). Its freezing point is zero degrees Celsius (°C), while its boiling point is 100°C (at sea level).

Water is also known as the “universal solvent” as it dissolves more substances than any other liquid and contains valuable minerals and nutrients. Its properties, which we sometimes forget, are surprising, which is why it can be used in various ways, from domestic cleaning to industrial processes. Water has a high specific heat index, meaning that it has the ability to absorb a lot of heat before its temperature rises. For this reason, water acquires a relevant role as a cooler in industries and helps regulate the change in air temperature during the seasons of the year.

Composition of water and its properties.

The chemical formula for water is H₂O, an oxygen atom bonded to two hydrogen atoms. The water molecule has a positive electric charge on one side and a negative electric charge on the other like a dipole. Because opposite electrical charges attract each other, water molecules tend to stick together.

Reacts with acid oxides (binary chemical compound resulting from the combination of a non-metal element with oxygen). Reacts with basic oxides (combination of a metallic element with oxygen). Reacts with metals and non-metals. in salts forming hydrates. It has capillarity, a phenomenon that depends on its ability to adhere to walls and the cohesion of molecules with each other. Thanks to its high dielectric constant: ionic and polar compounds dissolve easily in water, that is, which makes it the universal solventLow degree of ionization. That is, from the point of view of Ph, water is neutral.

From the theory to the practice.

These aforementioned properties and characteristics make water a very valuable element. Therefore, it is essential to take care of it and take advantage of it in the best way and we can talk about two aspects:

The reuse of water in industry. By having a minimum percentage of water that can be made drinkable and consumed, it is an obligation to reduce its consumption for industrial processes, making use of technologies and equipment that allow its reuse.

For example, the automotive industry seeks to reduce water consumption during production processes, such as pre-treatment baths and rain tests, by recycling it, without losing the quality necessary for these processes.

The correct treatment of water to eliminate impurities in it. Thanks to the fact that we know their chemical reactions, we are able to apply the appropriate chemical processes and treatments to eliminate salts, heavy metals and suspended solids, which cause turbidity, alkalinity, hardness, variation in pH, sulfates and other effects that lead to corrosion. , fouling or high microbiological growth.

“The water in the industries has certain variations, the water that is treated in the food and beverage industry is not the same as that used in the automotive industry or in the petrochemical industry. Each industry has its specific goals and challenges regarding water reuse. In each industry, physical-chemical parameters and various certifications are required,” commented Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Commercial Director of SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions Mexico. In the case of the Bajío and North of the country, where the automotive industries, who in their water reuse processes must separate the paint and contaminants from the liquid and have the challenge of reaching water recovery levels of between 30% and 70%.

Petrochemical companies are heavy consumers of industrial water and require large amounts of water for their cooling towers. Thanks to implemented systems for water treatment and reuse, as well as adequate chemical treatments, some industries have reduced their costs in water and chemical products, reduced maintenance times by 50% and increased the availability of water for industrial processes by 246 meters cubic per hour (equivalent to the consumption of a city of 30,000 inhabitants) thanks to the reuse of water and treatments with reverse osmosis systems for sea and brackish water to avoid using fresh water. In Mexico, two important poles of this industry are found in Tamaulipas and Coatzacoalcos, regions with high potential for optimizing water consumption and where significant results have been achieved with the support of SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions.

For more than 30 years we have had the necessary technology to take advantage of treated wastewater for supply, irrigation and for industrial uses for various applications. SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions technologies can be combined to achieve specific water reuse objectives based on the desired source, quality and quantity, involving Ultrafiltration (UF), Membrane Bioreactor (MBR), Reverse Osmosis, Electrodialysis systems. Inverse (EDR), Ozone and in the case of more complex waters and “Zero Liquid Discharge” (ZLD) techniques through technologies such as Evaporation and Crystallization, it is capable of achieving up to 98% water reuse.

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