Thursday, December 11, 2008

Frozen Ion Exchange Resin

During the winter months here in the Northeast we are often asked about how to handle frozen ion exchange resin. The best way to avoid frozen resin is to make sure the ion exchange resin is shipped in a climate controlled reefer type van. There is usually additional expense involved with use of this truck but it is an option to consider if you are located in a cold climate and need to install the resin upon arrival at your plant.

How can I avoid freezing ion exchange resins?
You can avoid the frozen ion exchange scenario by making sure your vendor doesn't ship on a Friday. Shipments that go out on Friday often will sit over the weekend allowing enough time for the resin to freeze. That's not to say the resin wouldn't freeze over night if the vendor shipped on a Monday and delivered on Wednesday. You just cut the odds of having frozen resin delivered.

What do you do if the resin is frozen?
On Page 5 of a Purolite brochure addressing transportation and packaging of ion exchange resins, Purolite states:

"Although it has been found that Purolite Resins will withstand temperatures as low as -40 degC, (-40 degF), successive thawing and freezing may damage the product, and/or the packaging. Hence it is recommended that the resins are stored above 0 degC, (32 degF). If for any reason resin becomes frozen it should be left to thaw out gradually. No attempt should ever be made to free frozen mechanically. If it is anticipated that it will be necessary to handle resin at sub-zero temperatures, the resin may be conditioned with saturated brine prior to storage. During transportation of resins precautions should be taken to avoid the extremes of temperatures as outlined previously. If product becomes frozen during transportation, thawing should take place gradually, with out any physical interference."

So if you have frozen resin, put it in a sunny spot and let it thaw, don't go at it with an ice pick!

1 comment:

T Dupnik said...

Dow has a document which discusses frozen resin. It states similarly "Storage temperatures below 0° C (32° F) can cause resin freezing and temperatures below -18° C (0° F) should be avoided. Tests of DOWEX* resins under repeated freeze-thaw cycles show that bead damage can occur, so frozen resin must be thawed before safe loading can take place. Frozen resin should be thawed our completely under room temperature conditions before loading and use".