Clean water isn’t necessarily the same as pure water. Even clean water contains ions and minerals that, under the right conditions, can cause corrosion and can precipitate out of solution, leading to scale buildup. In detergents, hard water ions inactivate the anionic surfactants, rendering them useless at solubilizing dirt. The accumulation of salts into scale buildup can disrupt the laminar flow of water treatment systems, leading to unnecessary wear and tear on the pipes.
The addition of dispersants to detergents and water treatment systems can minimize the formation of scale, allow consumers to use less detergents – and perhaps even save a life.
In 1976, over 200 people who stayed at the Bellevue-Stratford hotel in Philadelphia developed a novel kind of pneumonia, eventually resulting in 29 deaths by the end of the summer. The following year, the culprit was finally found: Legionella pneumophila – not a new kind of bacteria, but one that had never been a problem before air conditioning became widespread, and water cooling systems became common. In this case, the air conditioning system was eventually implicated. Scale deposits, it turns out, can harbor bacteria, and if the water is then aerosolized, those bacteria can become airborne and cause infections.
The outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease, as it eventually came to be called, is a rare and extreme occurrence. While aerosolized waterborne diseases remain uncommon, the number of cases is rising. The main benefits to minimizing scale deposits are still economic – better heat exchange, better flow, less detergent used. However, as centralized sanitation and hygiene systems must serve a growing population, preventing the spread of dangerous bacteria becomes increasingly important.
Using dispersants and chelating agents can help to limit or eliminate the growth of limescale. Dispersants prevent the growth of scale crystals, while chelating agents hold the heavier metal ions in solution. However, many of these agents are not good for the environment, as they contain nitrogen or phosphor. But Sirius’s Briteframe line of products includes non-phosphor and non-nitrogen polymer dispersants that are biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment. On top of that, our chelating agent Briteframe GLDA is derived from sugar as well, so it is not only biodegradable, but also sustainably produced.
The Sirius Effect
When it comes to water treatment, the right combination of products can be greater than the sum of its parts. Briteframe PESA, especially, acts synergistically with Citiribrite CAM, solubilizing ions and scales more than each individual compound would alone. Sirius has a range of polymer dispersants that work in a wide variety of conditions, to suit a number of needs. Need some help picking the right one? Call us today.
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