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• Detailed equilibrium study of sodium exchange by SAC resin from mixed salt solutions.
• Discovery of SAC resin preference for sodium ions associated with bicarbonate species.
• Determined need to use multicomponent isotherm models for coal seam water.
• Dependence of sodium ion uptake on resin with coal seam water composition.
Coal seam gas exploration has resulted in the production of large volumes of associated water which contains dissolved salts dominated by sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate. Ion exchange using synthetic resins has been proposed as a method for desalination of coal seam water to make it suitable for various beneficial reuse options. This study investigated the behaviour of solutions of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate with respect to exchange with Lanxess S108H strong acid cation (SAC) resin. Equilibrium isotherms were created for solutions of NaCl and NaHCO3 and an actual sample of coal seam water from the Surat Basin in southern Queensland. The exchange of sodium ions arising from sodium bicarbonate was found to be considerably more favourable than exchange of sodium ions from sodium chloride solutions. This latter behaviour was attributed to the secondary decomposition of bicarbonate species under acidic conditions which resulted in the evolution of carbon dioxide and formation of water. The isotherm profiles could not be satisfactorily fitted by a single isotherm model such as the Langmuir expression. Instead, two Langmuir equations had to be simultaneously applied in order to fit the sections of the isotherm attributable to sodium ion exchange from sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride. The shape of the isotherm profile was dependent upon the ratio of sodium chloride to sodium bicarbonate in solution and there was a high degree of correlation between simulated and actual coal seam water solutions.
Journal: Journal of Water Process Engineering - Volume 11, June 2016, Pages 60–67