In the past, ion exchange has been the widely used method for demineralizing water. During the past decade, however, the use of Reverse Osmosis (RO) water treatment technology has become much more prevalent. Several reasons for the success of RO include consistently high water quality, low cost, and ease of operation.

This paper describes a case in which replacing an ion exchange system with a RO system reduced water demineralization costs at a cogeneration facility (cogen) by 65%. The operation of both the ion exchange and the RO system are explained. In addition, a cost comparison of the two systems reveals the tremendous potential for savings associated with RO.

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