News | July 22, 2014

Ionex SG Debuts Breakthrough Technology For Low-Cost Removal Of Hexavalent Chromium (Chromium 6) From Groundwater -- With Near-Zero Waste

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15-Year Total Lifecycle Costs Are a Fraction of Comparative Systems; Hazardous Wastes Are Neutralized; First System Delivered to Soquel Creek Water District in Northern California

Davis, CA (Marketwired) - Ionex SG Ltd. (Ionex) today introduced a breakthrough water treatment technology -- engineered to remove hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) from groundwater -- with dramatic cost advantages. The new approach combines advanced ion exchange with a proprietary waste-treatment technology to solve the chief challenge associated with conventional ion exchange: production of waste brine liquid with high contaminant levels. Known as the IX-C™, the new system uses a strong base anion resin to capture and neutralize chromium 6 -- a breakthrough that optimizes the efficiencies of ion exchange but produces near-zero waste. This vastly reduces waste-disposal complexities and related expenses, and offers a more complete treatment solution to water districts. 

Also today, Ionex announced the establishment of its US headquarters in Davis, Calif. and named Dianna Jensen as Operations Director. Previously, Jensen was a principal civil engineer with the City of Davis.

The IX-C debut coincides with California's new Maximum Contamination Level (MCL) standard for chromium 6 exposure in drinking water. It's the industry's first in-situ regenerable ion exchange system designed to reduce the cost of removing chromium 6 to comply with the new MCL. When compared to alternative technologies, capital costs for the IX-C are 5X lower and lifetime operating costs are 10X lower. This makes it the industry's lowest-cost solution to treat drinking water for chromium 6. In addition, a novel system configuration -- small containerized units that are optimized for scalability -- further reduces costs, and makes the IX-C an ideal fit for water districts of all sizes.

The first IX-C system in the US is being installed at the Soquel Creek Water District in Northern California. Additional shipments have been ordered by other water districts in California looking to achieve chromium 6 compliance. 

Making Ion Exchange Economically Feasible to Treat Drinking Water for Chromium 6: Ion exchange is commonly recognized as a robust way to remove contaminants from drinking water. Although highly effective, the process requires regeneration, which uses salt and produces a concentrated waste brine liquid with high contaminant levels. Depending on raw water quality and system efficiencies, the volume of waste liquid can be substantial. Responsible disposal involves special handling and incurs considerable cost.

In contrast, the IX-C utilizes strong base anion resin which enables selective capture of chromium 6 within a small liquid volume. This is achieved through a patented process of selective elution which separates chromium 6 into a highly concentrated solution. For every 1,000,000 gallons of water treated by the IX-C, less than 25 gallons of hazardous waste is generated. Competitive solutions typically produce 250 gallons.

Harmful chromium 6 is neutralized to harmless chromium 3 hydroxide, which is then disposed of responsibly. 

"The new system is the product of deep collaboration between Ionex technologists and water treatment experts -- especially in California," said Ionex Chief Executive Officer Phil Chandler. "When we set out to build a solution for chromium 6 and nitrate groundwater treatment, we found that adoption of the most robust technique, ion exchange, was low. Prohibitive waste-disposal costs simply made it impractical for ion exchange to address this application. The innovation found in the IX-C substantially mitigates costs, giving customers a powerful, more complete solution with strong economic advantages. Interest in our technology is high and we're excited to place our first system with the Soquel Creek Water District."

"The Ionex IX-C represents a new class of water treatment technology," said Taj Dufour, Engineering Manager/Chief Engineer at the Soquel Creek Water District. "Now, we can build on our application testing of ion exchange and operate full-scale treatment systems without the burden and expense of hazardous waste disposal. Deploying the IX-C system makes a compelling case for our rate payers, while enabling us to meet highest-quality drinking water standards."

Making it Easier for Water Districts to Comply with New Chromium 6 MCL Standards: Chromium is a naturally occurring metal found in rocks, soil and plants. It's also commonly used in steel making, metal plating, leather tanning, and other industries. Chromium 3 is an essential nutrient. Chromium 6 is a toxic form of the element. Until recently, California's MCL for total chromium was 50-micrograms per liter (µg/L), stricter than the national standard of 100-µg/L. On July 1 2014, a separate 10-µg/L MCL for chromium 6 took effect in California -- the first State in the nation with a chromium 6 MCL mandate. With its powerful cost advantages, the IX-C makes it easier for water districts to comply with the new regulations.

About Ionex SG Ltd. Ionex SG, a UK-based technology company, is the environmental engineering business of the Severn Glocon Group. We develop products that incorporate innovative electrochemical and catalytic technologies to abate toxic and environmentally harmful contaminants. Unlike conventional groundwater systems that can produce substantial waste and require expensive disposal, our scalable containerized products optimize proven ion exchange drinking water treatment and produce near-zero waste. This makes treatment of ground water for de-nitrification and chromium 6 economical for water districts of all sizes. For more information on Ionex SG, please visit www.ionexsg.com.

IX-C is trademarked by Ionex SG Ltd.

SOURCE: Ionex SG Ltd.

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