Removal of alkali metals from water and organic solvents via ion exchange is common in chemical, petrochemical, oil refining, semiconductor manufacturing, and power utility plants.
In waters with low levels of dissolved salts, strongly acidic cation exchangers are employed, such as DOWEX™ G 26 (H) Resin. Under alkaline conditions, a weak acid cation exchanger such as DOWEX MAC 3 Resin will provide higher capacity and easier regeneration. In organic solvents, either AMBERLYST™ 16 Catalyst or AMBERLYST 15 Catalyst is recommended.
Alkali metals can also be removed from water with reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. When the concentration of dissolved salts is higher, membrane separation is usually more economical than the use of ion exchange resins.