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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:01 PM   #1
dngspot
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How to recharge DI resin

I finished my first recharge this afternoon. The di resin that was recharged was from Buckeye Field Supply, good folks by the way.

I would also like to mention that some information available on the web would have you believe that you must have a full body has mat suit to use the two chemicals needed to do this. It is safe if common sense is used. Most homes have had these chemicals to some extent in the cupboards below the sink. Acids like muriatic or hydrochloride are used to remove scale from showers and toilets. Lye has been used to clear drains and cut grease for years. Your grandparent may have used lye soap also. The muriatic acid is stronger than packaged bathroom cleaners. I did get small amounts on my skin and it felt like a mosquito bite, when I realized that it was not, I washed my hands and all was good. Some chlorine gas comes out of the bottle and when it is mixed, so don't sniff the bottle. I only mention this because those without common sense should not do this project.

The reason that I am posting this is because the information available on the process is for a Tap Water Purifier, TWP. The TWP, I believe to be similar but has a drain which most di canisters in our hobby do not. They also use carbon and have a spring, to take up empty space in the canister. Also the product Red Devil Lye is no longer marketed, which is used in the directions. You can find them here, http://www.reefs.org/library/article/twp_recharge.html

First gather up the products needed. The chemicals can be found at Lowes, the tools at Wal-Mart. The Lye is found at Lowes in the pluming section. It is used for clearing drains and made by a company called Roebic, and is 100% sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), also known as lye, as mentioned on the back of the bottle. The muriatic acid is found in the paint department. The mixing bottles must hold 16 oz. of fluid. I got mine from a nut tray from Christmas. The two containers used to separate the resins came from Wal-Mart and hold 64 oz. each. I also used a fruit strainer, coffee filters, a stir stick, 5 oz. measuring cup (large shot glass), a 32 oz. tumbler, turkey baster and two 5 gallon buckets. I had enough resin to do a double batch; my instructions will be for a single batch so some of the tools will be mentioned singularly.

I am sorry I did not take any pics of the process so I will give my best shot at describing the process. I first put cold tap water in a five gallon bucket, and filled another bucket with ro water. I then put 9 oz. of ro water in a16 oz. bottle, then added 3 fluid oz. of Lye. This stuff gets hot, but not so fast that it going to melt the bottle before you get it into a bucket of cold water. Put a lid on the bottle and make sure it is tight. The bottle will not expand, it will collapse a little, you can open it if it collapses too much. Wile the bottle of lye is cooling shake it to keep the stuff from solidifying on the bottom. Mine did a little but this did not mater. If this does happen after it is used put more water in the bottle and set it aside the solid stuff will dissolve. When the bottle of lye cools fill it with more ro water until the total volume is 12 oz.

Next fill the 32 oz. tumbler with 6 oz. of ro water and then add 6 oz. of acid. Set aside. If you are doing this out side then put the wind to your side or back, if you are doing this inside then use a fan to put the wind to you side or back. Do not breathe the gas from the Acid.

Put the di resin in the clear Rubbermaid container, then add the Lye solution, do this slowly and stir gently. In a few seconds you will see the resin began to separate. Use the turkey baster to remove the top layer of resin and put it in the second Rubbermaid container. As the top layer is removed from the first container you will start to see a gap between the bottom of the second container and the resin, if your gap in the first container is to low then use the baster and take the solution from the bottom of the second container and put it back into the first container. I had to do this so I did not start to pick up the lower layer of resin. When most, I say most, because you will never get all of the resin from the top of the first container into the second container, but do your best, then set the second container to the side and let the lye do its job for an hour.

Put a coffee filter in the fruit strainer and pore part of the first canister into the filter. You will not get all of the resin into the filter so do this in two batches, you will need to use a new filter each time you empty one. Run 1 gallon through each batch of resin from the first canister, then put it into a zip lock bag. When the last batch is rinsed put it all back into the first container. Add the acid solution into the container stirring gently. If you are regenerating color changing resin you should see it turn from brown to a very dark blue or purple. Set this aside for about an hour.

By the way the floating resin is anion and the sinking resin is cation .

After both have sat for an hour then take the anion and drain it past a coffey filter, do this in two batches and run a gallon of ro water through each batch. When done draining from the water rinse then put in a zip lock bag.

Now take the cation and do the same as the anion. Empty the rinse water and acid into the same bucket as the anion's lye and rince water. The two will neutralize each other. You can empty the cation into the same bag as the anion. Mix each and fill the di canister.

I ran a gallon through the system and my tds meter was reading 0 so I felt this was enough.

The lye.



The muradic acid.



The tools.




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Last edited by dngspot; 06/17/2007 at 09:12 PM.
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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:10 PM   #2
funman1
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Dude with DI resin so cheap on ebay why bother?
I just look at the color of mine and when it's all brown, I check the TDS and if needed, I add new stuff (I use the color changing)

Very Cool post, but one wonders; WHY?


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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:21 PM   #3
dngspot
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Dude, if I accumulate 10 lbs of resin it is very cost effective to do this process. I have friends that throw this stuff away if they give it to me I could have 30 lbs of this stuff and all I spent is 2 hours and $10.00 in chemicals.
I will not buy resin from Ebay, I have no way of confirming the quality.
I also do not support a throw away lifestyle.

This is why


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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:29 PM   #4
funman1
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You want my used resin?


Not attacking you, Like I said very cool post, but my time is worth way more.

Also what's worse for the environment? throwing away a pound of plastic charged resin, or purchasing caustic chemicals that will eventually end up back in the dirt or water somewhere?

Just like the Prius actually does more harm than good because now we will have trillions of pounds of lead heading to the dump when the batteries die.
And to recycle the lead from those batteries takes FAR MORE energy then the prius ever saved.



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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:47 PM   #5
dngspot
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No I do not want your resin.
I will get back to you on how dangerious the neutralized chemical will be on my potted tomato plant. My guess it is no more harmfull than what the farmers are tilling into their feilds. Last time I checked plastic is forever a neutralized muriatic asid and lye, this is a good question.
As for my time, you got it, my working time is worth more than a 2.5 bag of resin for 2 hours of work. I was not working today I was giving attention to my hobby, my time and what it is worth is not an issue.


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Last edited by dngspot; 06/17/2007 at 09:54 PM.
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Unread 06/17/2007, 09:53 PM   #6
funman1
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Man I want your life..
Too much time AND too much money.
Usually it's one or the other..


More power to ya man..

I belive in the disposable stuff, I don't have enough time to play like that....


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Unread 06/17/2007, 10:02 PM   #7
dngspot
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This post is not to debate the chemicals, ones ethics or time and value, it is to show how it is done and let others decide if they want to give it a try.
Thanks for your input.
I haven't heard many say that they want my life, over how I spend Sunday.

Good fun.


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Last edited by dngspot; 06/17/2007 at 10:09 PM.
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Unread 06/17/2007, 10:44 PM   #8
sundevil_brian
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Quote:
Originally posted by funman1

Also what's worse for the environment? throwing away a pound of plastic charged resin, or purchasing caustic chemicals that will eventually end up back in the dirt or water somewhere?

Just like the Prius actually does more harm than good because now we will have trillions of pounds of lead heading to the dump when the batteries die.
And to recycle the lead from those batteries takes FAR MORE energy then the prius ever saved.
he said he would react the sodium hydroxide and the muriatic acid aka Hydrochloric acid together so they would just be forming good old NaCl and whatever other chemicals that were already in the water to begin with.

and as for the prius, their batteries are nickel metal hydride (NiMH) not lead acid. as for your statement of recycling lead from batteries, i would just like to see any proof that recycling the lead will take more energy than the gas saved over the lifetime of the battery.

So funman1, maybe next time you should spend at least a little of your valuable time on research before you get up on your soapbox


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Unread 06/17/2007, 11:02 PM   #9
melev
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Wow, that was quite a procedure you came up with. If you do it again, take a bunch of pictures of it step by step because that will help the most readers/hobbyists.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 01:30 AM   #10
sidd129
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That is a cool post. I think I will start saving my exhausted DI.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 03:30 AM   #11
sm007h
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Me too! (save my exhausted DI)
This is a great post.

But I didn't see any discussion of safety materials during my skimming, so please either post one or bold it.

(I know, I know, but someone is *bound* to hurt himself eventually)


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Unread 06/18/2007, 06:12 AM   #12
BeanAnimal
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1) Yes the chemicals can be neutralized. You need to be careful and test the PH though.

2) Lead Acid, NiMH... whatever. The hybrid car crap is a joke. Far more resources go into the production and life cycle of a hybrid car than it will EVER save. Many "environmental" projects suffer from the same short sighted engineering and adoption. Hell most recycling in general is a total waste of energy and falls magnitudes short of the energy or landfill space it is supposed to save.

As for recharging resin... it can save some money, but as mentioned needs to be done in bulk to be worth the trouble. It is also much easier if you run separate Cation and Anion chambers. However, you must ensure that you have the resin ration correct or the output water may not have a neutral PH.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 06:26 AM   #13
dngspot
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I intend to do the process again, but I do not use that much di resin.
Safety is a issue here, I have worked with both of these chemicals before. I do not like pain so I use gloves. Just keep the stuff off of you, is all I can say.
Cost for the chemicals was about $16.00. I think the first batch was a break even, or at least paid for the chemicals. I have allot of chemicals left over, enough to do, maybe 10 recharges. 5 lbs of resin is $38.00 from Buckeye Field Supply.

One thing I did not mention is that some of the resin will be lost. The stuff sticks to everything. For two di resin chambers I lost about 2 table spoons.


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Last edited by dngspot; 06/18/2007 at 06:57 AM.
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Unread 06/18/2007, 10:50 AM   #14
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Awesome post and great information dngspot. post pics as a step by step tutorial would be great.

And for those people who have posted the value of their time and correlating it to some sort of formula of cost effectiveness, you shouldn't even be reading (not to mention posting) in the DIY forum.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 10:58 AM   #15
dngspot
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My intention is to provide pics. I need to gather up more resin.
Thanks for getting it and the complements.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 11:58 AM   #16
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excellent information. Please take some pics next time!

I knew I was saving spent DI resins for a reason


funman1, you should know better than to ask "why bother" in the DIY forum.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 01:05 PM   #17
funman1
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ewan
funman1, you should know better than to ask "why bother" in the DIY forum.
Yes, I know... My bad.....
I apologize.

Like I said though "Very cool post"


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Unread 06/18/2007, 02:19 PM   #18
dngspot
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeanAnimal

As for recharging resin... it can save some money, but as mentioned needs to be done in bulk to be worth the trouble. It is also much easier if you run separate Cation and Anion chambers. However, you must ensure that you have the resin ration correct or the output water may not have a neutral PH.
I considered separating the anion and cation. I did not separate because I did not have enough of the separated resins to fill each of my canisters. When I do this again my canisters will be separated beds of resin.
This is done so the anion resin does not need to be fished out of the lye solution. The cation does not need to be rinsed before the acid bath. They add about an hour to the process and time can be saved during the next recharge.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 03:11 PM   #19
MrSpiffy
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Very cool to know how to do this! The resin can be kinda pricey for quality stuff. Even if you don't have to do this often, it still saves some money in the long run, and you'll have good cleaning chemicals available for household use, too. Who needs Drain-O when you have lye and acid? Thanks for sharing!! Too bad I don't have an RO/DI system yet. But I saved the instructions for when I do get one.

Pics would definitely be helpful, too. I could totally see myself effing it up...lol!


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Unread 06/18/2007, 03:41 PM   #20
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ALWAYS ADD ACID TO BASE.

In other words measure the lye place it in the container then add the water (water is considered the acid here.) Doing it the wrong way can cause splatter, excessive heat.

You have it correct to add the HCL (muratic) to the water.

You are correct that once diluted these are relatively benign, just be extra careful prior to dilution.

Most important thing is the last step, make sure you add the diluted muratic to the diluted lye to neutralize when finished (not vice-versa.)


Well done write-up much needed write up. It is a bit wasteful to discard resin, especially if you have a lot of CO2 in your RO.


Also NaOH + HCL -> NaCl + H20 (saltwater) is harmful for the environment?



Last edited by kysard1; 06/18/2007 at 03:52 PM.
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Unread 06/18/2007, 04:59 PM   #21
dngspot
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I do not consider myself a chemist, as for the lye and water mixing I did follow the TWP directions. I did not find any splattering issues when I added the lye to the water. I was watching for it but nothing really happened in my containers.
I also added the lye to the muriatic acid with no issues there. This may be due to the additional water used to rinse the resin.
So if I did the process backward from the post above there must be a margin of safety from mixing water with the chemicals, than directly out of the containers they are sold in.
Thanks for the complements


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Last edited by dngspot; 06/18/2007 at 05:18 PM.
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Unread 06/18/2007, 05:27 PM   #22
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im doing this at work using two di chambers ( we go throu one di tower a week so we went with two different resin ( on kati one ani)
all that we do is hold a bucket up and run the wateracid and water/lye throu the chambers ( one to kati one to ani) and thats it.. dont even bother taking them out of hte ro unit


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Unread 06/18/2007, 05:46 PM   #23
dngspot
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Do you have any problem with clouding the canisters?


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Unread 06/18/2007, 06:00 PM   #24
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FYI to people reading this post, this is a really great way to run a DI only system and not waste all the water using a RO. This saves me a ton of water, if water usage is an issue for you. You can also make 100 gal of clean water in about an hour with 0 waste water.


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Unread 06/18/2007, 06:06 PM   #25
dngspot
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I have 410 tds coming into my home from the city water system. Last year I saw 525 tds. I would be lucky to get 1 week of usage of my di resin before I had to recharge. Recharging is a good thing but doing it as a weekly core does not sound like fun.
I have read some of the information on di filtering and the water saving sounds good. The concept is interesting but not for Wichita, KS.


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