Phosphates have many uses in the treatment of potable (drinking) water. Let’s look at the use of phosphoric acid in water treatment and the challenges of storing this chemical.
Uses of Phosphoric Acid in Water Treatment
Phosphoric Acid is used to prevent the after effects of groundwater exposure to iron and manganese, better known as "red water" (from iron) and "black water" (from manganese). When iron and manganese are exposed to air, they oxidize and discolor the water. This creates rust stains from the iron, or brownish-black stains from the manganese, found around bathtub drains or in laundry.
Prevent and/or retard scale formation (from minerals depositing) and corrosion (from low pH and/or dissimilar metals) in the water distribution system.
Reduce soluble lead and copper in potable water delivered to the consumer's tap. Leaching of pipes and plumbing fixtures results in deposits of lead and copper in drinking water. Phosphates significantly reduce the presence of lead and copper in drinking water.
Phosphoric Acid Storage Challenges and Solutions
Phosphoric acid is delivered at elevated temperatures to keep the chemicals from separating. This causes expansion and contraction stress on the storage tank due to temperature variations. A robust, high density cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) storage tank is required to handle this tank stress.
Since phosphoric acid has a tendency to separate, sludge builds up at the bottom of the storage tank. Poly Processing’s IMFO® system provides full tank drainage, and one-piece construction using high-density cross-linked polyethylene. This provides the benefit of easy and safe tank cleaning, and the robust tank material required to handle phosphoric acid.