STATEMENT OF THE PROCESS DESIGN PROBLEM
The high cost of industrial water softening and growing concern for the environment haslead to the development of low-cost, organic ion-exchange materials. One of thematerials recently being studied is the coconut husk fiber (CHF), an organic adsorbent-cation-exchanger which may prove to be a potential alternative for the expensivesynthetic resins. Thus, the process design aims to reduce the cost of soft water productionand minimize inorganic solid waste by designing a plant which has (a) a CHF productionfacility that produces 500 kg of pelletized CHF/ day, and (b) a water softening facilitythat employs CHF as cation exchanger in the reduction of carbonate hardness to at most 2 ppm for a plant where soft water requirement does not exceed 1000 gal/ hour.
REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE
A successful design is achieved when a logical procedure is followed to meet a specificneed. This procedure, called the design process, is similar to the scientific method withrespect to its step by step routine. According to Haik (2003), a design process holdswithin its structure an iterative procedure. “As the engineer proceeds through the steps,new information may be discovered and new objectives may be specified, at which timethe steps may require revisiting” (Haik, 2003).The researchers of the previous study entitled “CHF in Cation Exchange for theProduction of Softwater” also designed a CHF production and water softening plantwhich involved the use of some of the unit operations processes for the small-scale production of CHF, similar to this study’s design. These include; defibering, washing, sundrying, cutting, screening, tray drying, CHF treatment, washing and packaging. Becausethere were not many scientific studies done in CHF’s ion-exchanging capacity, this gaverise to the current study “CHF in Cation Exchange for Water Softening: Performance andEquipment Design. Although, both studies used
, where in, thedesigner starts from an existing design, the final outcome may differ markedly from theinitial product. Thus, the researchers used different approaches. For one thing, the final product of the previous design is a fiber while the present is a pellet form. CHF in pelletforms prevents the material from being carried off by the flowing water and increase the