HISTORY The first chemical synthesis of the water obtained was Henry Cavendish,
which caused the explosion of a mixture of hydrogen and air. The meaning and imp
ortance of the experiment, however, were fully understood until later, thanks to
research by the French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, who suggested that wa
ter was a compound containing hydrogen and oxygen. In 1804 the French chemist Jo
seph-Louis Gay-Lussac and the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt showed th
at it consists of hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion of two volumes to one, t
hereby establishing the formula H2O and with it the true nature of the compound.
Most hydrogen from water found in nature has an atomic weight, but in 1932 the
American chemist Harold Clayton Urey discovered that water is present, the conce
ntration of one part in 6000, deuterium oxide, a compound formula D2O, commonly
known as heavy water. Traces of tritium, the isotope of hydrogen of atomic weigh
t 3, were detected in 1951 by the American chemist Aristid Grosse.
WATER AND LIFE Water is a fraction between 50 and 90% of body weight of living o rganisms, they can reach in some marine invertebrates as much as 95% of the tota l weight. The cell protoplasm is a macromolecular colloidal solution in which wa ter is the dispersing element, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts and other ch emicals are dissolved and transported in aqueous solution, which allows the nume rous chemical reactions necessary for physiological cycles . The blood of the an imals and the sap of plants are composed predominantly of water, which serves to transport nutrients and remove waste products. Water also plays a key role in c ell metabolism, taking part in various reactions of hydrolysis. The water on our planet has a constant cycle, which begins with the evaporation from a
soils and vegetation from the surface of oceans, lakes, and in general all water bodies on land. The humidity produced by the evaporation condenses into clouds, which then return the water to the surface in the form of precipitation: rain, snow and hail. Rainfall continuously restore soil moisture and reenergized the g roundwater, but also through surface runoff to streams, creeks and rivers, the w ater into the sea, thus closing the cycle. The discipline that studies the distr ibution of water on Earth's surface at all stages of the hydrological cycle.
The illustration shows in very simplified form the state diagram of water as a f unction of pressure and temperature. At the triple point, ie at a temperature of 0.01 Â° C and a pressure of 610.6 Pa, the three phases of solid, liquid and gas coexist. Water is the only substance that occurs naturally in the three states of aggregation: solid, liquid and gas. Solid state is present as ice, snow, in h ail, frost and the clouds in the liquid state is in the form of rain and dew, bu t mainly covers three quarters of the Earth forming oceans, seas, lakes and rive rs; gaseous state, then, is like fog and steam and is the main constituent of th e clouds. The amount of vapor in the atmosphere is expressed by means of relativ e humidity, calculated as 2
the relationship between the amount of water vapor at a given temperature and th e maximum possible under the same thermal conditions. Influence of gravity, wate r percolates through the soil and rocks underground, where it forms the aquifer that supplies wells and springs of water courses.
With water supplies and distribution techniques and systems of transportation an d distribution of water for domestic use, industrial and irrigation. Water consu mption per person in Italy varies on average between 80 liters per day of small towns and 600 liters per day of most urban centers, but also varies considerably during the day and in different periods of the year. To get hygienically safe w ater for daily use of different users require large treatment plants.
FROM WATER Drinking water is obtained mostly by rain. Are rare cases where rainw ater is used directly, with the exception some small islands where the coastal r ain the only source of drinking water. Rainwater slips partly on the ground, par tly penetrates into the ground,Âthrough porous layers until you reach an imperm eable layer, where it collects, forming groundwater (ground water or artesian), from which wells and springs, which give rise to three lakes
and watercourses. The groundwater dissolves soluble minerals with which it comes into contact in the underground route, enriched with salts of various kinds of pollutants but also, when coming into contact with sewage or industrial waste. T he waters are captured by a system of dams and flows by gravity or is pumped to the plant of local distribution. The quality of water from these sources varies widely depending on the depth and hydrogeological characteristics of the area. S urface waters are generally more turbid and contain more bacteria than groundwat er, which, however, contain chemicals dissolved in high concentrations sometimes . Given the importance that water plays in both the domestic and industrial, bef ore the uptake of water is essential to conduct extensive research to enable des ign works hydrogeological setting and purification adapted to specific condition s. The water companies are subject to compliance with the requirements for drink ing water, which in the case of Italy coincide with Community law. In every stat e the most advanced are in place strict regulations stipulating the maximum valu es of chemicals and bacteria allowed to consider drinking treated water.
TREATMENT tastes and odors are removed from water by aeration. The bacteria are destroyed by the addition of small parts per million of chlorine, and the charac teristic taste of this element is then removed by adding sodium sulphite. The ex cessive hardness, which makes the water unsuitable for many industrial uses, is reduced with penta or hydrated lime, or by an ion exchange process using zeolite as a sweetening substance. Organic substances and minerals are removed in suspe nsion with a dose of flocculating and precipitating agent, such as aluminum sulf ate, the first of the sedimentation and filtration. To ensure proper hygiene sta ndards drinking water is sometimes subjected to fluorination.
be made suitable for domestic and industrial. These processes help bring the ph ysical and chemical properties of water to certain parameters and sanitation tec hnology-plant established by local laws. Depending on the source that is drawn, the water may have different characteristics. That taken from surface reservoirs (lakes, rivers, streams) influenced significantly by anthropogenic pollution: c an contain particles in suspension, colloids (responsible for any turbidity), an organic component represented by bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi and polluta nts mainly due to the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. The water drawn from wells, instead, is on average less polluted does it profit a natural filte ring action of the affected through permeable layers of soil on its way from the surface to the aquifer, on the other hand, presents more easily elevated concen trations of dissolved salts , passed in solution during percolation and seepage through the rocks.
Arrangements in Italy, most of the water used for drinking or industrial use is drawn from wells. Depending on the uses to which it is addressed, is subjected t o a series of treatments aimed at removing particles in suspension, disinfection , removal of pollutants and inhibition of its corrosive and fouling. These treat ments may be of a different nature, then stand 5
physical treatments of chemical and chemical-physical. Typically, a water treatm ent plant consists of a sequence of different machines, each member of a specifi c treatment, the pattern most common is that first the water is disinfected, the
DISINFECTION particularly important for water intended for drinking are the disi nfection treatments, designed to eliminate bacteria, viruses, algae, mold, fungi and protozoa pathogens. There are basically two methods of disinfection: the fi rst, traditional is the inclusion of a chemical germicide action, the other, mor e recently, in water treatment with ultraviolet radiation. In the treatment of c hemical disinfection,Âthe most used products are chlorine (as hypochlorite, chl orine gas or chlorine dioxide) enjoy your free time. The first is generally used as long-acting disinfectant, which provides coverage against potential infectio ns in the entire water distribution network, the second - ozone - has a disinfec tant than chlorine, but has the disadvantage of decay rapidly and must still be removed by law, before distribution, which is why ozone must be produced on site , the site of disinfection, and is not able to guarantee lasting action. The mos t promettenmte disinfection is in any case that irradiation with ultraviolet lig ht. This, at wavelengths between 253 and 254 nm, has the power to kill bacteria damage DNA. Adjusting the exposure time, you also eliminate the bacteria more re sistant. The treatment should be performed downstream of a filtration treatment, which makes the clear water, suitable to be radiated efficiently from a UV lamp .Sedimentation and filtration After disinfection, proceed to the removal of these
particles suspended in water, whether organic or inorganic. The technique of se dimentation is expected that the water is packed in a tank and treated with a su bstance called flocculent, able to aggregate the particles into flakes (flocs) a re large enough to settle on the bottom. Where the flakes are not heavy enough t o fall due to gravity, water floc is then subjected to mechanical filtration. Th ere are several filtration systems, the most common of which will pass through b eds of sand (quartzite) of particle size selected to remove particles of differe nt size. 6
Water can be made to percolate through the filters by gravity or be forced into the filter under pressure. To remove the excess chlorine and certain organic pol lutants using activated charcoal filters, purifying water through the process of adsorption. The filtering is also applied to reduce the concentration of iron a nd manganese. These elements do not adversely affect health, but gives the water look and smell unpleasant. To be removed are first oxidized, so as to be incorp orated into insoluble compounds (for iron, ferric hydroxide, Fe (OH) 3), then is filtered. The most commonly used oxidizing agents are potassium permanganate, h ypochlorite, ozone and chlorine dioxide, have the opportunity to act in parallel also disinfectants.
Watermaker In the case of brackish water or sea water, the treatment is followed by filtration to desalination. The most widely used desalination technique expl oits the principle of reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is defined as a process c ontrary to that which occurs spontaneously between two aqueous solutions of diff erent concentrations are separated by a semipermeable membrane. Osmosis is the f low of water of less concentrated solution to the more concentrated until it rea ches equilibrium. Reverse osmosis is instead applying pressure to a concentrated solution to force the passage of water into the less concentrated solution. For sea water, are necessary pressures of the order of 50-60 bars.
Anti-fouling and Anti-corrosive treatment sequence usually ends with interventio ns to reduce the fouling and the corrosive power of water. Both depend mostly fr om salt content of hardness (calcium and magnesium), in particular the power enc rusting is high for high concentrations of salts, corrosive to the contrary, for low concentrations. The concentration of calcium and magnesium must be adjusted to balance the two effects.
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