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# WATER STABILAZATION

Water is considered to be stable when it neither dissolves nor deposit
calcium carbonate i.e., the calcium carbonate is in equilibrium with
the hydrogen-ion concentration (Eq. 10-39). If the pH is raised from
the equilibrium point, water becomes scale-forming, depositing
calcium carbonate. Water turns corrosive if the pH is lowered.

CaCO3 + H+  Ca2+ + HCO3-

A thin coating of calcium carbonate on the pipe interior protects
the metal against excessive corrosion. Such a covering can be
maintained permanently if the water is held at a proper level of
calcium carbonate saturation.

Saturation Index

Langelier9 developed an index, in the pH range 6.5-9.5, that
makes it possible to predict whether a given water will deposit or
dissolve calcium carbonate. The saturation index is calculated by the
following equation :

SI = pH – pHs = pH – [(pK2 – pKs) + pCa2+ + pAlk]

where pH = actual pH of the water
pHs = pH at saturation
(pK2 - pKs ) = empirical constants
pCa2+ = negative logarithm of the calcium-
ion concentration, moles/liter
pAIk = negative logarithm of the total
alkalinity equivalents/liter

A positive value for the index signifies the water is oversaturated and
will precipitate calcium carbonate. A negative number indicates that
the water is corrosive. The saturated index serves as a measure of
the water’s tendency to dissolve or precipitate calcium carbonate but

does not give either the rate at which stability is attained or the
capacity.

The value of (pK2’ -pKs , ) based on temperature and ionic
strength can be determined from Table 10-3 by Larson and Buswell.10
Ionic strength is calculated using the following equation :

Ionic strength = ½ ( C1 Z12 + C2 Z22 +….. + Cn Zn2 )

where C = concentration, moles/1000 g of water
Z = valence of the individual ions

 EXAMPLE

Calculate the saturation index (SI) for water based on the following
information :

Molecular
component mg/l Weight Moles/l
Ca2+ 63.3 40.1 0.00158
Mg2+ 14.8 24.3 0.00061
Na+ 19.5 23.0 0.00085
K+ 10.1 39.1 0.00026
CO3 2- 7.8 60.0 0.00013
HCO3 - 94.4 61.0 0.00155
SO4 2- 80.0 96.0 0.00083
Cl- 17.0 35.5 0.00048

pH = 7.9; Temperature = 150C

Solution

Using Eq. 10-41’

Ionic strength

(Ca2+) = 0.5 X 0.00158 X 4 = 0.00316
(M2+) = 0.5 X 0.00061 X 4 = 0.00122
(Na+) = 0.5 X 0.00085 X 1 = 0.00042
(K+) = 0.5 X 0.00026 X 1 = 0.00013
(CO32-) = 0.5 X 0.00013 X 4 = 0.00026
(HCO3 -) = 0.5 X 0.00155 X 1 = 0.00078
(SO4 2-) = 0.5 X 0.00083 X 4 = 0.00166
(Cl - ) = 0.5 X 0.00048 X 1 = 0.00024
________

0.00786

Using Table 10-3, with an ionic strength of 0.008 at a temperature of
150C :

(pK2’ -pKs , ) = 2.455

pCa2+ = - log 0.00158 = log 634 = 2.80

pAlk = p[C O32- + HCO3 -)

= - log[0.00013 X 2 + 0.00155] = 2.74

Substitution in Eq. 10-5 yields

SI = 7.90 - 2.46 - 2.80 - 2.74 = - 0.10

The negative value of the saturation index indicates that the water is
slightly corrosive and will dissolve calcium carbonate.

The stability of softened water is established by controlled
recarbonation. If the water processing does not include softening, the
method most commonly used in corrosion control is upward