Deionized water is the process of removing ions from the water, as the name implies. It is often confused with demineralized or distilled water, but those are both very different processes. All of these types of water have been through a type of water treatment to remove material from them, but they are utilized for a variety of different tasks.
If a job directs you to use deionized water, it’s important to never try and substitute another type of water in its place. You may damage the equipment you’re using, or even injure yourself.
In order to deionize water, it must pass through ion exchange materials. During this deionization process, ions like fluoride and calcium are stripped out, along with the metallic ions. The ions are replaced by hydrogen ions to create new pure water molecules. Deionization removes the ionic charge to create water that is not tainted by any additional minerals or chemicals.
There are deionizers on the consumer market for personal home use. Some people believe that drinking deionized water has health benefits because it has no charge and is water in its purest form. Since it has no mineral content, drinking it on a regular basis requires that a healthy, balanced diet is maintained to keep your organs functioning properly. However, while deionized water is deemed safe to drink, it doesn’t necessarily remove bacteria or dangerous pathogens from the water.
There are many common uses for deionized uses in manufacturing and the scientific community. Deionized water represents a blank slate that will take on the qualities of whatever it is mixed with. Where the purity of the water isn’t an issue, then deionized water is commonly used in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. It’s a perfect solution for cleaning surgical equipment that is to be used for specimen collection. Deionized water cleans surgical equipment without leaving any particles behind that would interfere with the sample.
Another common application of deionized water is to use in industrial batteries that would be damaged by impure water. It’s also used to make cosmetics, in manufacturing and to make microprocessors. It is used in laboratories as a solvent where the mixture needs to remain pure. It’s also used for aquariums and aquaponics to keep impurities from contaminating the system.
The deionization process is a straightforward and efficient way to create a pure form of water. Its variety of uses is important for clean manufacturing, battery maintenance and the healthcare industry.