We often are asked “what is the difference between Strong Base Anion (SBA) and Weak Base Anion (WBA) when fed with municipal water?”
From an operational standpoint, when combined with a Strong Acid Cation (SAC) before the SBA or WBA the main difference is run length, quality of water produced and pH of the water produced.
A SAC-WBA combination produces more water at a lower quality than a SAC-SBA. However, the SAC-WBA does not remove weak acids such as silicic acid or carbonic acid. Therefore, the pH of water produced from a SAC-WBA will be slightly lower than neutral.
A SAC-SBA combination produces less water at a higher quality when compared to a SAC-WBA. This combination also removes weak acids and CO2 and in theory should produce purely deionized water with a neutral pH but falls short due to inevitable sodium leakage. This sodium leakage from the SAC combines with OH- from the SBA and produces a small amount of NaOH (Caustic) which is a base and therefore increases the pH slightly over neutral.
It is common for a SAC-SBA set to be placed before a Mixed Bed to remove the bulk of dissolved solids when an RO is not feasible.
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