Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Development of Polymer for Silica Removal :Development of Polymer for Silica Removal for Cooling Tower and Boiler Watertreatment(ST8227-1)

Pall Corporation


Removal of silica is critical in power generation facilities due to the adverse effects of silica deposition on turbine blades that- reduce efficiency and potential damage. Beyond dilution; lime soda softening, strong base ion exchange, electrodialysis, and reverse osmosis technology are used to remove silica, but these techniques are energy-intensive and create waste streams that affect process economics. Improvements in resin chemistry for preferential silica removal, using regeneration with reverse osmosis technology, could be highly competitive with conventional chemical-based water treatment technologies. Pall supplies reverse osmosis and other filtration technologies, and would integrate new resin chemistry into prototype systems for assessment and evaluation. This is an early proof-of-concept project. Patenting new resin chemistry is anticipated, if early phases are successful. The team has significant research capability and background in physical and polymer chemistry, and water treatment system development.

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Project Description

The scope of work includes developing up to eight resin chemistries using polystyrene bead supports; determining the removal capacity of each resin chemistry; conducting further evaluation of the two leading candidates by changing the polymer base; conducting pilot column and membrane studies to assess kinetics; and conducting column and membrane tests using source water. This work also supports goals in NYSERDA’s Industrial and Power Systems Program to improve efficiency and reduce cost of power generation. Improved water treatment would lead to both.


This could increase efficiency and reduce the cost of power generation. Development that leads to successful licensing and manufacture of this product in NYS will provide economic benefits in the form of increased or retained jobs and State revenue. Documentation of patent applications and licensing activity are the immediate means of measuring progress in this direction.

Project Results

Functional resins were synthesized. The results were published in peer review literature. The Contractor has chosen not to pursue commercial development of the chemistry into a full-scale system.


Pall Corporation
Attn: Jonas Rodriguez 3643 St. Route 281
Cortland, NY 13045

Principle Investigator

Spiro Alexandratos

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Industrial Products

NYSERDA Contact Information

Barry Liebowitz


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8227-1

Last Updated: 6/28/2013