Water Filters 101: Water Filtration Technology 净水器入门:水净化技术与材料

August 20, 2018

 

Chinese water isn’t known for its purity and freshness. Rivers and lakes are heavily polluted, as well is all tap water (although to a lesser degree) thanks to inadequate water treatment plants and secondary pollution from the aged pipes. Instead of removing chemicals like anti-biotics, pesticides and dissolved solids like metals, the government simply uses incautious amounts of chlorine as a make-shift solution to prevent disease from wreaking havoc among the overpopulated cities. 

中国自来水一直不建议被直接饮用,因为里面含有很多杂质跟污染物。因为自来水厂处理技术不够完善,运输管道老化生锈,城市自来水的安全性一直备受质疑(尽管近些年情况得到好转)。对此,政府采取的措施仅是用大量的漂白粉(氯仿)作为改善水质的方法,来预防疾病的传播,但是很多化学污染物如抗生素与溶解性颗粒物如重金属等依然存在.

 

 

This means that tap water in China contains multiple pollutants and impurities which are detrimental to your health. To remove these pollutants from the water the only realistic option for most of the families is to install a water filtration solution on your premise. But before you make any decisions you must know the basics of the different technologies in the market, which will help you go through some tricky products or promotion and find the right filters for meeting your families' needs. 

自来水中依然存在的污染物危害用户的安全与健康。要想去除这些污染物,对于大部分普通家庭来说,最简单实际的方法就是安装净水器。但是在这之前,面对市场上五花八门的净水器以及个个销售技术良好的工作人员,你最好能了解些净水行业的基础:净水技术与材料。它们会帮助你判断市场上的很多产品并做出对你与家人真正适合的选择。

 

 

Physical Treatments and materials 物理过滤技术和材料

 

Material: Activated carbon 过滤材料:活性炭

 

 

  • Function: Removes particles larger than 0.2μm, pesticides, chlorine as well as other chemicals

    功能:去除直径0.2微米以上的颗粒物,吸附化学物质如抗生素、农药,去除余氯等

  • Precision: >0.2μm

    物理过滤精度:>0.2微米

  • Notes: One of the most important filtration materials in the market with many forms like granular and sintered made of different resources like coconut, almond and wood. Coconut is the best.

    备注:活性炭种类多样。按照形状来分,常见的有碳棒活性炭,颗粒活性炭;按照材料来分,有椰壳活性炭,杏仁活性炭,煤炭等(其中椰壳活性炭效果最好)

 

Material: PP fiber 过滤材料:PP棉

  • Function: Removes visible sediments and invisible water rust as well as other particles

    功能:去除泥沙铁锈等杂质

  • Precision: 1μm

    过滤精度:1微米

  • Notes: One of the most basic filtration materials used in the market for removing large impurities in order to protect the other filters and prolong the longevity of the whole system.

    备注:PP棉是目前最常见也是用的最多的滤料,能有效去除大颗粒杂质,并减轻后面滤芯的负荷、延长设备的寿命

 

Material: Ultra-filtration membrane 过滤材料:超滤膜

 

 

  • Function: Removes particles larger than 0.001μm, bacteria and virus( no chlorine and pesticides)

    功能:去除直径0.001微米以上的颗粒物,包括细菌病毒等(无法去除余氯和农药) 

  • Precision: 0.001~0.01μm

    过滤精度:0.001~0.01微米

  • Notes: One of the common used membranes(micro filtration, ultra filtration, nano-filtration and reverse osmosis are the 4 type of membranes in the market, micro and nano are not that often used.)

    备注:目前市场上常见的膜过滤包括超滤、微滤、纳滤和逆渗透过滤,其中超滤和逆渗透过滤较为常见

 

Material: Reverse osmosis membrane  过滤材料:逆渗透膜

 

 

  • Function: Removes all rust, bacteria, virus and heavy metals. ( no chlorine and pesticides)

    功能:去除所有的泥沙,铁锈,细菌病毒及重金属等(无法去除余氯和农药)

  • Precision: 0.001~0.0001μm

    过滤精度:0.001~0.0001微米

  • Note: Many different RO filters with different production rate including 50G, 75G, 200G, 400G and 800G, etc. The best RO is from US DOW Chemical, famous for their consistency, efficiency and longevity.

    备注:RO膜的制水量有多重选择,从50G到75G, 100G,200G, 400G 及800G等。市场上目前公认最好的RO膜来自美国陶氏,其稳定性\过滤效果和使用寿命都是行业领先水平

 

Material: Silicon Phosphate  过滤材料:硅磷酸

 

 

  • Function: Prevents the hard minerals and rust from bonding together and attaching to the dishes, clothes and so on

    功能:防止沉淀物和铁锈结块并附着在餐具和衣物表面

  • Note: Not a filter, but works for clothes, dishes, kitchen or cooking ware protection. Used quite often for the final stage in Everpure’s commercial systems.

    备注:硅磷酸严格来说不是过滤器,只是对衣物及厨房餐具具有保护作用。硅磷酸一般使用较少,常见的是在部分爱惠浦的商用净水器使用

 

 

Material: Ion Exchange Resin(salt is often used for its regeneration)  过滤材料:离子交换树脂(通常配合软水盐使树脂再生)

 

 

  • Function: Absorbs hard minerals like calcium and magnesium ions, this makes the water softer, protecting clothes and so on.

    功能:用盐中的钠离子置换水中的钙镁离子,从而实现软化水的功效

  • Note: Used often for dish washers, laundry, or softening the whole house water. When resin reaches the absorption limit, the system must be flushed with salt to regenerate the resin.

    备注:通常用于洗碗机和洗衣机,或者全屋软水。当树脂吸附功能饱和,需要借助盐来实现树脂的再生

 

Material: UV Light  过滤材料:紫外线

 

 

  • Function: Kills bacteria and viruses

    功能:杀死细菌病毒等微生物

  • Note: Ozone generation can also be used to the same effect

    备注:超氧也能实现和紫外线类似的功能

 

Chemical Treatments and materials 化学过滤技术和材料

 

Material: KDF( copper and zinc alloy)  过滤材料:KDF(铜锌合金)

 

 

  • Function: Removes chlorine and some heavy metals(some copper and zinc will dissolve into the water)

    功能:去除余氯及部分重金属(通常副作用会造成水中铜锌离子的含量升高)

  • Note: Good for shower filters but not for drinking water as there will be dissolved metals

    备注:适用于沐浴但是不适合饮用,因为会溶解铜、锌离子到水中

 

Material: Vitamin C   过滤材料:维他命C

  • Function: Removes chlorine

    功能:去除余氯

  • Note: Dissolves very quickly, although very effective in chlorine removal

    备注:去除余氯效果好,但是消耗速度太快

 

Material: Calcium sulfite  过滤材料:亚硫酸钙

 

 

 

  • Function: Removes chlorine and some metals 

    功能:去除余氯和金属

  • Note: Works efficiently in water at high temperatures

    备注:热水效果更佳

 

The combo of physical and chemical treatment  物理+化学过滤

 

Material: Tourmaline(dragon stone)  过滤材料:托玛琳

 

  • Function: Adds minerals into water, makes the water softer and increases negative ions and total dissolved O2

    功能:增加水中矿物质,软化水,增加水中负离子及溶解氧

  • Note: Used quite often for the post stage for RO drinking water purifiers

    备注:通常用于直饮水机的后置滤芯,增加水中的矿物质成分;也用于沐浴器

 

Pollutants and sizes 污染物尺寸

 

Pollutants come in various forms and sizes. From visible large sediment like sands, rust, to invisible small particles, such as bacteria and metal ions. The table below outlines the size of  common pollutants and the corresponding treatment methods.

水中污染物的尺寸和形态多样。如肉眼可见的泥沙铁锈,及不可见的细菌病毒及金属离子。下面的表格列出了常见污染物的尺寸及对应的处理技术。

 

 

 

Typically for compounds like pesticides and antibiotics, activated carbon is a must in a multi-stage filtration system. Without treatment of carbon filter, the water is not clean enough for drinking and cooking. 

对于一些复合物而言,如农药、抗生素、活性炭是一个必须的部件选择。直饮水机更是如此,没有活性炭的处理,水质无法达到饮用标准。

 

 

How to judge if a filter is good or not?  如何判断净水器是否有效?

 

Below are some criterion that is used to judge if a filter is good or not.下面是判断滤芯好坏的几个参考标准

 

1. What filtration media are used?    滤料的种类是什么?

 

Any single filter is designed to remove a certain type of pollutant(s), instead of removing all the contaminants. For example, carbon filter is to remove chlorine and chemicals and RO membrane is to remove metals. As a result, if one does not care too much about the brand, it is often recommended to check what filters are used for the water used for different purposes. 

单一的滤料只针对特定的某一类(几类)污染物,没有一种滤料能够去除水中所有的污染物。例如,活性炭只对余氯和化学有机物过滤效果较好而逆渗透膜则是对细小颗粒物的过滤效果较为明显。因此,如果考虑的是品牌之外的因素的话,通常需要在确定需求之后再选择滤芯。

 

 

 

2. How many stages are needed?    净水系统有多少级滤芯?

 

It depends on what the filter is used for. Theoretically, a multi-stage filtration system is better than the single-stage system because the former one will capture various unwanted pollutants while the latter only target at certain type of pollutant(s). But more importantly, it is still subject to what the filter is used for. For example, a single or a double filter with carbon and KDF will be enough for the water used for cleaning while for a multi-stage filtration system with PP, carbon, RO membrane and etc. is needed for water used for drinking and cooking. 

这主要视滤芯的用途而定。理论上来说,多级滤芯的过滤效果要好于单级过滤器,因为相对而言,多级滤芯捕获的污染物要多于单级过滤器。但是更重要的是,仍然要取决于具体期望实现的效果而定。对于日常清洁用水,由活性炭或者KDF组成的单级或者双极过滤器就能实现对应的效果。而对于饮用和煮饭用水来说,则相对复杂,至少需要包含PP棉,活性炭以及逆渗透膜等多级滤芯。

 

 

3. Are the materials local or imported? 滤芯是进口还是国产好?

 

For some of the components imported versions will be better, for example reverse osmosis filters from Dow chemical in the USA are much more efficient than local filters.

某些滤芯,进口的效果要优于国产的效果。例如,美国陶氏的逆渗透膜效果要优于国产的膜。

 

 

How to choose a right filter?  如何选择一款净水器?

 

1.It is often suggested to know your needs before choosing a water filter. Not all water has to make the water as clean as drinking water.

先确定需求再去选择净水器。并非所有的过滤水都要达到直饮水标准。

 

a ) If the water is used for dinking, then all pollutants must be removed, especially chlorine and heavy metals. If you prefer mineral water, then you can look for the RO systems with mineralization filter in the post stage. 

对于直饮水来说,需要把水中所有的杂质都去除,特别是余氯和重金属。目前只有逆渗透设备能够满足对应的期待。另外如果需要矿物质的话,则建议选用含有矿化滤芯的直饮水机。

 

b) If the water is used for shower, faucet or laundry, then you have to find a filter that is able to remove chlorine and soften the water. 

对于沐浴/洗脸刷牙/洗衣等用水,则可选用对余氯去除和软化水功效较好的净水器。

 

c) If the water is used for kitchen cleaning, then priority should be given to those with the function to remove or kill bacteria and microorganism. 

对于厨房清洁用水,最为关注的可能是细菌和微生物。因此建议选择对微生物去除效果较好的产品。

 

 

2. Generally, a multi-stage filter does more jobs than single-stage filter. Check the origin of the filter which may decide its effectiveness. Coconut carbon is better than other types of carbon. RO membrane from Dow/GE is better than other companies. 

一般而言,相较于单级过滤器,多级过滤器的效果能够去除更多的污染物。另外滤芯的产地和来源也会决定其过滤效果。椰壳活性炭要好于其它材质的活性炭,陶氏RO膜要好于其它公司的RO膜。

 

3. Avoid products that are claimed to be used over 6 or even 1 year with no maintenance. All filters need to be timely maintained to assure their effectiveness. Otherwise, the water quality can be even worse if it is not maintained in time. 

不建议选择可以使用6个月以上不需要维护或者滤芯更换的净水器。所有的过滤器都需要定期的维护,否则污染物堆积,水质甚至比未过滤的更差。

 

 

Besides the above, some other factors are important too like special kitchen or tap fixtures, the installation service or moving needs. Not all filters will be suitable to install at home and some companies may not last long in the market. So to be cautious. 

除了上面的内容,为了选择合适的设备,用户最好还能综合考虑其他因素,比如厨房与浴室龙头的结构与尺寸是否标准、以后是否需要搬家、相关公司是否能持续提供服务等。毕竟,没有哪一种产品能满足所有的客户,很多公司存在时间很短不会长期服务。

 

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