Nucleation assisted crystallization (NAC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nucleation assisted crystallization (NAC), as an alternative to conventional softeners

Some alternatives have emerged on the current market to prevent incrustations, different from the conventional softening process. These technologies seek to be simpler to operate and environmentally friendly.

The most recent technique is known as nucleation by assisted crystallization. This consists of passing water through a bed of a ceramic polymer with a special treatment on its surface that acts as a catalyst that converts the hardness dissolved in the water into microscopic insoluble crystals incapable of forming incrustations in pipes.

This new granular medium can be found on the market under the trade names of: Filtersorb, Next, ScaleNet, and others. All of these have in common that they do not remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water; they cause the modification of their ionic form to a stable crystalline structure without adding other compounds to the water.

Unlike a softener, they do not require salt regeneration and do not connect to the drain. They do not require control systems. They are easier to install and operate. They also do not require maintenance or electricity.

Note: Water treated with this catalyst must be for the point of use, i.e. it must not not be stored once it has gone through treatment. After some time, the crystallization is reversed, returning to its original state (dissociated).

Nucleation - 01
Nucleation - 02

What are the main differences between a softener and a nucleation assisted crystallization system?

The following table shows the differences between softener and nucleation-assisted crystallization.

Softener

Nucleation assisted crystallization.

Requires salt
Yes
No
Requires connection to drainage
Yes
No
Prevents tartar formation
Yes
Yes
Requires control valve
Yes
No
Removes chlorine
No
No
Removes Iron
Yes (in limited quantities)
No
Removes calcium and magnesium
Yes
No
Chlorine Tolerant
No
No
Half-life in chlorine-free water
10 years
3 years
Adds sodium to water
Yes
No
Requires electrical connection
Yes
No
Treated water can be stored
Yes
No
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