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How does the antiscalant work?

An antiscalant is a chemical additive used in water treatment processes, particularly in reverse osmosis (RO) systems, to prevent the formation and deposition of scale on the surfaces of membranes and other equipment. Scale formation is a common problem caused by the precipitation of dissolved minerals, such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, barium sulfate, strontium sulfate, and silica. These scales can significantly reduce the efficiency and lifespan of RO systems. Here's how antiscalants work:

Mechanism of Action

Threshold Inhibition:

Function: Antiscalants delay the precipitation of scale-forming minerals.

Mechanism: They bind to mineral ions in the water, preventing them from reaching the saturation point where they would normally precipitate out of solution and form scale. This keeps the minerals in a dissolved state longer, even beyond their normal solubility limits.

Crystal Modification:

Function: Antiscalants alter the shape and size of scale crystals.

Mechanism: They interfere with the crystal growth process, causing the crystals to form in irregular, non-adherent shapes that do not stick to surfaces. This modification results in smaller, less dense crystals that remain suspended in the water and are more easily flushed out.


Function: Antiscalants help to disperse and suspend precipitated particles.

Mechanism: They adsorb onto the surface of suspended particles, providing a protective layer that prevents the particles from agglomerating (clumping together). This action keeps the particles finely divided and dispersed throughout the water, reducing the likelihood of scale formation on surfaces.

Types of Antiscalants


Examples: ATMP (Amino Trimethylene Phosphonic Acid), HEDP (Hydroxyethylidene Diphosphonic Acid).

Characteristics: Effective at low concentrations, good thermal stability, and strong chelating properties.

Polyacrylic Acids:

Examples: Polyacrylate, Polymaleate.

Characteristics: Excellent dispersants, effective against a wide range of scales, and often used in comb

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