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Ion Exchange Resins is a Division of Industrial Water Equipment Ltd

Resin Selection Guide

The following lists / tables give a brief guide on our current main IWT resins and how to select the best product for the application. It covers softening / dealkalisation / cation, anion and mixed bed demineralisation.

Softening Resins

Purolite C120E - Cheapest softening resin for domestic softeners, cartridges, and small industrial units. Has lowest resistance to oxidative attack, but is more open structure offers excellent kinetic performance. The E suffix indicates the resin is a Purolite food grade product.

Purolite C100E - This is the most widely used Purolite softening resin. This product is used in a wide range of softening applications from domestic through to large industrial units. The E suffix indicates the resin is a Purolite food grade product. Has been used as a food grade demin cation resin on small IWT plants.

Purolite C100 - This industrial grade product was traditionally called a premium grade softening resin. Due to its higher strength it can be used in softening and demineralisation and offers excellent physical strength over a wide range of operating conditions. With its higher DVB content it offers a higher capacity and a greater resistance to oxidative attack by chlorine compared to C120E/C100E.

Purofine PFC100E -  The Purofine trade name indicates that these are narrow grade versions of our Purolite C100E. The absence of large beads gives these resins enhanced physical strength, and its more uniform grading offers lower rinse water requirements and lower pressure loss in service. This resin is popular as it also offers a higher working capacity as the reduced diffusion path means more sites are regenerated and at low regeneration levels these resins offer significantly higher working capacity compared to their standard grade counterparts. This grading can also be used in all counter flow regenerated systems.   

Puropack PPC100 - The Puropack trade name indicates that these are narrow grade versions of our Purolite C100. Like the Purofine PFC100E the absence of large beads gives these resins enhanced physical strength, and improved as outlined for PFC100E but has a higher resistance to oxidative attack than PFC100E. It has also been used in high flow rate softeners where the load is small and the bed volume per hour rate is high. This grading can also be used in all counter flow regenerated systems but the grading is slightly different to Purofine as it has been selected to give optimum performance in counter flow regenerated packed bed systems employing either up flow or down flow service.

Purolite C100EAg - This version of Purolite C100E is a softening resin to which a small quantity of silver is present. This gives the resin some bacteriostatic properties which help to prevent the build up of bacteria and organic growth on the beads. All ion exchange resins have the potential to be breeding ground for bacteria etc. particularly where the bed is in intermittent use or where it has long periods out of service, particularly if the water or softener becomes warm.

Purolite C150 - This is the most robust of all the softening resins and is normally recommended when very high temperatures and or where thermal shock is likely (*Note: Purolite C100 and PFC100 have also seen successful operation in hot softening). Its macroporous structure ensures that the effect of thermal shock resulting in premature breakdown when moving from high service temperatures to lower regeneration water temperatures is minimised. Due to its significantly higher DVB content this resin offers the greatest resistance to attack by chlorine of all the resins referred to in this summary.

Dealk Resins

Purolite C104 - This weak acid cation resin has replaced Purolite C105 and is now the main weak acid cation resin used for dealkalisation. It is a direct replacement for Purolite C105 and can be mixed with C105. The product is mainly used as a standard grade product but can be supplied in special grades for specific applications. For example our DL grade (Purolite C104DL) is used where the resin works in a double layer (stratified) unit. There the resin sits on top of a DL grade of a strong acid cation resin. This is most commonly encountered in a demineralisation plant but we have supplied DL grade weak acid cation resins to work with a strong acid cation softening resin (Purolite Cl00DL) as a combined dealkalisation / softener unit. This unit is regenerated with acid first and then brine.

Purolite C104E - This is a food grade version of Purolite C104 and this type of resin is widely used within the brewing and soft drinks industry to produce water for lagers and the production of soft drinks. It has UK approval as a weak acid cation resin for potable water applications.

Purolite C107E - This weak acid cation resin is sold in large volumes for use in drinking water filters, jug filters, steam ovens and high quality vending machine cartridges and is often used in conjunction with activated carbon. This combination results in a better quality and better tasting water. The carbonic acid formed on waters with high temporary hardness gives the water a sparkling appearance. This resin is not normally used in regenerated systems. In drinking water filter applications it is used to not only to reduce temporary hardness but it will also remove trace levels of metals present and it will continue to work as a heavy metals removal resin even when the resin is exhausted to temporary hardness. Special grades / mixes of this product are available to cater for clients specific requirements.

Purolite C106 - This is not commonly encountered in water treatment. Weak acid cation resins can be used in some chemical processes or applications where greater osmotic strength is required. Under these circumstances a fully macroporous weak acid cation resin is of benefit such as Purolite C106.


Resin Name

Ionic Form

Working Capacity CF Regen CTF Regen Resistance to Oxidative Attack Comments and Guidance

C100E (gel)

Na 1 Yes No 1 Food grade cation for small plants – low tolerance to oxidative attack

C100 (gel)

Na 3 Yes No 2 Industrial grade, premium gel cation

C100H (gel)

H 3 Yes No 2 Regenerated version of C100 (remember 5-8% volume change)

PPC100 (gel)

Na 4 Yes Yes 2 Higher capacity, narrow grade version of C100 with better rinse and lower pressure drop

PPC100H (gel)

H 4 Yes No 2

Regenerated version of PPC100 (remember 5-8% volume change)

C100x10H (gel)

Na 2 Yes Yes 3 10% x linked cation. Also available in Na form

SGC650 (gel)

H 2+ Yes Yes 3 Uniform grade 10% x linked cation

C150H (macro)

H 1 Yes No 4 Macroporous higher x linked cation for more arduous conditions i.e. plating rinse recycle etc.

For Polishing Cation applications after cation / anion systems, operating at high BV/h rates then the following products have successfully been used:

PPC100H or SGC650 or C150TLH (Coarse version of C150H)

Please note a minimum double regeneration is required to convert Na form cation resins into H form for demineralisation.


Resin Name

Work. Cap

Resistance to Organic foul.

Max. Temp

CF Regen CTF Regen Comments and Guidance

A400 (gel type 1)

1 1 60 (50) Yes No Best SBA for high temp and also offers good silica in CF regen.

PFA or PPA400 (gel type 1)

2 2 60 (50) Yes Yes Higher capacity, narrow grade version of A400 with better rinse.
SGA550 (gel type 1)


2+ 2 60 (50) Yes Yes Uniform grade, Supergel resin version of type 1 anion

A200 (gel type 2)

4 1 40 (35) Yes No High capacity, but poor resistance to organic fouling. Poorer silica in CF regen compared to A400 / A850

PFA or PPA200 (gel type 2)

5 2 40 (35) Yes Yes Higher capacity, narrow grade version of A200 with better rinse.

(macro type 2)

3 3 40 (35) Yes No Moderate capacity, some resistance to organic fouling

(macroType 2)

3+ 3 40 (35) Yes Yes More uniform grade version of A510.

A850 (gel)

3 5 35(30) Yes No Moderate capacity, best resistance to organic fouling

PPA850 or A850FL (gel)

3+ 5 35(30) Yes Yes More uniform grade version of A850.

A870 (gel)

6 4 35(30) Yes No Highest capacity, bifunctional anion, limit weak acid load to 20% due to limited SBC

PPA870 or A870FL (gel)

6 4 35(30) Yes Yes More uniform grade version of A870 but still with limit on weak acid loading due to limited SBC

PP and FL grades are best suited to packed bed designs, but take into account on all SBA resins the reversible expansion on regeneration to OH and also additional irreversible expansion on acrylic anion resins in the first few cycles. (A850 / A870 are acrylic resins and the others are all polystyrenic resins)


Option No. Resin Combination Ionic Form

Comments and Guidance


(gel / gel)

Simplest and cheapest combination – produces good quality demin water.


(gel / macro)

Similar to option 1 but uses a macroporous anion and preferred where the raw water has an organic fouling potential.


PFA400 or PFA400MB


Most popular combination utilizing two narrow grade products with the cation component slightly coarser than the cation. Best combination where freeboard is limited. Lower flow rate to achieve expansion / separation, lower displacement rinse volumes. Very good water quality.

MB suffix indicates antistat treated




High quality mixed bed with coarse cation combined with finer grade anion. Allows use of spacer inerts IP3 or IP7. Anion supplied in sulphate form to allow easier conversion to OH form. TL anion is antistat treated.



CI or SO4 or OH

Highest quality, uniform grade, gel resin combination with Supergel structure offering enhanced resistance to physical and osmotic shock attrition. Anion normally supplied in chloride form.



Used in preference to option 5 where the macroporous anion offers better resistance to anion kinetic degradation on organic fouling water supplies.

Please note most of the above cation resin grades are also available in the sodium form.

In general price terms Option 1 < 2 < 3 = 4 < 5 = 6

Options 1 and 2 now used less frequently due to the higher qualities obtained from the other options.



Just some of the more popular ready to use mixed bed resins used in UK market.

Option No. Product Name

Resin Ratio

(Cation : Anion )

Comments and Guidance



50:50 Simplest and cheapest combination – produces good quality demin water, favoured by EDM market. Not possible to regenerate.



40:60 Most widely used mixed bed in the UK market. Graded to allow separation for regeneration in regen station. Will operate over wider range of conditions compared to MB478LT.




Nuclear grade quality – low inorganic contamination and very high conversion to regenerated form.




Electronics grade – highest purity with low TOC spec – separable




Electronics grade –highest purity with low TOC spec – but non separable


Colour Indicator
Mixed Beds



Different colour change products:


Cation indicator turns red

Anion indicator turns from blue to natural anion colour
(MB400IND – straw colour, MB500IND – off white)

 MB with weak base anion. Cation indicator turns from green to blue

Please note that the above table provides only a limited selection of our many mixed bed products with or without colour change.



Purolite AC20G - Granular Activated carbon – available in 52 litre bags.

Purolite A400MBOHIND and Purolite A500MBOHIND - Anion indicator resins in OH form, used in HCl vent lines to polish out fumes with colour change indication to show exhaustion. It is normally used in transparent cartridges to witness colour change.

Purolite NRW100QR - This is a cation indicator resin used by very many power stations prior to an after cation conductivity cell. It is used normally to show in leakage on cooling water / condenser systems. By using this cation indicator resin they remove conditioning amines and hence any conductivity change is due to anions present. This therefore indicates a condenser leak.

 Purolite PD206 - Biodiesel polishing resin to enable producers to meet international specifications for commercial sale.

Purolite IP1 - Floating inert – large round beads for use in packed beds where large volume of inert is required, giving lower pressure drop than IP4.

Purolite IP4 - Floating inert – small rods, used to provide a barrier to stop resin contacting top distributors, and improve top distribution / collection.

Purolite IP9 - Under drain inert – replaces gravel systems. High density polymer which will help provide additional support to bottom laterals which are not always adequately supported and can fail. This product can help to retain some of the resin in the event of a bottom system failure.

Purolite MPR1000 - The most interesting product launched in 2010 was Purolite MPR1000. MPR stands for Membrane Protection Resin. This product combines two anion resins, an acrylic organic scavenger resin with a colloid removal resin. It is used prior to RO plants operating on difficult waters where they struggle to give the required throughput and have to be regularly chemically cleaned. Regenerated with salt or salt with caustic this can reduce SDI levels significantly improving water quality and RO performance.

Cyclic – IEx - This is a new process introduced by purolite using our SST (Shallow Shell Technology) and is a special softening resin where the core of the bead is inert and the product is used for softening RO water either in the primary stage or secondary stage to increase RO efficiency to over 90%. This is used on higher TDS RO plants because the softening resin can be regenerated using the RO reject with no added salt required.

Chelating Resin Improvement - Many of our customers know the products S920, S930 and S940 used for metals recovery / removal. 2010 saw Purolite launch a new product Purolite S930 Plus. The performance has been dramatically improved, and now compares favorably with all our competitors products.

SST Cation Resins - Some new SST (Shallow  Shell Technology) cation resins have been developed and added to our range. They are now widely sold in the Americas. These are cation resins with an inert core which means with a standard grade resin you can get enhanced performance in some applications.

PAD Adsorbents - New range of synthetic adsorbents introduced covering more than 12 products, designed for the increasing demand for these products in IWT and other applications.






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