WaterTAP Technical Brief: Ion Exchange Model Demonstration and Optimization

Kurban Sitterley, Alexander Dudchenko

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Ion exchange is an important water treatment process for removal of targeted contaminants, including those associated with hardness. In this report, we introduce the ion exchange model developed for WaterTAP and present some example analysis of Ca2+ removal for 0.1 MGD and 10 MGD systems. The model is a single-component, steady-state implementation that enables process optimization based on the influent ion concentration, resin capacity, and resin selectivity. Based on a survey of costing references for ion exchange, the WaterTAP ion exchange model returns reasonable estimates for the levelized cost of water (LCOW) of an ion exchange process, and performs as expected when critical design parameters, such as the resin capacity and selectivity, are varied.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-86512


  • ion exchange
  • modeling
  • technoeconomic analysis
  • water treatment


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