Image Number 2 for United States Patent #6056878.
A method and apparatus for inhibiting scaling in an electrodeionization system or in a combined reverse osmosis/electrodeionization system for water treatment and, more particularly, for increasing tolerance to hardness in the feed water to an electrodeionization unit to inhibit precipitation of metal cations contained in the feed water and for increasing efficiency of the electrodeionization system. Water to be purified is passed through a electrodeionization unit in which a concentrate stream recycling through concentrating compartments and anode and cathode compartments contains effective amounts of an antiscalant to inhibit precipitation of scale. One or more preliminary reverse osmosis units in series with the electrodeionization unit preferably receives a portion of the antiscalants in the concentrate stream. The antiscalant in the water fed to the reverse osmosis unit can be supplemented and adjusted. Electrolyte can be provided to the concentrate stream of the electrodeionization unit from products of the reverse osmosis.