Advantages of Glass Filter Media over Sand and Silica Filter Media

Glass Advantages vs Sand and Silica

The use of glass as filtration media began in the late 1990s and is gaining popularity as an alternative to sand silica. Glass came naturally as filtration media as a result of the unceasing search for the best media. This is because it does a better job and it is in generous supply in the form of broken pieces of glass that can be recycled.

There are lots of pieces of broken glasses in different colors. In the recycling facilities, they are not separated by color, meaning, the product of the crushing process has a mixture of colors - clear, green, brown, etc - called cullet.

Many bottle manufacturing companies don't use cullet to produce new bottles because beverage companies want pretty bottles with uniform color. This leaves the broken glass to a limited market, making it the best option for the water filtration industry and the best alternative to the sand filter.


The Concept of a Sand Filter

There are various kinds of sand filters being used in water treatment plants. The performance of such filters not only depend on the sand characteristics but also the operating procedures and the type of filter. A filter may have only one type of sand or several types and the lower limit of sand particle size is about 20 μm.

During the filtration process, tiny solid particles get trapped into the sand bed. This means that with continuous operation, the bed will be able to capture finer and finer particles up to a point that it gets blocked. Once that happens it will need to be regenerated by backwash.

An effective filter bed should have sand whose grains are about the same size - about 0.4 - 0.6 mm. The 20-grade silica is the most common sand filter media because it creates a mesh that can sieve very small-sized particles, as small as 20 μm.

However, sand/silica media filters have some disadvantages. For example, the particles of sand to clamp together and calcify thus creating channels where water passes through without being filtered. This is why frequent backwashing is necessary for commercial settings - some do it once every week which increases the operating costs.

Secondly, since filtration only takes place through the depth of 6 in. gunk builds up there are this necessitates the replacement of the filter system every 5 - to 8 years because grains eventually break down.

The Concept of a Glass Filter

The glass filter is gaining much popularity as the preferred medium for water filtration in both water treatment plants and swimming pools. The glass has some unique characteristics that make them suitable for filtration purposes.

The surface of the glass is slightly negatively charged giving it the ability to attract very fine particles. These charges are weak and will release the particles during backwashing, which results in more efficient and cost-effective cleaning.

Glass is less dense than sand and, therefore, doesn’t pack as tight, meaning it will not leave any gaps for unfiltered water to pass. It also has a tighter turbid catch giving it the ability to filter particles as tiny as 9 μm, with some brands going as low as 3 μm.

This high-quality filtration can be achieved even without shock treatments or chloramine-producing flocculants which is why glass finds application in many indoor pools where air quality is a priority.

Glass filters last for 10 years or longer but after that duration, what they need is just cleaning with acid or chlorine and a replacement of the top layer with fresh glass pieces. This is because glass does not break down easily from the cycles of filtration and backwashing, and this minimizes the development of cracks where bacteria can buildup and resist flushing through backwashing.


Desolidex Glass Filter Outperforms Sand Silica Filter

Desolidex is a non-crystalline (amorphous) filter media which is made from 100 percent crushed and recycled glass. It is preferred over sand because of its lower density and its smoothness which makes it perform better. Its manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and is sustainable.

Desolidex lasts up to five times longer than sand and requires 16 percent less material compared to sand. All these make it a cheaper alternative to silica sand. And while using this media, filtration takes place from the top to the bottom of the bed and this allows for better filtration because of the higher pollutant load capacity. This can be attributed to the low density of glass which makes it not to pack as tightly as sand.

Desolidex doesn’t support the growth of algae and fungus because it filters down to a lower micron level than sand and is, therefore, able to remove up to 30 percent more material compared to sand silica. It is worth mentioning that it can trap more pollutant while using only about 80 percent of the required media when compared to sand filters.

Water-Saving Properties

Because Desolidex is more efficient, it doesn’t need as much backwashing like sand filters. This also means the average time take for backwashing will also be reduced and this will result in up to 23 percent less water usage.

Final thoughts

Desolidex has revolutionized the water treatment industry and its use is taking root in many countries. What makes it more popular is that it is made from broken pieces of glass which are considered as waste. This makes it environmentally friendly and less costly. It reduces energy usage and won’t harbor contaminants.