The Science Behind It
Boost N Lock was developed from the continual supply of wastewater samples coming through our lab and customers asking for the easiest and safest means of stabilizing their pH. The combination of hydroxide, carbonate, and bicarbonate alkalinity, combined with beneficial cations calcium and magnesium makes this an ideal choice. Methods of raising the pH tend to be more straight forward, while stabilizing the pH is a larger challenge for most wastewater operators. This product will buffer water in a way the individual ingredients cannot. This unique blend is excellent at buffering the pH efficiently and safely and is great for modest pH adjustment.
Boost N lock is recommended when the pH is 6.0 or higher and the customer wants to get into a pH 7.0 to 8.0 range. When the pH is lower than 6.0 we recommend our high purity magnesium hydroxide product to get the pH up into the 6 range and then our Boost N Lock to stabilize and hold the pH. In these low pH, magnesium hydroxide has a high solubility and as the pH goes higher the solubility decreases and it forms sludge. For this reason, Boost N Lock only contains a small amount of magnesium hydroxide which allows us to get the benefits of the product without creating sludge at high pH.
Aerobic Wastewater Processes and Calcium/Magnesium Bridging to Improve Floc Formation
In addition to being effective at maintaining a balanced pH, Boost N Lock contains high levels of calcium and magnesium which have demonstrated an ability to improve floc formation by improving calcium/magnesium bridging. Higher levels of the cations calcium and magnesium alter the surface charge of EPS (exocellular polysaccarides) in a way that provides more consistent floc formation. Typically, this means, the higher the ratio of calcium and magnesium to sodium and potassium, the better the floc formation.
Raising the pH in an Anaerobic Digester
Increasing the pH in an anaerobic digester can be difficult for several reasons:
Typically, inexpensive methods such as hydrated lime are insoluble which lead to excess sludge accumulation in a digester. Lime sludge interferes with mixing and reduces digester capacity which can lead to extra hauling and reduced methane generation.
Sodium hydroxide is soluble and can increase pH quickly, but is hazardous and has a risk of overshooting the pH. Baking soda, would be a good option due to high solubility and excellent buffering capacity, but tends to require high volumes to adjust the pH in a digester effectively and can lead to sodium toxicity.
For these reasons we recommend first adjusting the pH of the digester in question with our high purity magnesium hydroxide to pH 6-7, then using Boost N Lock to bring the pH in the 7’s to promote stability. Boost N Lock can then be used as a low dose maintenance tool to maintain good alkalinity, preventing future digester upsets.
Simple Titration Method for Boost N Lock or other pH adjustment products
If you are unfamiliar with titrations, feel free to contact Aquafix with questions. Be careful when handling strong bases such as sodium hydroxide as they can cause severe chemical burns. Boost N Lock, calcium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, and calcium oxide will not cause any problems other than minor skin irritation but ideally you should still not work with these compounds unless you are using a dust mask, and eye protection.
For safety, we recommend performing this test using a dust mask, safety goggles, and gloves. If compound used gets on your skin, wash with soap and water. If any of these compounds get in your eyes, we recommend immediately using an eye-wash to rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes.
1. Prepare Chemicals- Make a slurry mixture of 50 g of Boost N Lock and 1000 mL of distilled water. Add the slurry to a bottle or container with cover so it can be shaken up regularly.
2. Prepare Sample to Be Tested- Collect 500 mL of well mixed (if possible) anaerobic digester sample in a 1000 mL beaker. Place the beaker on a mixing plate with a magnetic stirrer or put in a 1000 mL contain and shake to mix if necessary.
3. Add Boost-N-Lock Until Desired pH Is Achieved- Test and record the initial pH, then add 5 mL portions of the Boost N Lock Slurry to the continuously mixed beaker of digester sample. After each 5 mL addition, mix the digester sample for 3 minutes and then test and record the pH and add another 5 mL until the pH is at 7. Boost N Lock or any other slurry should be shaken or mixed before each 5 mL addition.
4. Calculate Dose Required for Full Scale Treatment- Once the pH reaches 7, the dose of 5 mL equates to 210# of Boost N Lock (or mag/calcium hydroxide) per 100,000 gallons digester volume. This means you will need to add 210 pounds of Boost N Lock per 100,000 gallons digester volume or other solid pH adjuster for each 5 mL added to the beaker.
A. This procedure can also be used for magnesium, or calcium hydroxide. Generally, we recommend increasing the pH to 6 with an inexpensive base like magnesium hydroxide and use Boost N Lock to finish the pH adjustment to improve pH stability.
B. Dose rate can be further refined by repeating the test but only adding 1 mL at a time of pH adjustment slurry/solution. This equates to 42 pounds per 100,000 gallons.
C. Procedure can be used for fully soluble compounds such as sodium carbonate or liquid pH adjusters. Different calculations may be needed for liquids.
- Excellent buffering capacity
- Dramatically lower dose rates than either ingredient individually
- Produces a minimum of excess sludge
- Good at raising the pH when it is 6.0 or higher
- Safe for the biology and the user
- Lower in sodium than straight soda ash or sodium bicarbonate
- Calcium and magnesium can aid in intra-floc bridging