014 Transcript

The following transcript is provided by YouTube. Mistakes are present.

[Music]
welcome to scaling up the podcast for
water treatise by water treaters where
we’re scaling up on water treatment
knowledge so we don’t scale up our
systems hi folks I’m trace Blackmore I
am the host of scaling up and I am super
excited because we’ve got the AWT
convention right around the corner so I
hope you’ve got your tickets for that
and more so I hope to see you there I am
going to be broadcasting at the
convention so maybe I’ll talk with you
on an interview but I do want you to
make sure that you get from me one of
the scaling up buttons that I’ve had
created my goal is to have everybody in
the convention hall walking around with
a scaling up button I’m hoping that
water traders that don’t know about the
show we’ll learn about the show and then
let me know what I can do to make the
show even better I think I’ve said on
our earlier broadcast that we’re well
above 1500 downloads per episode so you
guys are really embracing the show and I
want to thank you for that and I think
one of the reasons that people enjoy the
show is because I’m answering the
questions that you guys are giving to me
to answer so please keep those coming
while today’s show I thought that we
would talk about polymers and we all
have polymers in our product and we all
know that polymers do certain things and
one category of polymers do does this
the other category does this and some do
better of that than they do this and
there are hundreds and hundreds and
hundreds of polymers so how do we keep
them all straight well last year Mike
Standish of radical polymers put
together a presentation for AWT where he
truly boiled down what we needed to know
about polymers and then also how we can
take all of those categories and lump
them into three simple categories so we
know what they do based on functional
I thought that I could sound smart and
just read his paper but then I thought
maybe it makes more sense for me to have
Mike on the show so I called it up and
he said absolutely he would love to come
on staring up and share what he
presented with the association of Water
Technologies here on scaling-up
so we’re going to talk with Mike but
before we do we are going to talk a
little bit about stack temperatures so
another issue of the boiling point and
the boiling point is stuff that I see
other water treaters do that makes me go
I wish they wouldn’t do that or I wish
they maybe would do something and
because it frustrates me it should
frustrate you and I’m going to share it
with you so you can be better than the
person that I saw I’m going to protect
the names I will protect the innocent
although this person was not innocent
because they were the offender of what I
was getting ready to tell you so I was I
was hired by a customer to look at a
water treatment account and it was a
boiler and they were concerned about
what was going on with their system as
far as efficiency well I was there when
the water treater was running their
tests and I asked them a question about
the stack temperatures now for those of
you that don’t know stack temperatures
is just simply the temperature of the
gas the exhaust after the heat the flame
goes through the boiler and exhaust out
and for those of you that don’t know
there is a thermometer located on the
stack to let us know what the
temperature is now I asked him why he
didn’t record this and he told me I’m a
water trader I don’t do anything with
that flame that’s why this is a boiling
point because we are responsible for
making sure we’re taking care of the
entire system and that stack temperature
is a look inside that boiler to see how
efficient we are
now if you just get one stack
temperature it’s not going to tell you
anything but over time if you and your
customer are recording those stack
temperatures you’ll be able to see if
that temperature is one staying the same
if it’s getting hotter or if it’s
getting cooler let’s look at both of
those scenarios so if it’s staying the
same it’s staying the same let’s say
that it’s getting cooler
what does that tell us I’ve said in
other shows our job is heat transfer
efficiency management so we’re putting
that flame and through the boiler by the
way that big hole that it goes through
first it’s called the Morrison 2 for
5000 points in the lead if you’re ever
on Jeopardy so it goes through that
Morrison tube and then it does however
many passes that boiler is and it will
go out of the stack and the heat that
was not transferred from that flame into
the water is now wasted and going out to
the atmosphere so if we see that
temperature getting cooler that’s
telling us that we’re transferring more
heat from the it’s a firetube boiler
from the inside of those tubes to the
outside where the water is well that’s
good we’re paying for that gas to create
that flame so we can heat the water
that’s the whole point we don’t want to
use any excess gas or lose any excess
heat that we don’t have to so the
inverse of that we see that stack
temperature getting hotter well that
tells us that there’s something on those
tubes
that’s insulating that heat inside that
tube so we can’t transfer it out now
that might be an indication that we’re
starting to scale some ion inside the
system now if we ran the proper test we
should be able to look back and see
exactly what’s going on oh wait a second
that water softener hasn’t been working
in a while maybe that’s what’s going on
and some other tests that I run confirm
that maybe everything’s working fine and
we’re wondering what the heck’s going on
well have you ever noticed and I’m
talking I’m visualizing a fire
– boiler right now but have you ever
noticed when you look on the backside of
the boiler so now the front side that
big tube I said is called the Morrison
tube so the front side is where the
combustion chamber is and that’s blowing
the flame back and on the back side of
the boiler we’ve got that little
peephole that’s there if we open that we
should see a nice efficient bluish
colored flame there if you open that up
and you see an orange or yellow flame
that’s not good that’s not a well-tuned
flame and there’s a lot of byproducts
that are being produced because that’s
not an efficient flame ie boiler suit
and suit is way more insulative than
scale is at lower amounts really at any
amounts but we’re going to notice it a
lot quicker and suit is way more
insulative then scale is so if we notice
that our program looks great we’ve got
all the evidence that we can back that
up it’s that flame looks horrible well
that’s what’s happening and you might
say well I’m a water treat or I don’t
treat the flame side but your job is
heat transfer efficiency manager and you
are the person that is the liaison
between that equipment and between the
owner of that equipment that equipment
cannot speak directly to the owner they
need a translator and that is you your
job is to make sure that they’re
communicating properly and you’re going
to say that this flame is not tuned up
the way that it should and these are the
issues that is causing you should get a
boiler company to come out and tune this
up for you and what a great thought to
get some extra leaves if you befriend a
boiler company and learn a little bit
more how boilers work teach them a
little bit more how water treatment
works that’s a pretty good relationship
now you’re looking at the stock
temperatures after everything’s
corrected and you’re seeing that those
that temperature is a lot lower now that
those things are fixed if you don’t keep
track of your stat tempered
you’re never going to know what they’re
telling you so hopefully on every
service you’re recording that hopefully
your customer might be recording that
and a lot of the boilers out there will
actually record that for you so if you
know how to use that user interface you
can see what the temperature is over the
last month over every single minute of
that month so have somebody show you how
to use that if you have one of those
systems so I hope you’re taking to heart
that you’re not just a water trader your
job is to be a heat transfer efficiency
manager and it’s your job to make sure
that the equipment is speaking through
you to that customer today my lab
partner is Mike Standish and I had the
pleasure of meeting Mike probably about
12 years ago when we were elected on the
AWT Board together and got to experience
the trials and tribulations of working
on a WT together since that time he’s
become a really good friend of mine and
a huge resource for my company and I
want to introduce everybody to Mike
Standish how are you doing Mike I’m
doing great tres thank you very much and
thank you for the opportunity to be your
lab partner today absolutely a lot of
people ask me questions about blending
and I know a lot of us are out there and
we just simply use our products as
they’re made but there are materials
that go into those products in order for
us to make them and that’s where you
have your expertise so that’s what I was
hoping that we could talk today to our
audience and let them know you know
exactly what is this stuff that goes in
our stuff yeah absolutely and in fact
you know in some ways is pretty complex
and in other ways is it’s quite simple
and so I think you know we can kind
demystify some of the perceptions around
the additives phosphonates polymers and
so on and yeah make it maybe a little
bit more simple where people can make
wise choices and how they approach water
treatment and I will say that that is
one of your talents you are able to take
very complex items
present them in a very simplistic way
just as you did last year in your paper
to the association of water technology
so I’m hoping to get to that but I
thought before we did I’d ask you a
couple of questions just so the audience
gets to know Mike Standish a little bit
better so how did you come into the
water treatment industry well if I’m
brutally honest we’ll start off with
some embarrassment when I was in high
school and my first year of college I
actually worked scooping ice cream at
Baskin Robbins he started at the
University of Tennessee Chattanooga in
the chemistry department and I had that
one of the professor’s come up to me one
day and said hey you want a job and I
like I want to do anything but scoop ice
cream you know
by the way Baskin Robbins has many more
than 31 flavors so there’s a lot of
scoop but anyway and so I went to work
for a company as a co-op student where I
went to the school and work I did in a
parallel program and did that full-time
school and about 3035 hours a week of
work and the company I went to work for
had a stake and supplying polymers for
the water treatment industry and I was
just fortunate to have a great mentor
there that you know wanted to help me
learn and and wanted to teach me at
least what he knew about water treatment
and then kind of went from there so and
then ultimately you started your own
company
what was that ride like well I’m still
on the ride it’s somewhat of a roller
coaster but it was great I this is
actually my 31st year in in the industry
started in 1986 as a 18 year old and I
spent most of that time working for very
large corporations global companies and
you know at some point I just got to the
to the point where I felt like you know
look this is something I could do myself
and frankly the biggest driver to start
the business was I felt like there’s a
real need particularly with independent
water
phears because what was happening is you
had the big global guys – I wouldn’t say
turn their back to the small guys but
essentially you know just did not
dedicate a lot of resource to service
the independent companies with
technology and support and customer
service and so we really saw a nice
opportunity to come in with that
mentality that go overboard in the way
that we service and independent water
treaters and and the industry has been
very receptive to that we did something
a little unique and when I say we my
wife I’m a chemist and my wife’s a
chemist and our oldest daughter is a
chemist so we kind of have a built-in
you know set of resources at least on
the chemistry side and one of the things
that we did that was kind of unique when
we started the businesses we spent the
first full year not trying to sell
anything we rented lab space and we just
did product development for actually
about 15 months and then we launched our
company and our product technologies at
the 2014 AWT meeting and since then it’s
it’s been really gratifying right if you
will on the roller coaster well Mike in
addition to owning your own business you
own a family-run business and I know
that’s very common in the water
treatment industry but sometimes they
run smoother than others and your
company seems to run pretty smooth with
your family members how do you do that
well that’s a great question that you
know my wife and I so my wife’s leslie
is more of a polymer synthesis chemist
i’m more on the application side so our
roles were pretty well divided and and
you know we we have separate things that
we do so that there’s rarely kind of any
butting heads there now our oldest
daughter Chelsea she works with me on
the applications I primarily and you
know I have to say we did this twice
when we were I mentioned that we were
started up a bit
in his research for the first year that
wasn’t as smooth just everybody kind of
getting along there but Chelsea actually
went off to graduate school came back to
work for us on a full-time basis and you
know frankly is gone just
extraordinarily well in the past couple
of years I think you know I think I
don’t have any great insight there other
than just saying we we all have mutual
respect for each other we all know that
we’re growing in the same direction and
with the same vigor and we’re all trying
to get to the same point and I think you
know it’s helpful to keep that in mind
each and every day but you know for us
so far there’s really been no kind of
issue we all work well together and I
think it’s work now you know ask me in
15 years you know maybe maybe this is
more but at this point it’s worked well
for us for sure well excellent excellent
and then as far as your company how
would you help the regular water treat
are out there what what do you guys do
for that okay so specific to our company
we’re mainly helping people with mineral
scale control and corrosion issues
mainly mild steel corrosion issues but I
would take a step back from that a
little bit because I mentioned that I
had a mentor early and in my career and
one of the things that I did when I was
working as a student is I would have
questions and and I would go to my
boss’s office and he was usually on the
phone talking with a customer so I would
have to sit wait and wait and wait but I
listened you know to his conversations
with customers and one of the things
that really impressed me and was
impressed upon me is he was always
helpful and it didn’t have to be about
the company’s particular products if he
could help solve a problem with a
competitive product or some other pure
technology or what have you he was
always trying to help customers so to
directly answer your question I think
anybody that ever contacts me with
would vouch for this I want to help
people in whatever way that I can from a
technical problem solving point of view
and whether that involves our products
for mental scale or corrosion control or
whether that involves a competitor
product or you know some other product
that we’re not involved in I want to be
a resource for our customers period at
the end because I think looking at this
and the long game people you know
respect that and they’ll come you know
to us when they have an issue and and
you know we’ll built that trust in the
relationship so ultimately we want to be
a resource for our customers across the
board we’re not high sales pitch type
people and so I think you know I would
invite your audience to test us on that
that’s that’s how I grew up host I was
mentored and that is really stuck with
me throughout my career well as I
mentioned before you have a given talent
for being able to take very complex
issues and boil them down and explain
them in a very simplistic way so I’d
like to ask you how would somebody
define a polymer how would you define a
polymer I would define the polymer in
the simplest terms which is this polymer
is derived from Greek poly meaning many
and mer meaning unit so ultimately
polymers are molecules that are many
units long now I actually have the IU
Pact definition for you know a polymer
and maybe it’s worthwhile kind of
reading that off so people have the
formal definition but because there’s
some nuances there but ultimately
polymers are different than what any
other additive that you’re using of
water and that they in water treatment
in that they are molecules are derived
from putting a bunch of different
molecules together which are called
monomers the IU pack definition is that
a substance composed of molecules
characterized by multiple repetition of
one or more species that are linked to
each other in amount sufficient to
provide a set of properties that
you not very marketed with the addition
or removal or one or a few constituent
units now that’s a long definition but
what I would say from that is is that
you know the idea is is that you’re
linking one or more species together and
whether you have one more one less it
generally doesn’t affect the specific
properties of the overall molecule and
what our polymers all made the same how
do they how to actually do that you know
they’re absolutely not made the same
there are many different ways to make
polymers to go together and to
characterize polymers and frankly some
of the very simplest nuances can have
pretty profound effects and efficacy
that being said most of the polymers
that are they’re used in water treatment
industry are made via a root called free
radical polymerization and essentially
what’s happening there is you add some
materials called initiators into into
the reaction vessel that has the
monomers the single repeating units
those initiators form radicals and the
on the monomers and then once those
monomers are formed as radicals they
start to attach to each other and form
the polymers that’s the most simplistic
way to look at it but there are so many
nuances in the way that the polymers are
put together the different types of
initiators you could use a different
reaction chemistry the different types
of monomers or building bots that you
use that can have very very dramatic
consequences in terms of how the product
works
well how many polymers would you say are
out there well hundreds literally
hundreds that there’s at least 60 to 75
truly unique polymers that are regularly
employed in the water treatment industry
for scale control and that’s not
accounting for all the different
manufacturers so if you take those
twenty-five or so you know just base
compositions and manufacturing processes
and then you multiply that I have for
many you know polymer suppliers that
there are there’s hundreds if not
thousands of polymers however that being
said the thing that is really
interesting is is that all polymers that
are used in water treatment for mental
scale control are comprised of three
different types of building blocks
carboxylates sulfonates and or non
ionics and everything is a variation on
the theme between those three types of
building blocks to make those polymers
so out of these out of these thousand
polymers we boil down to about sixty to
seventy-five that’s in the water
treatment industry and then out of that
those are all down into three groups
they absolutely do they boil down into
three classifications well can we talk
about those classifications and why
certain things are in there sure so one
of the things I’d like to say is is that
with polymers selection of polymers in
particular that their right approaches
is to start with the problem and work
your way back to the polymer selection
rather than starting with some polymer
with a bunch of marketing and technical
information and trying to kind of fit
that into an application people should
always start with the problem and work
their way back so by doing that what you
would look at is is the three different
types of functional groups carboxylates
are typically materials like polycrylic
acid or maleic base materials and people
probably familiar with those terms to an
extent those materials are used for kind
of general purpose building blocks they
tend to be pretty functional for things
like calcium carbonate control calcium
sulfate control they don’t really have
carboxylate really don’t provide much
functionality for stabilization things
like iron or phosphate they just don’t
have have that functionality but they’re
they’re the most economical
raw materials out of the three as a
general rule and kind of provide the
base functionality of the polymer the
other thing to say about carboxylates is
that most polymers that you know people
are going to buy are going to be most
heavily weighted with the carboxylated
monomers sulfonates are tend to be
employed in areas where you need to
incorporate phosphate stabilization
properties iron stabilization properties
or zinc or if you need to add better
stability of the polymer and high ionic
strength environments or high hardness
environments what-have-you and then the
non ionic SAR more due on that they are
used to either enhance properties like
calcium carbonate control or calcium
phosphate control or enhanced properties
like crystal modification or sometimes
non ionic SAR utilized just to change
the way that the polymer goes together
which is a little bit more complex topic
but in general just kind of change if
you will the polymer architecture which
can have some impact upon performance
calculator like that a little bit yeah
would that be if you know I’m going out
to buy a water heater and the home depot
I’ll it has good better best do these
three categories sort of fall into that
as well I would not I would say no and
in fact so the answer is yes and no but
but the first answer would be no I would
definitely caution all of the the
listeners to the podcast today to not
buy or select products based on
composition alone if the key is to fit
the right polymer with the right
application and frankly sometimes the
the cheapest simplest polymer can be
absolutely the best choice for an
application and sometimes the most
complex most nuanced polymer can be the
best for the particular application but
I would not look at it in good better
and best in gem
however what you can say is when you
start to add different functionalities
you start to increase the efficacy of
these products for you know different
types of scales so I think it’s more
about the right selection than about
good better and best so as a water
treaty we really need to know about the
water that we’re treating we need to be
able to hypothesize what those issues
are going to be and then we need to talk
with somebody like yourself to say you
know these are my issues how or what can
I use to combat this problem yeah that’s
exactly right and so let me give you a
little bit of an example you may have a
water that you’re treating and in your
primary issue is you know your towers
near a construction zone and you’ve got
a lot of suspended solids in power but
otherwise you know your LSI is pretty
low corrosion rate is not remarkable the
best selection and that might just be a
medium molecular weight polycrylic acid
to just provide some basic dispersion of
the solids that are being incorporated
into the tower due to you know airborne
debris from the construction site so you
know it’s not always you don’t always go
to the most complex most expensive
material you absolutely want to match
the application with the with the
polymer functionality now Mike you just
brought up a new term there you
mentioned medium molecular weight what
does that mean
okay well Tracy can it can actually mean
I’m not trying to be cute here but it
can mean anything but in general with
polymers that are used for mineral scale
control most of those are at a molecular
weight of less than $10,000 and Dalton
is a term that actually just means you
know combined atomic mass so we’re
talking about polymers that are
relatively low molecular weight compared
to say flocculent type materials that
are used in the waste treatment
applications that can be in the hundreds
of thousands or millions or even
Enza million smart clear away so our
scale control polymers that are used in
process applications tend to be for the
most part everything below ten thousand
molecular weight so a medium molecular
weight make may be in the four to six
thousand molecular weight range and to
make a little comment about that what
you tend to find as a rule of thumb is
that polymers that tend to be a little
bit lower molecular weight say you know
below two thousand tend to be better
scale inhibitors maintaining solubility
of the scale and polymers that tend to
be higher say you know four or five up
to ten thousand molecular weight tend to
be more functional as particulate
disperses now there’s exceptions to
those kind of rules but that’s generally
true so a medium molecular weight
polymer in this context is something is
about four to six thousand molecular
weight all right so you mentioned before
that we need to start with the problem
and then use this as a tool to solve the
problem and you also mention that
there’s a lot of marketing material out
there and I know when I look at
marketing material from the
manufacturers every single thing out
there will slice dice julienne and take
care of anything under the Sun what
advice would you have to our listeners
how to go beyond that marketing material
absolutely so I would make one comment
is that the people that generate are the
companies that generate technical data
for these polymers that all the
reputable suppliers out there they are
putting out good data and earnest data
so there would be nothing to suggest is
not that but it is marketing material so
my biggest piece of advice would be is
to engage directly with the supplier and
have a technical relationship such that
you can describe the polymer are sorry
describe the problem that you’re
experiencing and developer trustful
relationships such that you can be
confident that their recommendation
coming back is you know as appropriate
and I would say try to find a supplier
that sometimes when you’re talking with
them that their product is not the
answer to your problem because you know
there’s there’s there’s no wonder
polymer out there and it’s really no
supplier that has the solution to every
single problem and application so you
really need to have a partner you need
to have somebody that understands you
and your problem wants to help I think
so I think so and I think you can find
that at multiple sources within this
industry I think that’s one of the
benefits of being within the AWT and
being independent water treatment
company that’s a collaborative
environment so let’s let’s ask this so
now we’ve done all that work we think
everything is perfect if we go out and
we find that it’s not the right polymer
how would we know that
what would we do well that’s a great
question I I think the worst-case
scenario that we’re you you find that
out is that you see you know you you see
failure that you see that the polymer
doesn’t function to solve the the issue
that you that you’re trying to solve so
I think that’s kind of the worst case
scenario but frankly there are some
pretty basic things that you that anyone
could do to look at structure function
properties of polymers you know as an
example you can look at stability of
different polymers in the presence of
increasing concentrations of calcium so
if you’re looking to run you know a
polymer for a high cycle
application where you have pretty high
pH alkalinity and hardness levels and
you’re concerned about polymer stability
you could take you know some of your
cooling water and then test for polymer
stability by simple you know turbidity
and visual type testing or you can even
do bottle testing to look at differences
if you want to go to that extreme but I
think you know ultimately just having
that collaborative relationship with the
supplier is the best best option so when
we put all of our products together
polymers are one ingredient do we need
to be aware that some things work better
with others yes I think so and if I you
know there’s this idea in particular
that polymers and phosphonates can work
synergistically together the interesting
thing about that is that there’s there’s
this basic perception that that’s true
but there’s not a lot of evidence out
there is no other technical data to say
yeah if I use my polymer and phosphonate
together that that I’m going to see one
and one equals something more than two
and in fact there’s some theories out
there that they could compete with each
other to perform so the short answer to
your question is is that I think you
should almost look at it more like
pairing that you when you’re putting
your formulation together you need to
select each of the right additives that
that will pair together well to to
overall you treat the application and
solve the problems that you have I
wouldn’t get my expectations up so much
that want to combine a particular
polymer and a particular phosphonate
that I get a synergy but you know if
nothing else you need to pair the the
products together let me give you a
little bit of example of that pretty
well known that a TDP as I phosphonate
it has some stability issues or
sensitivity to calcium so if you’re
trying to formulate a product and you
pick this you know wonder polymer for
calcium carbonate control and some high
LSI application but then you formulate
that with a TDP that’s known to not
really function in those applications
and you’ve probably paired the two
materials inappropriately you know you
might want to select a different
phosphonate that also is known to have
functionality like TB TC in hi LSI
waters so maybe a little bit more than
what you’re asking for but I think
overall I would say don’t expect synergy
but certainly make sure that you’re
selecting the materials that are going
to you know function in the given
environment together
when you make an interesting point in my
years in water treatment you know I like
to go to a textbook and be able to
verify what I’m trying to do and in this
instance it just doesn’t exist it’s more
of an art what you say absolutely and
here’s the other other soapbox point
that I would make and I believe this as
a guy that’s been a chemical out of this
guy from day one in this industry water
treatment is a service business period
the end what your listeners and what
everybody really should come to grips
with is that in the end service is what
carries the day in terms of successful
water treatment the addit is like
polymers phosphonates what have you are
essentially the tools and ultimately
everyone has access to the same
technology so the difference between
success and failure and water treatment
largely starts with service and that is
again kind of why I would say you start
with the problem work your way back to
the chemistry and do that in a
collaborative fashion you know with your
suppliers to get to a formulation it’s
going to have the best shot at working
can you test for polymers once they’re
in the system so yes there are a few
ways to test for polymers there are some
polymer companies that actually put tags
on onto their polymers where you can
test them uniquely with immunoassay type
methods similar to pregnancy type tests
although those really haven’t fully
taken on but what you see a little bit
more broadly is that people will test
polymers with a turbidity type method
and there’s a couple of companies tested
companies that offer these turbidity
tests and in principle that is pretty
simple most of the polymers are being
used or anionic or at least have anionic
components the way these test kits work
is you add a actually another polymer
this cationic to the solution containing
your an ionic polymer it forms a
turbidity that’s proportional to the
level of
polymer that’s in the water and those
tests they work they’re not perfect
you’re not going to say well I have 1.5
3 ppm a polymer and my circulating water
but you might be able to say look I have
one or I have five or I have 10 ppm a
polymer my circulating water so I know a
lot of our listeners are using TTS a can
PTSA be used to trace polymers so I
would generally say no it can be used to
trace formulation concentration all that
PTSA or molybdate or any other tracer
that’s added an inert tracer that’s
added to your formulation does is tell
you how much of your formulation that
you fed it really is more of a measure
of your pumps and your calculation so
system volume that you’re feeding
appropriately here’s the issue with
saying okay it’s so it’s a proxy PPSA or
molybdate as a proxy for everything else
that you’re adding but the problem is is
that pts a doesn’t necessarily have the
same fate once it gets into the
circulating water that the polymer the
phosphonate the A’s all you know your
other components had as an example you
know polymers are going to tend to
absorb on the solids so you know where
the pts a might not necessarily do that
so you might be measuring under ppb of
PTSA and assume you’ve got 10 ppm a
polymer in your application but ok 5 ppm
of that polymer absorbed onto all of the
suspended solids that are in the system
so short answer is it’s only a proxy and
it really only tells you that you feet
fed at the correct rate the fate of the
additives generally are not necessarily
guaranteed to be the same as the fate of
PTSA or molybdate so it sounds like
you’re saying if you’re using some sort
of tracing material that’s great but you
need to back that up with another test
of a functional group that’s actually
going out and doing something to make
sure you have enough yes I think that
that’s true and I think there’s two
schools of thought you know one is
performance based testing with
I kind of fall a little bit more into
that school of thought as you know I’m
more concerned about on an average you
know how did the condensers look out of
the corrosion coupons look as opposed to
you know how many ppm of polymer that I
could have in the solution at any given
time and the other school of thought
would be is that yes you measure PTSA
and then you try to back that up with
measurements of phosphorous for your
phosphate or phosphonate materials or
you know turbidity for the polymer type
testing so we have a multitude of
different experience levels that listen
to this podcast so for somebody that’s
just starting out and they’re interested
in this and they want to find out more
information so this starts making a
little bit more sense what advice would
you have for them my advice and this is
not a not a sales pitch for AWT but I
would say absolutely get engaged in AWT
there’s a tremendous amount of resources
from training you know the AWT has
annual training on the east and west
coast every year the convention is a
great place to see all the suppliers and
pick their brains of wear them out in
the booth we got to you know stand in
these booths for hours on the end you
know make us work while we’re in there
you know you can get a lot of
information there there’s a lot of
papers and technical papers and
resources within AWT now I’m gonna throw
one that’s a little different out there
look at patents you know go to Google
patent and look up patents you know just
do a simple search term calcium
carbonate inhibition you know cooling
tower and see what patents come up it
might be a little intimidating up front
but there’s a wealth of information
within the patent literature for you
know how things work on a structure
function type a basis great tip well for
those people out there that are just
going to start in there working with
their employer their manager whoever and
they want to start to have this
conversation with their their boss what
would you recommend they how they start
would recommend a couple things I would
recommend that they ask their boss that
they can be paired up with someone else
in the company that you know have some
experience that can be a mentor I think
that could be a great you know learning
situation I would certainly you know try
to ask if if they could take courses
within the AWT training or at least have
some resources to the technical training
manual or there’s some online training
within AWT but I think mentoring is
probably the way to learn in this
industry and and I guess lastly if if
they can have access to suppliers to ask
questions about you know how to added
its work and why you know I think that
there’s the the beauty of this industry
as it is very collaborative I think
people find that that other people in
the industry are very very willing to
help what would you say the next new
thing in polymers is well that’s I think
one of the things that we’re seeing a
lot of is this idea of really pushing
water kind of beyond the limits of the
existing and it is to prevent
precipitation of scaling materials like
calcium carbonate so this manifests
itself say into increased cycles water
conservation those types of things or
use a very very poor quality water as
makeup for cooling towers say waste
water or what have you I think that
there’s going to be a little bit of a
mindset change just by necessity that
you know there’ll be more polymers out
there that are used to control a
deposition that where precipitation is
occurring where you no longer can can
keep everything in solution so you’re
really pushing these waters to the point
of getting precipitation and using the
polymers and other additives to control
deposition and prevent deposits and
reduction that heat transfer the other
thing is green you know greens always on
the horizon I heard someone say the
other day
a really great they said you know with
green you have price-performance and
green you can pick any two and if you
kind of think about that that is where
we are at this point in the industry you
can get low price green materials that
really don’t perform or you can get
high-priced materials that are green and
and perform or you know you can get
things that aren’t green and that
perform and are reasonably priced I
think that ultimately someone will
evolve a technology that that has green
components to it that are acceptable
performance that is acceptable and hit
the price target that you know is
acceptable to the industry as well well
what else should people know about
polymers what haven’t I asked you you
know I think the the biggest kind of
misnomer about polymers and the thing
that people kind of need to have in
their mind about polymers is that they
are not discrete molecules and
particularly the types of polymers are
used in water treatment and ‘im in the
way that they’re prepared in their
molecular way they’re not precise they
are precise and the performance in many
cases but these things are mixtures of a
lot of different molecular waves a lot
of different compositions in some cases
and they’re not a discrete molecules say
like a phosphonate that has a certain
number of atoms to it so that really to
me is it is a big kind of misnomer and
and really drives home the point that it
is imperative that either the user has a
good understanding of the polymers or
that they have a good collaborative
relationship with the supplier to help
kind of decipher that because it’s not
clear-cut in selection and performance
it’s just not a simple equation that
there’s a lot of art in in what goes on
with polymers so Mike we’ve had a really
good conversation around polymers but
can we talk about the functionality of
the polymer yeah absolutely you know
just as we
that there’s you know the 60 to 75
different types of polymers but boils
down to three functionalities
carboxylates sulfonate non-ionic same is
kind of true with how the products work
it boils down to three primary
functionalities one is threshold
inhibition which in very simple terms is
just maintaining solubility beyond where
it otherwise would would be for things
like calcium carbonate or calcium
phosphate what-have-you the next is
particulate dispersion and that’s pretty
straightforward we’re trying to suspend
solids in solution and polymers will
will do that and then the third primary
functionality that polymers have is this
idea of crystal modification and frankly
that’s maybe in some ways the most
important one because I’m sure many of
your listeners have seen images of
modified crystals in the presence of
polymers what the polymers do in that
case is they distort the crystals that
are precipitating say calcium carbonate
and really have an impact on how well
they can adhere to surfaces so crystal
modification can be very very important
as precipitation occurs to prevent
adherent deposition and just by the way
these same types of polymers are used in
other areas of our lives for exactly the
same purpose it’s just called different
things in the detergent industry these
types of polymers are used for crystal
modification to impact at what they were
calling crustacean so if you wash your
dark clothes many times in a hard water
area your your black shirt starts to
look gray well that’s calcium carbonate
we’ll use polymers form crystal
modification to help impact the way that
the crystals deposit or mitigate their
deposition onto the fabric same is true
and automatic dishwashing applications
where you see you’re hazing classes with
these types of polymers you know and
have the same type of impact around
crystal modification such that you just
don’t see the same
with Asian of the scale on to the
surface so threshold we concentrate up
higher than we could with without the
polymer dispersion when it comes out of
solution we’re making it slick so we
can’t stick to any surface and crystal
modification when it does come out of
solution it’s not easily stackable so
it’s not going to create that nice
concrete scale that we’re talking about
is that basically what you’re saying I
think that’s basically what I’m saying
and I would make two very simple points
there is with threshold inhibition the
phenomenon there is that you can add
very low levels of polymers have
phosphonates to solubilize or maintain
the solubility of things like calcium
carbonate at very very high levels so
it’s not a stoichiometric relationship
so that’s what distinguishes threshold
inhibition from just sequestration or
chelation don’t notice certain polymers
just do one of these functional groups
that they do several yeah they do they
can do one or more as an example
maleic rich materials which are kabak
slate that they tend to be more just
threshold inhibitors those products tend
to be very low molecular weight and we
mentioned earlier that the lower
molecular weight tend to be more
threshold in inhibitors so those
materials actually aren’t very good
particulate dispersants but what they
also do very well is distort or modify
crystals so they do two of the three
things and you may have another type of
polymer that is a very very good
dispersant but you know it’s pretty poor
in terms of threshold inhibition or
crystal modification a great example of
that is poly methyl acrylate so they’re
used in boilers a storage conditioner so
that there’s honestly they’re not any
singular polymer that does it all
despite the marketing literature even
our products don’t do it all so again I
said that you have an amazing ability to
take something very complex and make it
very simple you said we had over a
thousand polymers out there you boil
those down to really
60 to 75 that we use in water treatment
and of those 60 to 75 there are three
groups I believe you said carboxylates
often aids non ionics and then depending
on what they do there’s three groups of
functionality which are threshold
dispersion and crystal modification did
I get all that right Mike you did what I
would say on dispersion it’s really not
about making the particulate slick it’s
more about just electrostatic repulsion
so we’re just trying to keep them
suspended in solution as opposed to
really changing their surface
characteristics a whole lot is it’s
mainly just keeping them repelled so
they don’t elaborate and become large
enough to drop allocations so everything
gets the same charge so they don’t want
to come together well Mike I can’t think
of a better conversation around polymers
and and really how can somebody get
started to start to understand this very
complex topic so I want to thank you for
having this conversation but I’m not
done with you yet I do have a couple of
bonus lightning round questions the
audience get to know you a little bit
better what was the last book that
you’ve read oh well I’m actually
currently reading I like to read these
Navy SEAL books I’m currently reading a
Rob O’Neal’s book called the operator
firing shots that killed Osama bin Laden
that’s kind of interesting to me penny
so but I will tell you my favorite book
which you didn’t ask so I guess it’s
breaking the rules of the lightning
round we have no rules here okay Gregg
it was my favorite book and I’d
encourage people to try this one out is
called topaz as written by Leon URIs is
actually an Alfred Hitchcock movie as
well but that’s that’s my favorite book
of all time so Mike when they make a
movie about Mike Standish who plays my
extenders it had to be somebody big let
me think
yeah I don’t know maybe who I would like
to play me as price somebody like
Bradley Cooper or some really
good-looking guy but probably more
somebody like yeah Brian Dennehy or
somebody like that okay
and then if you could have a
conversation with anyone throughout
history who would it be with and why it
would probably be John Wilkes Booth I’ll
tell you why I have no aberration for
him but I like to read some of the books
about Lincoln’s assassination now I just
like to understand kind of what was
going through his head there’s been a
lot of speculation about that but you
know what was going through his head
leading up to this action fascination
and then you know during his escape that
he tried to make for a few days you have
being on the run
they’re probably some better answers I
mean honestly if I could go back and
talk to anybody I probably go back and
talk to my grandfather a little bit more
who raised me but you know out of a
historical figure I would say one of
them would be John Wilkes just to figure
out what was going through that man’s
mind Oh Mike I’ve certainly enjoyed
speaking with you today and I do want to
thank you for coming on our show
absolutely and if any of your listeners
would like to reach out there welcome to
get in touch with me and be happy to do
webex’s or anything to go into some of
this stuff more thoroughly all right
I’ll be sure to put your contact
information on our show notes page okay
that sounds great well I hope you
enjoyed that interview with Mike
Standish of radical polymers Mike just
has a great way of taking the huge world
of polymers and boiling it down into a
very simplistic way for us to understand
the paper that he did for AWT I will
have the abstract on my show notes page
and I’ll also have the websites and
other things that Mike and I spoke about
on my show notes page I’m gonna go ahead
and answer one question since this was a
longer show and the question I’m gonna
answer is about pesticide licensing and
this individuals writing to me is
they’re not sure if they need a
pesticide license or not well first off
let’s talk about a pesticide license now
we as water treaters are lumped in to
the same type of licensing that somebody
who does a rodent or bug or pest control
in many of our
so we are required to get a pesticide
license in order to apply our biocides
now some states do not have this other
states do so in Georgia this is
controlled by the Department of
Agriculture and what I would recommend
is that you go to your State Department
of Agriculture and see if that is a
license that you need if it is then by
all means figure out what you need to do
in order to get that license because if
you are applying biocides and do not
have the appropriate license in some
states it could be find in some states
it could be jail time so they’re very
very serious about this a source you may
be able to go to is Kelly solutions.com
they’re not the only registration hub
for all the states but they have the
majority of all those states so you
might be able to find some information
there and I definitely recommend if you
know somebody an AWT that in your same
state please reach out to them and ask
them what they know about pesticide
licensing that might actually be
something that we might want to
encourage the association of Water
Technologies to do is maybe compile a
list of where pesticide licenses are
required for the various states and then
I’ll even go as far and say as the
education co-chair we can see what we
can do for getting the technical papers
that we presents either at AWT or
especially with the technical training
that we do qualified for some of that
continuing education so we’ll start
looking into that you guys start looking
into make sure you’re doing what you’re
supposed to do I’m sure you’ve heard
that ignorant of the law is not an
excuse and above all else I want to
thank you for listening to scaling up I
sure do that a lot of fun bringing it to
you
I hope to see you at the AWT
invention and until then make sure
you’re doing something to make yourself
a better water treater tomorrow and you
are today have a great week folks
you
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