| What is reverse osmosis? How does it work? What are some of the things it is used for?
Reverse osmosis is a filtration process that is often used for water, but used for many applications. It works by using pressure to force a solution through a membrane,
retaining the solute on one side and allowing the pure solvent to pass to the other side. This is the reverse of the normal osmosis process, which is the natural movement
of solvent from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration when no external pressure is applied
Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a
pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure. The membranes used for reverse osmosis have a dense barrier layer in the polymer matrix where most separation occurs. In
most cases the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer while preventing the passage of solutes (such as salt ions). This process
requires that a high pressure be exerted on the high concentration side of the membrane.
This process is best known for its use in desalination (removing the salt from sea water to get fresh water), but it has also been used to purify fresh water for medical,
industrial and domestic applications since the early 1970s.
Osmosis describes how solvent moves between two solutions separated by a semi-permeable membrane to reduce concentration differences between the solutions.
When two solutions with different concentrations of a solute are mixed, the total amount of solutes in the two solutions will be equally distributed in the total amount of
solvent from the two solutions. Instead of mixing the two solutions together, they can be put in two compartments where they are separated from each other by a
semi-permeable membrane. The semi-permeable membrane does not allow the solutes to move from one compartment to the other, but allows the solvent to move. Since
equilibrium cannot be achieved by the movement of solutes from the compartment with high solute concentration to the one with low solute concentration, it is instead
achieved by the movement of the solvent from areas of low solute concentration to areas of high solute concentration. When the solvent moves away from low
concentration areas, it causes these areas to become more concentrated. On the other side, when the solvent moves into areas of high concentration, solute
concentration will decrease. This process is termed osmosis. The tendency for solvent to flow through the membrane can be expressed as osmotic pressure since it is
analogous to flow caused by a pressure differential.
1) A sediment filter to trap particles including rust and calcium carbonate.
2) A optional second sediment filter with smaller pores.
3) An activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals, and chlorine which will attack and degrade TFC reverse osmosis membranes.
4) A reverse osmosis (RO) filter which is a thin film composite membrane.
5) A optional second carbon filter to capture those chemicals not removed by the RO membrane.
6) A optional ultra-violet lamp for disinfecting any microbes that may escape filtering by the reverse osmosis membrane.
There are several applications for the use of reverse osmosis technology. At WATERGUY Reverse Osmosis we make systems for:
bottled water, spot free rinse for car washes, maple sap, powder coating, bio-diesel, chemical mixing, food processing, crystal clear bagged ice, portable water purification
systems, plating applications and many more things.
Is reverse osmosis a US technology and who was responsible for the first demonstration of reverse osmosis?
In the late 1940s, researchers began examining ways in which pure water could be extracted from salty water. During the Kennedy administration, saline water conversion
was a high priority technology goal. Supported by federal and state funding, a number of researchers quickly advanced the science and technology of sea water
conversion, but UCLA made a significant breakthrough in 1959 and became the first to demonstrate a practical process known as reverse osmosis.