Reverse Osmosis! What Does It Mean?

By: Susan Sportman


The process in which unadulterated water and unhygienic water are set apart using a semi-permeable membrane is called Reverse Osmosis. This procedure is a very indispensable technique utilized in water purification processes.

Through reverse osmosis, water impurities like turbidity (the cloudiness of water), chlorinated pesticides, liquefied solids, deadly heavy metals like radium and lead and other filth and foreign matters are eliminated. Aside from being used in waste water purification, it is also used in maple syrup production, hydrogen production, reef aquarium keeping, dialysis and car washing. The food and wine industries also make use of this procedure extensively.

The process of water purification:
Using reverse osmosis to set apart the contaminants from unadulterated water, the process of water purification goes through a number of stages.

The pre-filtration process is the initial stage wherein the biggest elements are eliminated. Commonly used to sieve the elements is a carbon or activated carbon-based filter.

Next, the remaining water from the 1st stage traverses a semi-permeable or an exceptionally fine covering that normally includes a thick blockade in the polymer matrix. The layout is purposely created to permit just the liquid molecules to traverse, thereby sifting the contaminants further as some may have escaped from the 1st stage.
To make certain that unadulterated water goes through the lamina to the other area, force should be employed.

Keeping the unadulterated or purified water for drinking is the holding tank.

Reverse osmosis technique:
As the name implies, reverse osmosis is the absolute antithesis of osmosis. The latter is the normal motion of water from a higher place to a lower place and happens as nature has it.

On the other hand, reverse osmosis requires pressure. It is based on the scientific approach that when two liquids originating from differing heights of concentrations are separated by a semi-permeable lamina, liquid will gush through the lamina to the direction where concentration is elevated brought about by osmotic pressure. Adequate pressure must be enforced to beat the osmotic pressure and thereby efficiently alter the water flow. So this is the technique of reverse osmosis. It shoves the water molecules in the direction of the lamina.

The significance of the lamina or membrane in reverse osmosis:
Reverse osmosis cannot be completed without the presence of the membrane. It is the principal component to complete the reverse osmosis process. It is held responsible in eradicating salts, viruses, bacteria, liquefied solids, and destructive chemicals and all other contaminants and impurities in the water. In industrial reverse osmosis, the membranes are commonly made of polyamide, cellulose acetate and polyslfonate. The lamina's skins act as active blockade to contaminants as well as letting clean water to traverse.

Salts, proteins, sugars, elements, bacteria, dyes and other components with a molecular weight of more than 150 - 250 daltons can be thrown out by reverse osmosis. Supported by charged particles or elements, ions can likewise be divided by reverse osmosis. Hence, disbanded charged ions like salts have a great possibility of being discarded by the lamina compared to those uncharged like organics. The bigger particle or element that has the bigger charge has a big percentage of being discarded.

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I have worked in the drainage industry for a long time, over Twenty years in fact. Most of my time I have spent working for a company called Gas Heating Repair London and I have seen some pretty sites and some not so pretty sites.

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