How Reverse Osmosis Works

How Reverse Osmosis Works

You may have heard about reverse osmosis systems without fully understanding the technology, what they do, and what the benefits of reverse osmosis are. In this article, we’re exploring how reverse osmosis works and whether it can be a solution for you, in either a commercial or industrial setting.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis, sometimes abbreviated to “RO” is a filtration system that uses a thin membrane to pass water through while getting stopping other impurities or imperfections in the water. The membrane is porous with tiny little ‘holes’ which are small enough to let water through, but do not let other things like salts and bacteria to go through.

Due to the fact that the system is relatively simple and purifies water to a high standard, it has been used in industry for hundreds of years. In the 1960’s, systems like this were sold commercially as people started to install reverse osmosis system options within their homes.

The Process of Reverse Osmosis Filtration

Reverse osmosis works continually within a water supply. It uses pressure to send water through the thin membrane which gets rid of any impurities, leaving them behind while purer water passes through.

Osmosis refers to the fact water tends to have dissolved salts within. The systems reverse this. In nature, osmosis is used by plants to get the nutrients they need. In human organs, osmosis can be used to pick and choose certain liquids. Kidneys get water from blood running through your system by using osmosis.

RO is designed to use the same system to allow water through without the impurities. Around 75-85% of the water fed through usually gets purified and lots of imperfections are removed. A pump is used to pass the water through the membrane.

What Does it Remove?

As well as knowing how reverse osmosis works it is important to know how you can use the systems to your advantage. What can you remove from your water by using this type of system?

Reverse osmosis is a form of nanofiltration and can filter out extremely small components which may be found within water. Even municipal water supplies have a lot of other imperfections or chemicals within them. Some of the chemicals are added to treat the water, and then you can remove these within a RO system within your home.
Imperfections that can be filtered out include sodium, iron, mercury, lead, nickel, chloride and fluoride. A lot of people are concerned about some of these elements getting into their water. Fluoride, for instance, is usually reduced by over 90% by the process of elimination. This is called hard water.

There are lots of other elements and contaminants that can be filtered out. These often depend on where the water is being collected from or what has been added to the municipal water supply in your area.

The unit of size that these elements are normally measured in is microns. This form of filtration can sometimes filter down to as small as 0.001 microns depending on which system you get installed.

Pros of Reverse Osmosis Compared to Other Filtration Methodshow does reverse osmosis system work

There are many different filtration methods available for both industrial use (in factories, for instance) or for use within the home to purify the water you have available.

Here are some of the key benefits of reverse osmosis systems:

  • No need to add any hazardous chemicals which could be dangerous to have lying around or if handled incorrectly.
  • Modular design means that installing these types of systems is very simple.
  • The system doesn’t require much energy, especially if you are comparing to distillation.
  • You can integrate with other filtration systems if needed.
  • RO systems are really simple and easy to operate.
  • They can reduce costs and allow you to spend less on water and sewage-related costs.

Reverse osmosis sounds like something that is really technical and reserved for use in factories or for scientific applications. Our article aims to demystify this a bit. RO is a system that anyone can take advantage of, and installing it within your home is exceptionally simple. You should make sure that you understand the advantages over other filtration systems before deciding if reverse osmosis is for you.

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