Understanding RO Chemicals

The reverse osmosis (RO) membrane has been touted as one of the premiere water treatment solutions out on the market. They can perform at their very best, however, when installed in locations with the appropriate conditions. This requires learning more about the chemicals that can make or break the filtration system. Here are some examples:


Boron can be found in seawater or brackish water in former inland seas at concentrations of five parts per million (ppm). RO membranes are capable of rejecting water due to their negative charge. When using RO membranes in water desalination, boron content must be reduced to no more than 0.05 ppm.


The chemical known for hardening human bones is a problem in the water filtration game. They are present in brackish water and contribute to their hardness, thus requiring use of anti-scalants to reduce their content in the final product.


Barium is a problem chemical in filtration because they can trigger scaling at the far end of an RO system. The chemical, especially barium sulfate, has a poor solubility that gets worse at lower temperatures.


Potassium is generally safe because their salts are water-soluble. As such they do not contribute to scaling in the filters.

Foreknowledge of the water in your area will be vital to choosing a system that can safely process it for your consumption. It’s your health on the line.


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