What is Reverse Osmosis?

Humans haven’t found a way to turn water into wine, but we have made it possible to turn salt water into something safer to drink.

Reverse osmosis is a process that purifies water using a semipermeable membrane. A semipermeable membrane allows the solvent to pass through while filtering out the solutes. For a clearer picture of the process, try to visualize a tank filled with salt water on one side and freshwater on the other. Applying pressure on the saltwater side would push the molecules through the semipermeable membrane, and the semipermeable membrane would then filter out the bigger-sized salt molecules while letting the smaller-sized water molecules pass through to the freshwater side. The pressurized side would now only contain salt molecules, while the amount of freshwater on the other side increases.

The discovery of reverse osmosis have made desalination possible today. The invention of reverse osmosis water filter systems have made this process accessible for commercial and residential use. You may not be aware of it, but reverse osmosis is presently applied in various everyday purposes such as purifying wastewater, maple syrup and fruit juice production, creating pure ethanol and, most importantly, making clean, drinkable water for people to enjoy.


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