Desalination Process in Reverse Osmosis Systems

The process of desalination is a water treatment technology used to efficiently remove particles called the “solute” (e.g. salt) from the “solvent” that is the saline or brackish water to produce a “solution,” which is the fresh, potable water.

Brief History

Desalination began in 1940s during World War II as a method to provide potable water for troops of different military establishments, namely those in dry areas. Developments transpired during the post-war years when scientists did various studies on the presently-used osmosis systems. These systems were found to be more economical with relation to energy consumption and finances, hence are being used for commercial and industrial purposes like the oil and gas trade.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

On the other hand, reverse osmosis systems are simply the inverse process of the usual osmosis treatment. In addition, a semi-permeable membrane is used in the system and becomes the filter between the solute and solvent. A certain amount of pressure, approximately 50 to 60 bars, is forced on the membrane to counteract the natural osmotic pressure of the solution with a higher level of concentration. The pressure is just as important since it’s needed for the solvent to successfully pass through the membrane and produce a distilled water solution.

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