Reverse Osmosis Systems: The Basics of Operation

Since the 1960’s, reverse osmosis (RO) has become a popular way to purify water. Originally developed to remove the salt from seawater for commercial or industrial purposes, RO technology can now be used for the home thanks to residential RO filter systems. Here’s how it works.

To understand the RO process, you’ll need to know something about osmosis first. This natural process is found in every living cell, ensuring that they get nutrients and dangerous toxins are removed. Osmosis is what happens when two solutions of different concentrations are separated by a semipermeable membrane. The membrane only lets smaller molecules pass through and if one solution is less concentrated, then the more concentrated solution’s water will move to the other side even if the water pressure is the same.

Reverse osmosis turns such process around; it lets water from a less concentrated side to the more concentrated side via heightened water pressure. The reverse osmosis membrane then stops any foreign substance from passing through. This results in pure water on the other side of the membrane, while the dirty water is left to be flushed out on one side. Durable membrane housing also ensures that the membrane is protected and clean water won’t be contaminated by outside elements.

When done in a large scale, RO technology can be used to purify tons of water per day. For your home’s purposes though, this means that water can be purified instantly and you’ll have contaminant-free drinking water.


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