What Is Reverse Osmosis and Where Can it Be Used?


What is reverse osmosis and why is it useful? You may have thought about getting a reverse osmosis system for your home water, or you may just be curious about how reverse osmosis is used for desalination, wastewater treatment, or recycling. Whatever your interest, read on to understand what it is and how it’s useful.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

At its most basic, reverse osmosis is a technique for water purification. Reverse osmosis starts by using a membrane to remove the large particles from water. Then, applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure and remove molecules and ions from the water. This would include bacteria molecules. The pressure is applied as the water is forced through the membrane, and water or other molecules with a molecular weight of less than 200 g per mole are able to get through the membrane. What’s left behind is the stuff you don’t want. Whatever has been rejected is then swept away from the membrane.

What is Revere Osmosis Good For Traditionally?

There are commercial, residential, and industrial applications for reverse osmosis. A reverse osmosis system can be a great choice for filtering and softening residential or even camping water. In industrial applications, reverse osmosis is used when enormous volumes of water must be cleaned to a very high level of purity. Reverse osmosis is typically used for semiconducting, to create pharmaceutical grade water, in the food and beverage industries, and in metal finishing.

What is Reverse Osmosis Used For Now?

While reverse osmosis continues to make an excellent water softener and filtration system for private homes and for many industries, is increasingly being adopted for use in power production. When you create power through steam, the water you use must be very pure. Steam impurities can greatly reduce the amount of electricity that is produced and cause problems with equipment. Power plants have to spend money to clean their water or they will spend even more money fixing problems and burning up extra fuel to produce the same amount of electricity. Current methods for cleaning this water require the use of hazardous chemicals. Reverse osmosis technology offers an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to purify water for boiler feeding. When a reverse osmosis system is used by power producers, energy output is typically increased by 10% or more.

What Is Reverse Osmosis Good for Residentially?

When it comes to the residential use of reverse osmosis water filtration systems, reverse osmosis has a lot of applications. In places where the tap water is not safe, a reverse osmosis system can provide an inexpensive way of cleaning the water. In places where there is very little fresh drinking water, reverse osmosis can be used to desalinate saltwater. A reverse osmosis filtration system is also very useful to those in developing countries where water safety is a serious concern and other filtration systems are far too expensive for the average community.

A reverse osmosis system can not only remove bacteria and viruses, but also heavy metals, pesticides, salts, and herbicides. In fact, only reverse osmosis or expensive ultrafilters are capable of removing viruses from the water because of their extremely small size. The same is true of certain types of bacteria. E. coli and salmonella are only 0.2 and 4 ┬Ám in size, respectively, and this is too small for anything but the most expensive systems or reverse osmosis to remove. Reverse osmosis systems are also able to effectively soften water by removing the calcium and dissolved magnesium. The majority of the United States, approximately 80%, is afflicted with hard water which can make appliances run less efficiently and shorten their lifespan, ruin clothing, and be hard on the hair and skin

Reverse osmosis is a wonderful way of cleaning water with many applications to industrial and residential systems. If you have any reason to be concerned about the quality of your water, consider a whole house water softener and filtration system that utilizes reverse osmosis.