Reverse Osmosis: Water Refining Technology

Reverse Osmosis is the most preferred and effective method for water purification with respect to desalination, waste water management, recycling and at some instances, for energy production. While you might have last seen the term ‘Osmosis’ and ‘Diffusion’ in your school science textbook, we once again explain you the phenomenon of Reverse Osmosis in detail.

To understand Reverse Osmosis, you need to be aware of Osmosis and diffusion. Diffusion refers to the molecular movement from an area of higher concentration to the area of lower concentration. When water is the molecule and where the concentration gradient passes through a semipermeable membrane, the diffusion is distinct in nature and is known as Osmosis. In this case, the semipermeable membrane does not allow the movement of ions and larger materials. The way pressure is infused from the concentrated side will determine the type of osmosis (Reverse, stop, slow).

Reverse Osmosis:

Reverse Osmosis is the movement of water from the lower concentration to higher concentration across the membrane opposed to the concentration gradient. Adhering to the same principle, water impurities that are huge in size including lead, copper, mud etc. will be blocked on one side of the piped water and will not be able to pass by the semi-permeable membrane. With the particles trapped on the one side of the faucet, you avail clean water on the other side of the membrane through the valve.

Process of Reverse Osmosis:

With respect to Reverse Osmosis, the filter mechanism goes through a few steps where each stage will attend to a specific concentration of filtration. However, the process may differ for every water processor where it might take only two steps in one and more than six steps in the other. While most of the water may pass through the pores, some may be used to clean the surface with it being prepared for the next rush. The first stage of Reverse Osmosis caters to the filtering of the pollutants by a carbon block up to a specific micron level. The thin size of the membrane may require some time for the system to purify. However, this problem is solved as the filter comes with a tank. When water is stored for some time in the tank, there are chances it may get impure as it absorbs the impurities where a carbon filter does the trick. Some filters add minerals in the water to enhance the quality of water after the entire cleaning process is done.

Reverse Osmosis is highly effective in areas with hard water and employ tube wells and bore-wells.

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