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How does Reverse Osmosis system work?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a technique to filter water you increasingly be reflected in households. An osmosis apparatus for tap water is also known as:

  • Osmosis device c.q. Osmosis unit
  • Reverse Osmosis Device & reverse osmosis filter
  • Osmosis Water Filter System
  • Reverse Osmosis water filter
  • Reverse osmosis water filter
  • Reverse osmosis plant (RDI)
  • Reverse Osmosis filter (ROF)

Osmosis device with osmosis filter is according to many the ideal solution for filtering tap water c.q. Tap water to achieve perfect and crystal clear water. But is this best reverse osmosis system necessary?

Reverse osmosis for tertiary treatment of water

Reverse Osmosis is a form of membrane filtration, which also includes microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration belong. If the layer is extremely dense -as in reverse osmosis case is- one also speaks of hyperfiltration. (Source + Source) Here the necessary information for further purifying and filtering drinking water using a reverse osmosis device

Osmosis process

In nature (especially in humans, animals, and plants) is osmosis; it relates to the natural mixing of two liquids through a semi-permeable membrane. Such layer allows individual atoms and molecules indeed through, but others (almost) no. Due to osmosis, for example, be transmitted by some water molecules, but virtually no salt molecules and many other solutes in tap water. Osmosis there partially to ensure that the liquid containing the lowest concentration of dissolved substances through the membrane to the fluid with the highest concentration of solutes flowing until a certain equilibrium is reached concerning some dissolved substances on both sides of the membrane.

Osmosis is a single flow of fluid passing through a wall/membrane. Some membranes have the property to obtain a pure water through, but particles of not dissolved substances; they are called semi-permeable or semi-permeable membranes. Such a membrane separates two different liquids from each other. If, on the one hand, is pure water and a solution of impure water containing all kinds of undesirable substances on the other side, then to the purest hand more water molecules in contact with the membrane than on the other side. Because water molecules are continuously in movement under the influence of molecular diffusion, they have an absolute chance to push itself through the wall. Thus increasingly disappearing pure water toward the impure side.

This involved osmotic process forms the basis of reverse osmosis or ‘reverse osmosis (RO). Osmosis can namely be reversed by applying pressure to the contaminated water

Reverse osmosis process

In the case of the semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane is used as a filter. The osmotic process is changed by water under pressure by pressing a semi-permeable membrane. The ultra-filtration membrane for reverse osmosis is designed such that small molecules of water of pure water can get through it, but larger particles (of substances dissolved in water) will not. Thus, these remain behind in the “waste water”. (Source + Source)

Here is an animation in which reverse osmosis is explained to a high seawater filtration systems; This process also takes place in an osmosis device directly after the water meter or in your kitchen cupboard set, but significantly smaller:

All in all, two different fluids with the same volume separated from each other by a semi-permeable or semipermeable wall containing billions of microscopically small holes. The fluid on the one side is pure water; the liquid, on the other hand, is a polluted aqueous solution in which all kinds of undesirable substances are present. Both fluids are in contact with the wall that separates them from each other.

By applying a pressure difference, this membrane may serve as a filter over the wall (a semi-transmissive / semi-permeable membrane c.q. membrane). The solvent (in this case water) thus will move to the outside; this is the place where the sum of the external pressure and the osmotic pressure is the lowest.

If the external pressure on the side of the concentrated solution is large enough, it will be pure solvent (pure water) are pressed to the other hand, without having to take the solutes. In the case of water treatment, this just means that very hard water is forced through a membrane osmosis. Usually, with the aid of a pump.

The term ‘osmosis’ is derived from the Greek’ cosmos “which means something like” push; osmosis at a liquid pushes itself namely by a membrane.


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