How Does Reverse Osmosis Work to Purify Water?

(Last Updated On: December 8, 2020)

The scarcity of water is not limited to third world countries. Just blame it on excessive pollutants floating around in the environment or global warming. There is no denying that there is a shortage of water and is becoming a huge global threat.

Adopting RO Technology

Various water treatment plants and companies are going forwards with the RO method of the purification procedure.

They feel that it is fit for human consumption. The procedure was developed naturally in most of the seabirds having a membrane in their throat. This helped them to separate water molecules from the salt.

Working Of RO To Purify Water

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the procedure through which you can restore and desalinate water’s purity.

In this procedure, the solution is allowed to pass from a semi-permeable membrane. When two aqueous solutions of various concentrations are made to pass through a barrier, it is bound to flow to a solution having a higher concentration.

In the RO, this procedure is reversed through the application of counterforce, making it strong enough to oppose the osmotic pressure.

The liquid will be pushed to the membrane, thereby forming a less concentrated solution.

Here the water molecules will be easily fit into the matrix of the membrane as they form hydrogen bonds through the reverse osmosis procedure.

But here, the soluble and organic particles and organisms having a molecular weight of more than 100 will be directly sieved out.

Regarding the salt ions, they are small and can easily pass through the membrane. But these will get rejected due to their high valence.

Due to the electric charges’ presence, the salt ions will be repelled from the membrane’s surface. Here roughly 85%-96% of the ionic salts will be flushed out in this manner.

Frankly, filters, portable water purifiers, and other water treatment methods would be using the RO procedure for desalinating and removing water from dust, bacteria, and other particles.

Can Quality Of Water Be Better?

If you check out, most of the artificial membranes made from the RO purification are polysulfone, cellulose acetate, and polyamide.

Here the sieve of these sorts will be thin and having hundreds of holes that are as tiny as 0.0001 microns, allowing only water to pass through.

Thereby the pollutants and soluble particles would be aggregated straight away, making the water pure.

However, a small percentage would still remain. Frankly, reverse osmosis removes almost 93%-96% of major pollutants from water.

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