What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a process that uses membranes to remove over 95% of dissolved salts, such as calcium bicarbonate and sodium chloride, from water. It is used either alone or in combination with processes such as ion exchange in a variety of applications where the total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration in water has to be reduced. The RO membrane also acts as a very fine filter removing 99% of suspended and colloidal solids, bacteria and organic molecules with molecular weights in excess of about 200Da. This makes the process particularly attractive for applications where treated water not only has to be low in TDS but also of high clarity and free from bacteria, such as that used for soft drinks and pharmaceuticals manufacturing.
How does Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Work?
The RO water treatment process has an exceptional purifying efficiency and is a cost-effective technology for removing impurities. The RO membrane is typically a thin film polyamide and is stable over a wide pH range.
In RO water treatment, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic potential and force water molecules from an area of high solute concentration to an area of low solute concentration (which is the reverse of natural osmosis).
RO water is generally considered to be the output of a reverse osmosis machine that utilises an RO membrane. It can also refer to the water that is'rejected' by the membrane which is commonly reused as feedwater to improve system efficiency. Membranes used in reverse osmosis purifiers have varying pore sizes, although most pore that are less than 1nm in diameter will remove at 90% of ionic contamination. Membranes are most commonly composed of a thin polyamide film that is stable over a wide pH range.
Veolia Water Technologies offer a range of RO water systems including the latest RO, UV, deionisation and recirculation technology to ensure maximum purity of treated water. The RO water process has an exceptional purifying efficiency and is a cost effective way to purify water.
What are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis (RO) Treated Water?
RO water has many benefits over water produced using other purification methods, the most significant of which is that it effectively removes contaminants such as colloids, pyrogens and salts. What's more, it doesn't leave any residual materials like other water treatment techniques, e.g. chlorine disinfection. It is, however, advisable to pre-treat RO feedwater to prevent contaminants damaging the RO membrane.
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RO systems usually require a softened water feed to protect the membrane from the build up of hardness and to ensure optimum performance.