Effectiveness of Reverse Osmosis (RO)


Today, the best reverse osmosis system is no longer only used within the large-scale industrial production of drinking water from seawater, but also indoors for water and aquariums; even in mobile water purification systems that can be mounted on or under cranes. Moreover, the removal efficiency v.w.b. contamination and unwanted minerals among others, is determined by:

  • Supply water (composition, hardness, temperature)
  • The osmosis membrane (material, density, assembly)
  • The diminutive size of the substances to be removed
  • The polarity & loading of these substances

Osmosis water will always contain some residual values. Most of the membranes to obtain at least 95 to 97 percent of all solutes from tap water; These are minimum values. In practice, this will usually be significantly higher. High-quality ultra-filtration membranes such as the ‘Filmtec 50 GPD’ (190 liters) and ‘Filmtec 75 GPD’ (285 liters) filter 98 to 99+ percent of all of the dissolved substances from the water supply. The TDS (total dissolved solids), and micro-Siemens (conductivity) of the osmosis water will in that case hardly be even more measurable.

The effectiveness and capacity of an osmotic device are mainly dependent on membrane quality, water hardness, water temperature and pressure net. But also of ionic mass, structure, bonding and load.

Water pump

The pump is essential for reverse osmosis. There are osmosis filters for tap water using only the hydraulic pressure of the water pipes; but there are also with a built-in electro-mechanical pump, or with a separate booster pump. A larger pump power (and therefore a higher working pressure) not only provides a higher water yield but as well osmosis water. Because purer substances (mineral salts, iron, manganese, organic + bacteriological growth) get off on the membrane surface membrane fouling occurs. This contamination to the quality of the layer can drastically affect dramatically or even contrary. It flushes the bunch thoroughly clean to a few minutes ‘flushing’ of the membrane with water for 10 seconds. The existing pump also plays a crucial role in this flush-cleaning mechanism.

The above five aspects are just some of the key factors that yield and quality -or at least define the purity of the final osmosis water.

What elements are removed by reverse osmosis?

By using an RO membrane which is osmosis membrane receivers for hyperfiltration, the following substances can be extracted from tap water:

  • Sediment from pipes as lime deposits, asbestos, copper and lead
  • Suspect organic materials, microbes and micro-organisms (bacteria, among others, and viruses)
  • All kinds of carbon compounds
  • Most dissolved solid molecules and ions: mineral salts and metal salts; barium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, chromium, copper, zinc, iron, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, nitrates, sulfates, etc.
  • The majority of heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, silver, etc.
  • Most radioactive elements and their isotopes (radium, strontium)
  • Almost all molecules with a molecular mass greater than 300 (u), including industrial chemicals, agricultural poisons, medicine residues, hormones, etc.

RO-semi-permeable membranes to remove carbon and carbon compounds having an extremely low molecular weight, such as TCE and THM and all kinds of related (chlorine) compounds. Also no dissolved gasses (gas molecules) such as hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, carbon dioxide and oxygen. And hardly exceptional small organic compounds, toxic organic chemicals and biological compounds that quickly pass in gaseous form. Unique dissolved elemental substances -including boron also pass through the osmosis membrane.

Also, the bacteria and viruses sometimes fail who, because of (or along) to come osmosis membrane, despite the fact that they are many times larger than the membrane pores. This may have the following causes:

  • They go through the membrane in places where the membrane is not completely in order
  • There are abnormally large pores present in the layer.
  • They work by leaking corners or places where the glued membrane
  • They worm by seals.

For tap water, moreover, this does not have to be such a problem, since it is already not or hardly microbes and micro-organisms are present.

In addition to all the above pollutants, there are still impurities in the osmosis apparatus itself. Undesirable substances may also be used, after all, of the materials to be separated in the RO system. By using an active carbon filter as a final filter, these substances may be removed. Finally, any bacteria can be slain in the charcoal filter by placing a UV-filter at the end of the circuit.

Because waste does not remain in the system but is discharged towards the sewer, usually arises no accumulation of harmful substances in a quality osmosis device.


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