What is Reverse Osmosis?

To understand the process of reverse osmosis it is important to know what osmosis is. The process of osmosis was first described by the French physiologist Rene Dutrochet (1776-1847). Osmosis is the net movement of water molecules across a selectively permeable membrane driven by a difference in solute concentrations on the two sides of a semipermeable membrane. The key to remember about osmosis is that water flows from the solution with the lower solute concentration into the solution with higher solute concentration. Equilibrium is reached once sufficient water has moved to equalize the solute concentration on both sides of the membrane. A hydrostatic pressure, also called osmotic pressure is procured on the membrane. Two common examples to illustrate osmosis are red blood cells and plants. Red blood cells either rupture or collapse when immersed in a solution of varying osmolarity. Water with a high salt solution will cause plants to wilt because of water loss.

Reverse osmosis (RO) or hyperfiltration is a separation process that employs pressure to force a solution through a semipermeable membrane that retains the solute on one side and allows the pure solvent to pass to the other side. More technically, it is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure.

The desire to desalinate seawater inspired scientists to develop an effective, but inexpensive method of purifying water. Research was done since the late 1940’s and in 1959 a significant breakthrough was made. Prof Samuel Yuster and two of his students, Sidney Loeb and Srinivasa Sourirajan produced the first functional synthetic RO membrane made of cellulose acetate polymer at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). The new membrane was capable of rejecting salt and passing purified water at reasonable flow rates. The impact of this discovery has been felt worldwide. In June 1965, the world’s first reverse osmosis plant came into operation in Coalinga, a farming community near Fresno, California. The plant turned 20 000 litres of brackish borehole water to potable water per day.

Reverse osmosis has become the water purification method of choice for drinking water in many households and bottling plants throughout the world. No wonder, as reverse osmosis has become the best and most efficient method to purify polluted and undesirable water into pure and tasty water. The process of reverse osmosis and the quality membranes Perfect Water employs are the most advanced technology to purify drinking water and are able to remove poisons like insecticides, herbicides, dioxin, endocrine disruptors and heavy metals, as well as pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Reverse Osmosis and Activated Carbon are employed as purifying method which, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is the best available technology for meeting a wide variety of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulations. (Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine International, February 2009).

To protect you and your family from any water borne diseases and pollution install a reverse osmosis system today!