How Does Reverse Osmosis Filtering Work?
Many people desire access to filtered water. Even those with a water dispenser.
Many municipal water supplies are not pleasing to drinkers as they contain many hard minerals.
The quality, texture, color, odor and most importantly, taste are typically better with filtered water.
An easy solution for the desire to have unlimited access to filtered water is to use a water filtering system.
Many water filtering systems use reverse osmosis to filter water. To understand how reverse osmosis works to filter water, one must first understand what osmosis is and the process behind reverse osmosis.
What Is Osmosis?
Osmosis is used to describe the process in which molecules of a less concentrated solution will migrate through a semipermeable membrane to where a higher concentration of molecules exist.
- Osmosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon and an important function life.
- When two bodies of a liquid solution are separated by a semipermeable membrane, the body of liquid with the lesser concentration of molecules will naturally travel to the body of liquid with a higher concentration.
- This usually creates one side that is relatively high in concentration and one that is much lower.
What Is A Semipermeable Membrane?
A semipermeable membrane is a membrane which filters some types of molecules, but allows other types of molecules to pass through.
Unlike naturally occurring osmosis, reverse osmosis describes the process going the other direction. In order to filter dissolved molecules like salt, calcium, and bacteria, the solution needs to be pushed through the semipermeable membrane.
In osmosis the concentrated solution migrates through the membrane towards the more concentrated solution while in reverse osmosis, the solution is pushed in the opposite direction through the semipermeable membrane that filters the salt, calcium, and bacteria out and prevents it from going to the less concentrated solution.
- Reverse osmosis requires applying pressure that is greater than the naturally occurring osmotic pressure in order to work.
- Because osmosis is a naturally occurring function, an outside energy is required to reverse the process and get a solution to flow on the opposite way.
- Reverse osmosis is effective way to desalinate sea water and turn it into fresh water.
- In addition, reverse osmosis is commonly used to filter water to make it more pleasing for the drinker.
Reverse Osmosis and Filtering Water
Reverse osmosis is used to filter water because the process helps eliminate much of the unwanted molecules.
A semipermeable membrane acts like a screen, allowing some molecules to pass, but filtering others from coming through.
The semipermeable membrane used during reverse osmosis allows water to pass through, but doesn’t allow much of the unwanted impurities and particles to pass.
Reverse osmosis utilizes the semipermeable membrane to catch the unwanted matter while pushing the water through the membrane into the direction of cleaner water. The clean water is then utilized for drinking and the impurities and particles are discarded.
Reverse Osmosis Filter Parts
Reverse osmosis seems like a complicated system for filtering water however, most reverse osmosis systems use the same simple parts to function.
- Water supply- A water supply is required. A reverse osmosis filtering system is usually hooked up to a water line.
- Supply Valve- A supply valve fits into the water line and supplies the system with water from the water supply.
- Sediment Filter or Pre Filter- Water is drawn through a pre-filter first, the pre filter is used to eliminate solid contaminants like dirt, sand, or other particles that would be unwanted in drinking water.
- Reverse Osmosis Membrane- Water is then pushed through the reverse osmosis membrane, which filters out dissolved contaminants such as sodium, calcium, potassium and other unwanted minerals.
- Post Filter- Some reverse osmosis filtering systems are fitted with a post filter that is typically made from carbon. The post filter is used to further aesthetically enhance the taste, order, and color of the water.
- Storage Tank- The storage tank holds the filtered water that is ready to be drank.
- Faucet or Spigot- The system, like any water dispenser releases the water to the user through a faucet or a spigot. The drinker uses a button or a knob to allow water to flow through the faucet or spigot.
When used correctly, reverse osmosis is an excellent way to filter drinking water.
When used in a water dispensing system, reverse osmosis is highly effective in removing unwanted impurities from tap water.
In conjunction with the convenience of a water dispenser that taps directly into the main water supply, reverse osmosis can provide users with unlimited access to drinking water that has been filtered, cleaned, and removed of almost all unwanted minerals.
The process removes sediment, calcium, sodium, chlorine, and other minerals that affect the quality of the water. The result is a water that has a better taste, color, and odor which makes it much more pleasing to drinkers.