Reverse osmosis (RO) systems use a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities and contaminants from water. Here’s how it works:
- Pre-filtration: The water first flows through a pre-filter to remove larger particles such as sediment and chlorine, which can damage the RO membrane.
- Pressurization: The pre-filtered water is then pressurized using a pump to force it through the semi-permeable membrane. The pressure helps to overcome the natural osmotic pressure of the water and push it through the membrane.
- Reverse osmosis: The semi-permeable membrane has extremely small pores that allow water molecules to pass through, but block larger molecules such as dissolved solids, minerals, and other contaminants. As the water passes through the membrane, the impurities are left behind, resulting in purified water.
- Post-filtration: The purified water then flows through a post-filter, which further removes any remaining impurities and improves the taste and quality of the water.
- Storage: The purified water is stored in a tank until it is needed.
- Dispensing: When the purified water is needed, it flows through a final filter and out of the faucet.
- Reverse osmosis systems can remove a wide range of contaminants from water, including bacteria, viruses, lead, fluoride, arsenic, and many other impurities. They are commonly used for drinking water, as well as for industrial applications such as desalination of seawater and wastewater treatment.