ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Reverse Osmosis Works

Updated on April 18, 2017

Reverse Osmosis Explained

Do you have questions about reverse osmosis in an industrial setting? Well you have come to the right place!

This page will shed some light on the science and process of reverse osmosis, as it relates to industrial water filtration.

How Reverse Osmosis Works

Overcoming Natural Osmotic Pressure

Reverse osmosis is the opposite of a naturally occurring osmosis process. In nature, osmosis occurs when a liquid with a low level of dissolved solids passes through a semi-permeable membrane into a liquid with a higher level of dissolved solids. This process continues until the pressure on both sides of the membrane is equalized.

In reverse osmosis, the natural forces of osmosis are reversed using man induced pressure so that the water with a higher concentration of dissolved solids is forced through a semi-permeable membrane onto the side with a lower concentration of dissolved solids.

The semi-permeable membranes used in reverse osmosis are engineered to only allow the passage of water molecules and to trap contaminants. The end result is drinkable water.

The Science of Reverse Osmosis

A Look at Reverse Osmosis Membranes

The reverse osmosis process makes use of a semi-permeable membrane that removes up to 99% of dissolved minerals, virtually all particulate matter and many dissolved organic compounds. RO membranes are typically made up of three layers. The three layer setup provides a high filtration rate, high durability, and excellent filtering properties.

Larger RO systems utilize a pressure pump to drive water through the semi-permeable membrane. These systems typically operate at 125-250 psi and have a recovery rate of 25%-75%.

Water should be pre-treated to prevent scaling and fouling of the membrane.

Advancements in technology such as improved modular equipment design and construction, integrated self-cleaning systems, improved membrane filtration technologies and automated fail-safe operations, have all contributed to improved RO processing and output.

Dialysis Machine
Dialysis Machine

Applications for Reverse Osmosis

Typical Uses for Industrial RO

Reverse osmosis, sometimes referred to as RO, is used by commercial and industrial businesses to remove unwanted minerals, particles, and organic compounds from the water. RO is effective at eliminating up 95% of these contaminates.

Reverse osmosis is used in a number of different industries such as: restaurants, car wash facilities, pharmacies, healthcare clinics, and industrial printing facilities. Reverse osmosis is also used to purify water used for dialysis and laboratory use.

Applications for reverse osmosis include: process water reclamation and recycling; dialysis water treatment; food and beverage production; boiler water pre-treatment; filtration for water jet cutting machines; rinse water filtration.

Images of Reverse Osmosis Equipment

© 2017 IndustrialWater

Comment and Share

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)