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You are here: Home > R.O. Filters > Membrane Operation

THE REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANE
Cross Section of a Typical Membrane
ROcsmem.jpg

How the R.O. Membrane Works:

When the reverse osmosis system is operating, feed water flows into one end of the membrane housing element as shown above. It flows across the wound membrane. Because there is pressure on the water, reverse osmosis takes place. Water flows through the membrane to the core, while the dissolved minerals remain on the feed side. The water that flows through the membrane is called "permeate". The permeate, or product water from the membrane, is now safe to drink. The rate of production is relatively slow. Normally a storage tank is used hold the finished water until it is needed. When the tank is full, the system will automatically stop making R.O. water.

Not all of the water flows through the membrane. Only 25-50% of the water becomes permeate. The remainder stays on the feed side of the membrane and flushes away the dissolved minerals. this water is called the "concentrate". The concentrate plays an important role in the operation of the membrane. As the permeate flows through the membrane, the concentrate retains almost all of the minerals that were in the original feed water. The TDS (total dissolved solids) of the concentrate rises. As it flows past the membrane, it carries away the minerals, in effect washing the surface of the membrane. It is eventually piped out to the drain. If the concentrate did not carry away the minerals, the membrane would foul or plug-up, acting like a filter which fills with particles and must be changed. Proper concentrate flow across the membrane will generally mean many years of high quality water from the membrane.


Comparison of the sizes of materials rejected by reverse osmosis membrane.

ROpores.jpg
APPROXIMATE REJECTION RATES OF VARIOUS IMPURITIES:

DISSOLVED SOLIDS

Removal %

DISSOLVED SOLIDS

Removal %

Aluminum 99 Magnesium 99
Bacteria 99 Manganese 99
Barium 92 Mercury 97
Bicarbonate 98 Nitrate 93
Bromide 96 Organic Pesticides 99
Cadmium 98 Phosphate 99
Calcium 98 Polyphosphate 99
Chloride 98 Potassium 96
Copper 99 Radium 80
Cyanide 95 Silica 90
Detergents 99 Silicate 96
Fluoride 98 Sodium 96
Iron 99 Sulfate 99
Lead 90 Zinc 99

To SEE How To Install a typical Reverse Osmosis System


We recommend this fine YouTube video produced by Water2Buy.co.uk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eBCggg_jaI

For basic filter change explained


We recommend this fine video on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ZY0yHnejg


For basic membrane change explained


We recommend this fine video on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHs-W0wJOZg


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