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Let’s face it, asking the salesman, “What does reverse osmosis do?” is going to make us look dumb.
So let me answer the question here, really quickly, but with enough detail to let you walk into the water purifier store with confidence.
What is reverse osmosis? Let’s look at it from something we do know; what is ordinary osmosis? I call it “true osmosis”. What does it do? Well, it is one of nature’s miracles and without it we would not have life on earth as it is.
Have you admired a flower recently? That was only possible because the flower is able to draw water up out of the ground by osmosis. It has no physical pump to do that, obviously. Instead it uses a process where a solution of liquid will move right through a barrier because on the other side there is another, more concentrated liquid solution. That is osmosis. It’s that simple, and that powerful.
It is in this way that a garden plant, without any moving parts, can draw up water to its flowers and a giant redwood can water its top-most leaves. And the same amazing thing goes on in your body, right down at the level of your cells, because the wall of a cell is not completely solid and liquids and solutions pass in and out of them, drawn and pushed by the differences in concentration in the liquids at each side of the cell wall.
But there is something interesting in the science of osmosis. It can be reversed. A liquid, moves around by the force of true osmosis moves from low concentrations to higher concentrations. But it can be made to go the other way. So salt water, for example, can be made clean and salt-free by reversing osmosis.
So, what does reverse osmosis do? Let’s find out by taking the sea water in a giant Middle Eastern desalination plant in one of the Gulf States. If you bring this salty water into a container that has special wall down one end which will let molecules move through by osmosis, and apply pressure to the water — 60 times the pressure that was on the same water just outside the container — water will leave the container but the salt will stay inside. In other words, you will end up with fresh water. What is reverse osmosis but a miracle!
This wonderful reverse osmosis is used extensively in desalination plants. Both in the big ones in the Gulf and the small ones onboard submarines. They are also popular with many municipal water authorities in our cities and towns. And some manufacturers make units small enough to actually go in a home. What does reverse osmosis do is really quite remarkable.
Personally, though, I would not use a reverse osmosis unit in my home. The reason is simple. Although they successfully take out dirt, mud and some chemicals, they also remove the natural minerals water carries. Things like calcium and magnesium.
Our bodies need these minerals to function and stay healthy, as your doctor will assure next time you visit. And the natural way to get these essential minerals is from the water we drink, because that water comes from deep below the earth where it has dissolved minute traces of them from the rocks, and carries them into the drinking water catchments our local authorities pipe water from. Take out the minerals and you invite in ill health. So, my kids and I would never use one.
By Len McGrane
Article Source: ezinearticles.com Continue reading
In a power plant, industrial Reverse Osmosis equipment (RO) is used almost exclusively in the boiler water pre-treatment area. Since most power boilers tend to operate at elevated pressure (>700 psig [4.8 MPa]), boiler feed water quality is very stringent. As a result, industrial Reverse Osmosis Equipment in this application is invariably followed by some type of demineralization (demin) polishing equipment, designed to reduce feed water dissolved solids, especially silica, to very low levels. Industrial Reverse Osmosis equipment, by itself, is incapable of providing the boiler feed water quality demanded by higher pressure power boilers.
Because the polishing demineralization equipment in a power generation facility will be sized upon the expected industrial Reverse Osmosis equipment performance (permeate water quality and quantity), any problems with the Reverse Osmosis equipment operation can have drastic effects on the demin performance. Poor demin performance can cause costs to increase sharply, through increased regenerations and acid/caustic usage.
Further downstream, the impact of poor industrial Reverse Osmosis equipment performance on the power generation boilers can be severe, ultimately leading to plant de-rating, and even boiler and turbine damage.
Understanding Reverse Osmosis Design for a Power Generation Facility There are four main components of an industrial Reverse Osmosis equipment system: Element, Array (Train), Stage, and Pass.
The industrial Reverse Osmosis Element is the building block of any RO equipment system. It is the individual component, where the RO process occurs.
There are four main designs for the elements:
Spiral Wound – Most common design for water purification Hollow Fiber – Very large membrane surface areas are possible in this design. Used in seawater desalination Large Tube – Similar to a shell-and tube heat exchange in appearance and design. Used in special wastewater treatment and food processing applications Flat Plate – Similar to a plate-and frame heat exchanger. Used in food processing applications Regardless of the element design, high pressure and flow is needed to force pure water through the RO membrane to become permeate. Because of the high pressures needed, each element must be designed so that the internal structures can withstand a feedwater pressure of several hundred psig.
The number of elements needed will be determined by the amount of the final product needed daily.
The industrial RO equipment Array is simply the way in which the elements are grouped together, in series or parallel.An industrial RO Stage Final water quality requiredDaily amount of water neededInlet feed water qualityCost to treat wastewaterType of upstream feed water treatment equipment
By Layne Christensen
Article Source: ezinearticles.com Continue reading