Reverse osmosis filters have a pore size around 0.0001 micron. After water passes through a reverse osmosis filter, it is essentially pure water. In addition to removing all organic molecules and viruses, reverse osmosis also removes most minerals that are present in the water. Reverse osmosis removes monovalent ions, which means that it desalinates the water.
Reverse Osmosis Cost Efficieny
Since it was first introduced in the 1950s, reverse osmosis has most commonly been used for purifying water and removing salts and other impurities in order to improve the color, taste or properties of the fluid for potability. However, RO is finding increasing uses in industrial applications because of its effectiveness and cost-efficiency, both investment cost and operating especially if compared with ion exchange methods. For investment cost comparison, the prices of acid and caustic solutions continue to rise while the prices of RO units and membrane elements continue to decrease.
Operating efficiency differs between ion exchange beds and RO systems. Cation and anion resin beds must be regenerated once they reach a set exchange capacity. Their efficiency is related directly to the amount of dissolved solids that pass through the system. Conversely, the operating cost for RO does not vary with the level of dissolved solids in the feed water since the operating cost is based on flow rate. An RO system does not require significant downtime with the exception of quarterly or semi-annual routine maintenance. And RO systems are highly automated, requiring minimal operator interaction. By contrast, during regeneration, which can take up to twelve hours, ion exchange equipment cannot be used and the plant is forced to stop water production.
The primary cost for operating RO systems is electricity and the membranes replacement after a few years. Since these systems consume only very little energy, the operating cost are relatively low. For membranes itself, the right membrane selection that will be adjusted to raw water quality, the right pretreatment method, and the right cleaning chemical and procedure will affect membranes’ age. This proper procedure is the answer why the membranes could last so long and perform like new with minimum maintenance even after years of operation. Contact TriotirtaCare that is supported by Hydranautics, one of world leading membrane manufacturers from Japan, to ensure you get the best recommendation toward your reverse osmosis design.
Reverse Osmosis Industrial Applications
Reverse osmosis systems can be used to treat boiler feed water, industrial wastewater, process water and more. A few of the major uses are:
- Boiler Feed Water Treatment: RO is used to reduce the solids content of waters prior to feeding into boilers for the power generation and other industries.
- Pharmaceutical: Reverse osmosis is an approved treatment process for the production of United States Pharmacopeia (USP) grade water for pharmaceutical applications.
- Food & Beverage: Water used to process food products and to produce beverages is often treated by a reverse osmosis system.
- Semiconductor: Reverse osmosis is an accepted component of a treatment process to produce ultrapure water in the semiconductor industry.
- Metal Finishing: RO systems have been successfully applied to a variety of metal finishing operations including several types of copper, nickel and zinc electroplating, nickel acetate seal, and black dye.