Reverse Osmosis Systems

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Reverse osmosis systems are among the best filtered water dispensers because they eliminate almost 100% of impurities. Osmosis is the transfer of a liquid through a semipermeable membrane that does not permit dissolved solids to transfer. This fascinating science phenomenon accounts for the superlative performance of Gore-tex, and your intestines, whose walls permit nutrients to be used by your body.

Both of these materials are semipermeable membranes, meaning, they let some atoms of certain substances through, but not others. Gore-tex lets water vapor through (so the fabric "breathes"), but its pores are not big enough to let water itself through, so it keeps you dry. If a solid is on one side of the membrane, let's say salty water, and clear water on the other side, osmotic pressure will allow the flow of the clear water to the salt side. This happens because the salt atoms plug up the holes in the membrane, but the clear water atoms don't.

Reverse Osmosis Systems in Water Purifying

Reverse osmosis occurs when some kind of external pressure forces the osmotic pressure to reverse the natural flow. The membrane, or filter, then acts to block impurities. In your water supply, filters in reverse osmosis systems use these science principles to eliminate most organic materials, solids, chlorine, lead, and bacteria.

There are many products for reverse osmosis systems, ranging from single-stage units with one carbon filter, to five-stage units that remove up to 90-96% of impurities. These more complex units also bring better taste and smell to any water, and this is one of the characteristic effects of reverse osmosis water purification filters.


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