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The Many Uses Of Reverse Osmosis

Apr 3, 2008
Water filters have come a long way since the days of filtering water through sand to ensure safe drinking water. Many will have become familiar with a portable water filter, which contains a special filter material in the jug, that when filled with water will gradually filter out all the solutes present in the water. Reverse osmosis works in the same way by pushing the solution through a semi permeable membrane into an area where there is little or no solute leaving the solute behind.

Osmosis is the opposite, where a natural movement through a semi-permeable membrane of solutes moves from a low solute area to a high solute area. Reverse osmosis has proved effective in filtering water, making the absorption of water in the body easier without storing some of the other solutes. For this very reason, it is highly dangerous to drink seawater for a prolonged period.

Drinking seawater alone can cause dehydration and death, due to the osmotic process. The seawater that enters into your stomach will draw water out to dilute the salt in your stomach, leaving you no water absorption and dehydration. Eventually the body will be very dehydrated to the point of causing death.

The reverse osmotic process helps to prevent osmosis, by placing it into a very thin membrane, with salty water on one side and pushing it through the membrane. This process takes a long time and a lot of pressure is required, but the result is pure clear water. Desalination is a common process in much of the Middle East for preventing energy wastage during production in power plants.

This method is used for drinking purification around the world, in which many of these have been installed in homes. Portable reverse osmosis filters are also readily available in some places, making it possible to filter water for the individual personally.

This is also used for health purposes such as patients on kidney dialysis. Patients who have suffered from kidney failure are in desperate need of finding a way to regulating water in their blood stream and keeping the blood filtered removing waste products. It mimics the function of the kidney, filtering the blood from waste products passing through a catheter across an osmotic.

The Food industries use this technique of purification for concentration of food liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices. The advantages of using the reverse osmotic process is the cheap operation process, also there is no need to use heat treatment. Furthermore, this process can be used to treat protein and enzymes in some food substances.

This is also widely used in the dairy production industry, as way to produce whey protein powder and to concentrate milk reducing its shipping costs. The process also plays an important role in the production of wine for concentration of wine and juice, removal of acetic acid, smoke taint and brettanomyces taint.

Other uses of reverse osmosis have also proved effective in maple syrup production, by removing water from the sap and then boiling it down turning it into syrup. This reduces energy consumption during the production process, as there is no need for heat treatment and the syrup will not be exposed to a high temperature.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on reverse osmosis, having purchased a portable purifying device that uses this method for obtaining clean pure water.
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