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Perfectly Pure Water At Home

Jan 21, 2008
The words 'Reverse Osmosis' have become increasingly frequent in our vocabulary. For some people the words conjure up distant memories of school chemistry lessons but how many of us know that in the present day, it is a process which can be simply incorporated into everyday life as a lifestyle choice and in the common pursuit of a healthier life.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Osmosis is a natural process occurring in both plants and the human body where semi permeable membranes in the human body can be found both in the digestive tract and in the lungs. It is where water from a dilute solution becomes a solute, a more concentrated solution having passed through a semi permeable membrane.

Semi-permeable membranes are very thin layers of material (cell membranes are semi-permeable) which allow some things to pass through them but prevent other things from passing through. For example, cell membranes will allow small molecules like water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, amino acids, glucose etc. to pass through. Cell membranes will not allow larger molecules such as protein, starch, sucrose etc. to pass through.

Reverse Osmosis is where the natural occurring process is reversed by applying pressure to the fluid on the solute side of the semi permeable membrane. This means that water entering through a unit is purified and up to 96% of contaminants, heavy metals, turbidity etc are removed producing high quality water for a vast range of users.

Origins

The whole process began in the 1940's, funded by the Kennedy administration in the US. The aim was to find a way of making pure water from saline water. This was linked to the Space program and the idea that once on the moon, vegetation could be planted.

Since the late 1950's scientists have been able to develop synthetic membranes that can duplicate some of what nature does so well. The process was refined when a semi permeable membrane was engineered, capable of rejecting salt and allowing the flow of water to pass through at a reasonable rate.

This had an enormous impact worldwide, being used in the home and on a much larger scale in desalination plants in some desert areas. Much of the Middle East is now serviced by huge desalination plants, providing clean fresh drinking water to households and to farming communities for the growing of crops.

Uses of Reverse Osmosis

On varying scales in the 21st century, this filtering process is used in increasingly different fields. It is now very much less expensive and more accessible to a range of users. For example;

* Families. Units can easily be installed under the sink in a kitchen to provide pure drinking water
* Businesses are turning to plumbed in water coolers in their offices as they are simple to use, cost less than bottled water and do not require floor storage for bottles
* The armed forces use a basic reverse osmosis filter in their jungle and desert packs so that their soldiers can clean the drinking water to lesson the risks of water borne diseases,
* Submarines. It is a process used on submarines to ensure a regular supply of clean water when the vessel is submerged for many months on end.
* Car washes. Due to the low mineral content, it is often used in the last rinse in car washes
* The food industry and in particular, in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries use the process extensively.
* Tropical fish. The filters are used in the aqua marine industry and in the keeping of tropical fish.
* The medical community particularly kidney dialysis units
* Alcohol. The increasing use in the production of alcoholic spirits

This process has revolutionized water purity and where the technology was once only available for industrial use due to its expense, it is now accessible to everyone who chooses water purity for optimum health.
About the Author
Anna Stenning understands how reverse osmosis can be a beneficial way to consume clean filtered water without having to spend out too much on fancy water filters. For more information on water filters click on http://www.pure-eau.co.uk/reverse-osmosis.cfm
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