Osmosis is the phenomenon that drives life itself. It’s the process whereby ions that are dissolved in a body of water pass through a membrane to a body of water that is either pure, or has a lower concentration of ions – a process that continues until the two sides are of equal concentration. The membrane has to be a special kind, known as “semi-permeable”, because it only allows the passage of ions from the higher to the lower concentration. Your body is full of them – it’s how your kidneys and all sorts of other structures work.
Brilliant though osmosis is in the life-giving processes upon which our bodies depend, it’s no good at all at taking contaminated water and making it drinkable – you just end up with two bodies of water that are equally polluted! That’s where you need reverse osmosis. Acting like a water filter, it still uses a semi-permeable membrane, but pressure is applied to the “polluted” side, forcing the water ions through to the “clean” side, and leaving the contaminants behind.
Reverse osmosis is a great way of producing very pure water. It has the drawback that, unlike a true filter, several litres of source water are needed for every litre of purified water it delivers. This is not a problem when source water is abundant – for example at sea – but where water is scarce it is less than ideal.
Water2Water supply reverse osmosis systems for home, office and industry, and can advise you on how to exploit the discarded, undrinkable water for other purposes, thus minimising waste. You can have an under-sink system delivering the purest drinking water, with the optional attachment of a chiller.
For industrial users, we can install reverse osmosis plants capable of delivering fresh, clean water to work-forces of all sizes.