Membranes & Housings

How Do Reverse Osmosis Membranes Work?


Put simply, a reverse osmosis membrane is a water purification system that removes impurities and can even desalinate water from the ocean and other brackish environments in order to make it suitable for drinking and other applications. It is essentially a high pressure filter that gets rid of all of the scary things that can leech into our water supply, either through the ground or from improper filtration farther up the line. Because they consume no electricity and are easy to maintain, reverse osmosis membranes are usually the filter of choice for households and businesses alike.

Keep in mind that there are different kinds of reverse osmosis membranes, and while they all work in largely the same way, they vary in degrees of efficacy. RO membranes sit in the filter at the junction of the tap water feed and a drain which will take the impurities back into the water system. The water that passes through the reverse osmosis membrane is then sent either to a holding tank, or straight out of the tap, into your sink or bathtub. Some reverse osmosis filters can be attached directly to a single sink, while some larger filters, with more effective membranes may be installed deeper in the plumbing, to service the entire house with cleaner water.

The water that comes out of our taps is generally not pure water. It is a solution that contains dissolved solids, like salt and other chemicals. While not all of these substances are bad, and tap water in most highly industrialized nations is very safe to drink, many people still prefer the taste of pure water, over water which has not been filtered.

A reverse osmosis membrane is made up of several different layers, through which the water is forced by the pressure in the plumbing. The layers of the membrane gradually filter away any impurities in the water, until only pure water is left. All of the impurities are then sent directly back into the drain, while the pure water is sent on down the line for drinking, bathing, watering plants, and a number of other uses.

Reverse osmosis membranes are effective at removing anything dissolved in the water that is larger than 0.0001 microns. Chemicals like sodium, fluoride, and mercury are effective filtered through this membrane, up the 98%.

The most common kind of membrane is called "spiral wound," and is made of many layers of the membrane and other materials, which the water passes through, giving the membrane plenty of opportunity to remove unwanted substances from the water. Only the highest quality membranes should be purchased and installed in your reverse osmosis filters—look for brands that use the highest quality materials and match your filter's requirements.

Residential and Commercial reverse osmosis membranes & nanofiltration membranes, and membrane housings can be found here at great low prices!