Component Efficiency of Reverse Osmosis Desalination Systems


Technological advancements have changed the way people perceived the world. Now we have advanced in domains such as space exploration and the notable fact to be observed here is that, we can find the solution to any problem, can’t we? The reduction of usable water levels and the increasing concerns for water scarcity in the future is a considerable threat and farsightedness suggests that it has to be addressed in advance. The use of Reverse Osmosis Desalination has been observed in recent times and the evidence of research on effectiveness of the process has been provided in the following sections.

Desalination as a Process:

The term desalination is practically understandable as the separation of salt from saline water. The separation of salt is intended for converting saline water into usable water. The process of desalination basically involves three liquid streams such as,

–>Saline concentrate which is the effluent or rejected water,

–>Saline feedwater which is the input in the form of seawater or brackish water,

–>The output stream which facilitates the product water with low salinity.

These components require the implementation of membrane process and hence desalination is dependent on electro dialysis and reverse osmosis.

Reverse Osmosis:

The process of reverse osmosis involves a membrane which is permeable by water. The simple interpretation of the process can be understood in the creation of pressure differential between brackish water or feedwater and the low salinity product water. The sea water is fed at one side of the membrane while maintaining consistent high pressure while the product water on the other side of the membrane is maintained at atmospheric pressure thereby separating brine from sea water. Brine is unable to penetrate the membrane and hence it is rejected into the pressurized side of the reactor.

Four Basic Components Of The Reverse Osmosis System Can Be Illustrated As Follows:

  • Pre-Treatment:

This process is the introductory phase in which the feedwater to be provided as input is moderated for adapting to the membranes. The notable processes evident in this stage of the reverse osmosis system include pH moderation, addition of threshold inhibitors and removal of suspended solids.

  • Pressurization:

The process of pressurization is significant in a reverse osmosis system since it is required for creating the pressure differential. The pressure differential is created by a pump which increases the pressure of pretreated input water. The process is associated with moderating the pressure on two sides of the membrane and salinity of input water.

  • Membrane Separation:

The commonly used membranes in reverse osmosis systems include hollow fine fiber membranes and spiral wound membranes. The construction of the membranes is tailored to address the variations in different operating pressures for the different types of feedwater such as brackish water or sea water.

  • Stabilization after Treatment:

The product water separated from the membranes also includes traces of dissolved salts and gases. Therefore the final process in the Reverse Osmosis Desalination System includes the moderation of pH of the product water and removal of gases before distributing the water for public consumption.


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