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pros and cons of reverse osmosis

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					Pros and Cons of Reverse Osmosis

Through the years, reverse osmosis has been widely used worldwide for
treatment of water. Not all forms of water present in the surroundings
could be potable and used for natural and household purposes. Through
this process, water is purified by filtering out contaminants. Through
the use of a semi-permeable membrane, reverse osmosis works upon
application of external force or pressure. It should reverse the natural
process of osmosis and force out pure water from a solution containing
many contaminants or solutes. Of course, the advantage is quite logical:
safer and more purified water is produced.

There are several disadvantages of reverse osmosis. One of the many known
downsides is its potential to become an ineffective and inefficient means
of water purification. The semi-permeable membranes used for facilitating
osmosis and reverse osmosis contain very small pores that are able to
block small particles or molecules except pure water. This is the key to
the usefulness of reverse osmosis. However, there are several known
contaminants that are molecularly much smaller than water. They include
dangerous chemicals like herbicides, chlorine, and pesticides.

There is a better method used instead of reverse osmosis for filtering
out molecules that are smaller than water molecules. Carbon filtering is
it. That is the reason why many water treatment facilities employ both
reverse osmosis and carbon filtering techniques. This way, water could be
made more purified and safe for drinking and other forms of consumption.

Another setback for the use of reverse osmosis is the unintentional but
inevitable removal of healthy and naturally occurring minerals that are
found in water. If the process could filter out contaminants and
impurities, unfortunately, it could also do the same for important trace
minerals found in water. This is because the semi-permeable membranes
used are almost always impermeable to naturally occurring trace minerals
in water.

Such minerals are identified as responsible for providing water better
taste. They also facilitate a good function to the human system. Needless
to say, if drinking water is deprived of such minerals, it could be
totally unhealthy and less likely for drinking.

It is also a widely known fact that reverse osmosis puts more water to
waste. In general, it would take about three gallons of water to be
wasted for producing a single gallon of purified water. Water is wasted
when the other membrane content is made non-useful and contaminated.
There is no way but to throw away such water or take more time and effort
to subject it to further reverse osmosis or other filtration process.
Most water filterers opt to just throw it anyway. It is also certain that
reverse osmosis is a very slow process. It could not be used in urgency
as compared to other alterative water treatment processes.

What about costs? Of course reverse osmosis is more difficult to setup
and facilitate. The facility is quite complicated and sophisticated. All
around the world, many researchers and inventors have always been trying
harder to be able to invent or devise ways to lower costs of using
reverse osmosis. To this day, many companies are just drum-rolling; no
definite or certain cheaper way or device of the process is actually
launched, introduced, or sold in the market.

The world knows the potential of reverse osmosis, but more and more
people hope it would not take long before its potential and usefulness is
maximized.

				
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posted:10/12/2010
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