Docstoc

The Many Applications Of Reverse Osmosis

Document Sample
The Many Applications Of Reverse Osmosis Powered By Docstoc
					The Many Applications Of Reverse Osmosis

The discovery and development of reverse osmosis is one of today’s most
useful technological breakthroughs. Since the early 50s, it had served
its primary purpose of providing safe purified water where it had not
been available before. The following are the many other applications of
reverse osmosis.

Drinking water

All over the world, the technology of reverse osmosis in providing safe
drinking water in households is now common both for homes and big
establishments.

In the U.S. military where it was first developed, R.O.W.P.U.s (Reverse
Osmosis Purification Units) produce 12,000 to 60,000 gallons of water for
1,000 to 6,000 soldiers.
The purified water is also safe from NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical
agents) after the reverse osmosis process.

wastewater

In big cities and progressive areas, collected rainwater is purified with
reverse osmosis and used for irrigation of landscapes and industrial
cooling.

For big power plants, reverse osmosis is used to remove the minerals from
water used in the boilers. The water has to be pure and free from
minerals that leave deposits on the machinery and cause corrosion and
other damages.

In Singapore, the authorities had announced their intention to use
reverse osmosis to treat their wastewater before discharging them back
into the reservoirs.

Food industry

Reverse osmosis is used in the concentration (thickening) of food liquids
(orange juice, tomato juice) that lose their nutritional values if
processed with heat.

It is also used in the dairy industry in the production of whey protein
powder and the concentration of milk to reduce shipping and storage
costs.

It is already used by the wine industry, although it had been frowned
before. Now, reverse osmosis machines are used by many wineries in
France, even by well-known companies. The machines were used to
concentrate the grape juices, and removing taints as acetic acid, smoke,
and the removal of alcohol in some.

In the 70s, maple syrup producers began using reverse osmosis process.
They were used to remove excess water from the raw maple sap before
boiling. The practice removes around 80% of water, saving them in energy
consumption because it reduced boiling time of the syrup.

Car wash

In places where there is ‘hard water’, enterprising car wash
entrepreneurs employ the use of reverse osmosis machines.

Hard water causes water spotting on vehicles. Reverse osmosis removes the
heavy minerals in their original water. Reverse osmosis a lso reduces
demands from customers for drying their vehicles which adds costs.

Reef aquariums

Many reef aquarium keepers are now using reverse osmosis systems to
produce water for their artificial mix of seawater. They found that
ordinary tap water often contains excessive amounts of chlorine,
chloramines, heavy metals, and many other chemicals that are bad for the
reef environment in their aquariums. Other contaminants such as nitrogen
compounds and phosphates lead to excessive algae growth.

Today, reef aquarium owners use the combination of reverse osmosis
machines and deionization because of low ownership costs and minimal
running costs.

Desalination

In places where there is limited water, authorities use reverse osmosis
technology to desalinate the sea for their drinking water. In the Middle
East especially in Saudi Arabia, large reverse osmosis and multistage
flash desalination plants are in harness. The energy requirements are
large, but they are offset by the fact that these countri es are oil-
producers.

So far, these are just some of the many applications of reverse osmosis,
although there had been other small uses as well using the principle of
the process (in hydrogen production, organics removal, etc). It will not
be a surprise if more uses will be added to this list.

				
DOCUMENT INFO