To understand reverse Osmosis we must first understand the osmosis. During natural osmosis, water flows from a less concentrated solution through semi permeable membrane to a more concentrated saline solution until concentrations on both sides of the membrane are equal.
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Reverse Osmosis Membrane Elements:
A reverse osmosis membrane has a thin micro-porous surface that rejects impurities, but allows water to pass through.
The membrane rejects bacteria, pyrogens, and 85%-95% of inorganic solids. Polyvalent ions are rejected easier than monovalent ions.
Organic solids with molecular weight greater than 300 are rejected by the membrane, but dissolved gases pass through.
Reverse osmosis is a percent rejection technology. The purity of the product water depends on the purity of the inlet water. The purity of reverse osmosis product water is much higher than the purity of the feed water.