Reverse osmosis can be a good way of turning seawater into drinkable water to solve the scarcity of fresh water that is happening in several parts of America, including the state of California, as a recent article on The Buffalo News observed.
Lots of Water in the Ocean
The ocean indeed has a lot of water, but over 97 percent of that is too salty for drinking. Thus, most of that is unusable for humans. With the combination of population growth, excessive consumption, and prolonged droughts, arid yet populous areas like California are forced to restrict water use.
On other parts of the world, arid regions are already using reverse osmosis to obtain drinking water. These include Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Australia. Reverse osmosis water treatment systems allow these nations to take out impurities from water so it can be fit for drinking. Today, reverse osmosis plants also exist in some states of the U.S. including California, as well as Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Both the numbers and capacities of these plants are growing. So, there’s a really good chance that it can become one effective solution for drinking water shortage.
What is Reverse Osmosis exactly?
The process was originally developed for taking out salt from seawater. It works by using high pressure to force saltwater through a semi-permeable membrane. Since the salt molecules are bigger than the water molecules, only the water gets through the membrane while the salt molecules are filtered out.
Effective sea water reverse osmosis is not the only application where this technology can be used. The process is also effective in removing other kinds of impurities, since a good reverse osmosis membrane can filter out particles that are larger than 0.001 microns. Some contaminants that reverse osmosis membranes can filter out are sodium, potassium, mercury, zinc, phosphate, cadmium, manganese, cyanide, and more.
Importance of the Membrane
Among the critical components of a reverse osmosis system is the membrane. Not all membranes are alike; the membrane must be of good quality, made using state-of-the-art methods and top-quality materials. If you are going to purchase a reverse osmosis filtration system for your home or business, manufacturers like AXEON Water Technologies can provide you with information regarding their systems.
Another Voice: Reverse osmosis may help sea water solve critical fresh water shortages, The Buffalo News, Apr. 19, 2015