Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be “selective,” this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as the solvent) to pass freely. In the normal osmosis process the solvent naturally moves from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration. The movement of a pure solvent to equalize solute concentrations on each side of a membrane generates a pressure and this is the “osmotic pressure.” Applying an external pressure to reverse the natural flow of pure solvent, thus, is reverse osmosis.

The process is similar to membrane filtration. However, there are key differences between reverse osmosis and filtration. The predominant removal mechanism in membrane filtration is straining, or size exclusion, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect exclusion of particles regardless of operational parameters such as influent pressure and concentration. Reverse osmosis, however, involves a diffusive mechanism so that separation efficiency is dependent on solute concentration, pressure, and water flux rate. Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water purification from seawater, removing the salt and other substances from the water molecules.


When trying to find a water filter system for the office or house, it is usually helpful to check out reverse osmosis water filter reviews to see what brands or types of reverse osmosis water filters are available on the market and which ones have been verified by a water purification organization. There are numerous forms of reverse osmosis water filters, like the countertop reverse osmosis water filter.

Reverse osmosis water filter reviews will also warn that a pre-filtration system might have to be purchased in addition to the reverse osmosis water filter if there is a high chlorine count in the water. The reason for this is that the membrane used in a reverse osmosis water filter system is really delicate and the chlorine in water can eat away at it and ruin the filter.


Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet water purification lamps produce UV-C or “germicidal UV,” radiation of much greater intensity than sunlight. Almost all of a UV lamp’s output is concentrated in the 254 nanometers (nm) region in order to take full advantage of the germicidal properties of this wavelength. Most ultraviolet purification systems are combined with various forms of filtration, as UV light is only capable of killing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds, algae, yeast, and oocysts like cryptosporidium and giardia. UV light generally has no impact on chlorine, VOCs, heavy metals, and other chemical contaminants. Nevertheless, it is probably the most cost effective and efficient technology available to homeowners to eliminate a wide range of biological contaminants from their water supply.


Ultraviolet purification uses a UV light source (lamp) which is enclosed in a protective transparent sleeve (usually quartz). The lamp is mounted such that water passing through a flow chamber is exposed to the UV-C light rays. When harmful microbes are exposed to the UV rays, their nucleic acid absorbs the UV energy, which then scrambles the DNA structure of the organism. The cell is rendered sterile and can no longer reproduce. The cell is now considered dead and is no longer a threat.


Ultrafiltration (UF)

Ultrafiltration (UF) is a pressure-driven barrier to suspended solids, bacteria, viruses, endotoxins and other pathogens to produce water with very high purity and low silt density. It serves as a pretreatment for surface water, seawater, and biologically treated municipal effluent before reverse osmosis and other membrane systems. UF is also used in industry to separate suspended solids from solution. Industrial applications include power generation, food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical production, biotechnology, and semiconductor manufacturing. GE ultrafiltration systems consistently deliver water to meet your specifications.


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