Reverse Osmosis is a filtration process that is often used for water. It works by using pressure to force a solution through a membrane, retaining the solute on one side and allowing the pure solvent to pass to the other side. This is the reverse of the normal osmosis process, which is the natural movement of solvent from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration when no external pressure is applied.
A semi permeable membrane coil used in desalinization. Formally, reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a semi permeable membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure. The membrane used for reverse osmosis have a dense barrier layer in the polymer matrix where most separation occurs. In most cases the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer while preventing the passage of solutes.
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