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RO

Reverse Osmosis

Removes suspended as well as dissolved impurities

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

The property of water to move from an area of higher concentration, to an area of lower concentration, through a membrane is called Osmosis – the fundamental principle behind Reverse Osmosis purification systems. In order to counter the natural flow, a pressure is applied in the area of higher concentration to reverse the natural flow of osmosis, and hence the term Reverse Osmosis. Since the process was first described by a French Scientist in 1748, people throughout the world have access to affordable convert undesirable water into water that is virtually free of health or aesthetic contaminants. Reverse osmosis systems are used everywhere, from kitchen counters in private residences to yachts, trains and spacecrafts.

Reverse Osmosis is found virtually anywhere pure water is needed, for purposes such as:

  • Drinking Water
  • Cosmetics
  • Humidification
  • Animal Feed
  • Ice-Making
  • Hatcheries
  • Car Wash Water Reclamation
  • Restaurants
  • Rinse Waters
  • Greenhouses
  • Biomedical Applications
  • Metal Plating Applications
  • Laboratory Applications
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Photography
  • Boiler Water
  • Battery Water
  • Semiconductor production
  • Water used in chemical processes
  • Haemodialysis

How Reverse Osmosis Works?

A semi permeable membrane, like the membrane of a cell wall or a bladder, is selective about what it allows to pass through, and what it prevents from passing. These membranes in general pass water very easily because of its small molecular size; but also prevent many other contaminants from passing by trapping them. Water will typically be present on both sides of the membrane, with each side having a different concentration of dissolved minerals. Since, water is the less concentrated solution which seeks to dilute with the more concentrated solution, water will pass through the membrane from the lower concentration side to the greater concentration side. Eventually, osmosis pressure (seen in the diagram below) as the pressure created by the difference in water levels) will counter the diffusion process exactly, and equilibrium will form. The process of reverse osmosis forces water with a greater concentration of contaminants (the source water) into a tank containing water with an extremely low concentration of contaminants (the processed water). High water pressure on the source side is used to "reverse" the natural osmosis process, with the semi-permeable membrane still permitting the passage of water while rejecting most of the other contaminants. The specific process through which this occurs is called ion exclusion, in which a concentration of ions at the membrane surface from a barrier that allows other water molecules to pass through while excluding other substances to keep it from becoming so concentrated that it forms a scale on the membrane itself. RO systems also typically require a carbon pre-filter for the reduction of chlorine, which can damage a RO membrane and sediment pre-filter is always required to ensure that fine suspended materials in the source water do not permanently clog the membrane. Hardness reduction, either through the use of water softening for residential units or chemical softening for industrial use, may also be desirable in hard water areas.

UV

ultra violet

Ultraviolet rays deactivates most germs

What is Ultraviolet (UV)?

Ultraviolet or "UV" is a type of energy found in the electromagnetic spectrum, lying between x-rays and visible light. Although we cannot see UV light or rays, we are exposed to them every time we step out into the sun. In fact, UV light is responsible for causing sunburns. Ultraviolet systems use special lamps or bulbs that emit UV light of a particular wavelength. The Ultraviolet energy attacks the genetic core of the microorganism and rearranges the DNA /RNA eliminating the microorganism's ability to function and reproduce. If the microorganism can no longer reproduce, it cannot replicate, therefore it cannot infect other organisms with which has contact. The process is simple but effective, destroying 99.99 percent of harmful microorganisms without adding chemicals to the water.

The quality or appropriateness of both the UV light and of the 'contact ', are crucial to accomplish disinfection. It is important to properly 'size' the UV based upon the application. It is equally important to use a good pre-filter to remove any dirt or debris that may be present in the raw water supply. This dirt and debris can interfere with the effectiveness of the UV rays – virtually giving the microorganism a shield to protect them when passing the UV rays. The keyword here is quality. System manufacturers strongly recommend that any pre and post filters be replaced at specified periods and that the UV lamp should be replaced on an annual basis or after 9,000 hours of use -- whichever comes first.

Advantages of UV

There are some very important reasons why both homeowners and municipalities are choosing UV technology to treat their water.

Highly effective: For over 25 years, UV technology has been trusted as a safe, cost-effective way to purify water and eliminate harmful microorganisms. It is a proven EPA endorsed technology that is currently being used by thousands of cities, bottled water manufacturers and homeowners around the world.

Chemical free: UV provides water purification without the addition of harmful chemicals such as chlorine. It also avoids the potential of generating harmful chemical disinfection by products. Recent EPA guidelines are forcing cities across the United States to reduce or eliminate the use of chlorine for exactly this reason.

Taste & odor free: UV does not change the taste, odor or color of the water.

More effective than chlorine: Unlike chlorine, UV systems are effective against both Cryptosporidium and Guardia.

Compact and easy to maintain: UV systems are capable of treating a single faucet or an entire home in a minimal amount of space with the only maintenance being an annual lamp and filter replacements.

Water Quality

Successful disinfection depends upon exposing water to a sufficient intensity of UV light for a sufficient amount of time. Water failing to meet certain general water quality guidelines may reduce the effectiveness of a system.

For a UV system to work effectively the water must be pre-filtered to exclude any particles larger than 5 microns (nominal) in size. This pre-filtration assures that particles large enough to block the UV light do not pass through the system. If they do the particles can act as a shield between the microorganism and the UV light – protecting the microorganism and allowing it to pass into the product water unharmed and alive.

If your water is not cloudy or smelly, you do not have rust stains in your toilet, and have softened water, your water quality should not be an issue for your UV system.

UF

ultra filtration

Filters out particles that are invisible

Ultra Filtration (UF)

Ultra Filtration (UF) is a variety of membrane filtration in which forces like pressure or concentration gradients leads to a separation through a semi permeable membrane. Suspended solids and solutes of high molecular weight are retained in the so-called retentive, while water and low molecular weight solutes pass through the membrane in the permeate. This separation process is used in industry and research for purifying and concentrating macromolecular (103 - 106 Da) solutions, especially protein solutions. Ultra Filtration is not fundamentally different from Microfiltration, Nano Filtration or membrane gas separation, except in terms of the size of the molecules it retains - it is defined by the Molecular Weight Cut Off (MWCO) of the membrane used. Ultra Filtration is applied in cross-flow or dead-end mode.

Drinking Water

UF can be used for the removal of particulates and macromolecules from raw water to produce potable water. They have been used to either replace existing secondary (coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation) and tertiary filtration (sand filtration and chlorination) systems employed in water treatment plants or as standalone systems in isolated regions with growing populations.
[1] When treating water with high suspended solids, UF is often integrated into the process, utilizing primary (screening, flotation, filtration) and some secondary treatments as pre-treatment stages.
[2] UF processes are currently preferred over traditional treatment methods for the following reasons:

  • No chemicals required (aside from cleaning)
  • Constant product quality regardless of feed quality
  • Compact plant size
  • Capable of exceeding regulatory standards of water quality, achieving 90-100% pathogen removal [3]

UF processes are currently limited by the high cost incurred due to membrane fouling and replacement.[4] Additional pretreatment of feed water is required to prevent excessive damage to the membrane units.

In many cases UF is used for pre filtration in reverse osmosis plants to protect the RO.

One simple step for both clarifying and disinfecting water

A simple procedure called "low pressure" ultra filtration permits the clarification and disinfection of water in a single step. A membrane barrier acts like a filter for all particles over 10-20 nm in size: pollen, algae, bacteria, viruses, germs and organic molecules.

Pure water of consistently high quality

This technology guarantees water of consistently high quality, with no taste or odor, no matter what the quality or turbidity of the water source.

An environmentally friendly technology

The ultra filtration procedure is mechanical: it reduces treatment waste and the need to use chemicals, while conserving the mineral equilibrium of the water.

The advantages of ultra filtration

  • Constant high quality water production guaranteed
  • Operational convenience: the procedure adapts automatically to the quality of the raw water
  • No chemicals are used during operational phase
  • No risk of dangerous by-products
  • Low investment and operational costs
  • Compact systems that facilitate integration into the surroundings
  • Environmentally friendly

CF

carbon filtration

Absorbs bad taste, odour & poisonous chemicals

Water Treatment Using Carbon Filters (GAC)

A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. GAC filters also can be used to remove chemicals that give objectionable odors or tastes to water such as hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs odor) or chlorine.

However, other chemicals, like iron and nitrate, are not attracted to the carbon and are not removed and another type of filter, such as reverse osmosis (RO) or green sand may be needed. RO filters will also remove certain organic chemicals. This information sheet only addresses GAC filters.

About granular activated carbon (GAC)?

Granular activated carbon is made from raw organic materials (such as coconut shells or coal) that are high in carbon. Heat, in the absence of oxygen, is used to increase (activate) the surface area of the carbon; this is why these filters are sometimes referred to as "charcoal" filters. The activated carbon removes certain chemicals that are dissolved in water passing through a filter containing GAC by trapping (adsorbing) the chemical in the GAC.

It is very important that the type and concentration of contaminants, and average water use, be known in order to determine the correct size and components of the system. All treatment systems require proper installation and periodic maintenance. Eventually, the ability of the GAC to bind and remove chemicals is used up and the GAC needs to be changed. How often the GAC should be changed needs to be based on contaminant levels and water use. While some filters may last for several years if contaminant levels and/or water use are low, higher levels or use may require more frequent change-outs.

GAC filter system used for Water Purification.

Which system you need depends on:
  • The type and amount of contaminants in the water,
  • Other chemicals in the water,
  • Water use, and
  • Exposure pathways that need to be eliminated.

For GAC filter system, consistent maintenance and periodic filter replacement is essential to ensure effectiveness and prevent bacterial build-up. It is recommended that water treatment systems be tested and certified to national standards by a reputable testing laboratory, such as NSF.