Reverse Osmosis Membranes

Reverse osmosis (RO), one of the most effective methods used in a commercial water filtration system, uses an RO membrane to treat contaminated water.

Want to learn more?

Reverse Osmosis Definition

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a purification technology that uses a semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane to reduce dissolved or suspended water contaminants. A reverse osmosis (RO) membrane is the primary filtering media in RO systems. We offer different RO membranes suited for sea water desalination, brackish water, and high flow commercial applications. We offer membranes for any commercial and industrial application from tap water membranes to nanofiltration RO membranes used to remove organics from water. 


How a Reverse Osmosis Membrane Works


Reverse osmosis systems work by using high pressure to force water through a semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane element. RO membranes are made of a thick polyamide film that contains tiny pores through which water can flow. RO membrane element pore sizes can vary from 0.1 to 5,000 nanometers (nm) depending on application. The pores in the RO membrane are small enough to restrict organic compounds such as minerals and salt but allow water molecules to pass through. Reverse osmosis membranes are also porous and restrictive enough to filter out disease causing pathogens and bacteria from water.


About Reverse Osmosis Membrane Life Expectancy


Typically RO membranes have an estimated life expectancy of 2 years. Many factors determine an RO membrane’s life expectancy, such as feed water quality and frequency of use. Methods for cleaning RO membranes are often not cost effective for residential RO systems.


About Reverse Osmosis Membrane Fouling


All reverse osmosis membranes lose their performance and foul over time. Suspended solids, microorganisms, and and other particles build-up on the RO membrane surface and cause fouling. Examples of suspended solids often found in feed water include oil, silica, clay, iron, sulfur and acids. To increase the life of your RO membrane, reduce most of these suspended solids before the water enters the membrane. A 5 micron carbon prefilter cartridge will the number of suspended solids in an RO membrane.