After hearing about reverse osmosis, the first thing that probably pops to your mind is a water filtering system that is commonly used in our homes. Although that is a fact, the truth is reverse osmosis is process which has a number of uses aside from providing safe drinking water. In fact reverse osmosis has played an important role in medicine and in various laboratories. And, of course, you cannot discount the fact that reverse osmosis in industries has been utilized extensively. The application to industries is one of the largest uses of reverse osmosis. The production of clean water is as vital to the manufacturing level as it is in the domestic home front.
One of the more large scales common uses of reverse osmosis is boiler feed water treatments. Through the process, the water is pretreated which allows water that has considerable amounts of solids or contaminants removed before they are passed through the boilers. The objective here is get purified steam and to prevent contaminants to clog various stages of the system. The use of reverse osmosis in boiler feeds is more common in power plants and petrochemical plants. Any impurities in the steam that turns the turbines can cause downtime in generating electricity. Power producers can loose a lot of money from low energy production efficiency and they can loose more money when their turbines get damaged.
Reverse osmosis has revolutionized the way these industries purify their water. Traditionally, power plants used hazardous chemicals like sulfuric acid and caustic soda to purify the water they used to generate steam. Shifting to reverse osmosis carry a number of benefits including totally avoiding those harmful chemicals and also the costs benefits since in the long run running a reverse osmosis system is becoming cheaper than purchasing those chemicals.
The beverage and bottled water industry is perhaps the second largest user of reverse osmosis systems. You can see just how many companies use it by looking at the various brands of purified, drinking flavored drinking water in your local supermarket. These companies use the reverse osmosis system combined with other filtering technologies to ensure quality and clean products. Beverage companies cannot afford to mess up in this aspect since any bad publicity due to the quality of their products will loose the credibility of their company resulting to millions of dollars in losses.
Pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries also require the use of pure, clean water for a varied of reasons. In semiconductor production lines for example, the use of ultra pure water as a final step of some cleaning processes is absolutely necessary. Any impurities can cause problems with the sensitive nature of a variety of the products such as semiconductor wafers and other electronic components. The same can be said with pharmaceutical applications. The importance of pure water in creating medicines simply cannot be undermined. Aside from the production side, industries often utilize clean water produced from reverse osmosis to clean, disinfect and maintain equipment and facilities.
And with the evolving nature of industries, it would not be surprising to see new and innovative ways reverse osmosis in industries is utilized. In fact, reverse osmosis has already found its way in small scale products and manufacturing including humidification, waste water treatment, reclaiming car wash water and other rinse waters, photography, kidney dialysis, animal feed, cosmetics, hatcheries, greenhouses, metal plating production and battery water use.