Reverse Osmosis Description

In normal osmotic processes, solvent flows across a semipermeable membrane from a dilute solution to a more concentrated solution until equilibrium is reached. Applying high pressure to the concentrated side causes the process to reverse. Solvent flows from the concentrated solution, leaving an even higher concentration of solute. The semipermeable membrane can be flat or tubular, and acts like a filter due to the pressure driving force. The waste stream flows through the membrane, while the solvent is pulled through the membrane's pores. The remaining solutes, such as organic or inorganic components, do not pass through, but become more and more concentrated on the influent side of the membrane.

exchangeable ion bonded to the resin with a weak ionic bond. Ion exchange depends upon the electrochemical potential of the ion to be recovered versus that of the exchange ion; it also depends upon the concentration of the ions in the solution. After a critical relative concentration of recoverable ion to exchanged ion in the solution is exceeded, the exchanged resin is said to be spent. Spent resin is usually recharged by exposure to a concentrated solution of the original exchange ion, causing a reverse exchange. This results in regenerated resin and a concentrated solution of the removed ion, which can be further processed for recovery and reuse. This process is used to remove toxic metal ions from solution to recover concentrated metal for recycling. The residuals include spent resins and spent regenerants such as acid, caustic, or brine.

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