Why Pre-filtration Helps With Protecting Reverse Osmosis Membranes

September 19, 2022

Are you wondering how pre-filtration helps protect reverse osmosis membranes? It is highly important to invest in a good quality water filter system. If you are serious about protecting your family from drinking water that can contain dangerous contaminants and save you money, reverse osmosis systems are the answer.  

All About Reverse Osmosis Membranes

Are you wondering what is the purpose of pre-filtration for reverse osmosis filters? Membrane filtration is a water treatment process that cleans unfiltered water. It does this by focusing on it via a porous or semipermeable membrane. This membrane acts like a screen door that enables air molecules to pass through it but also blocks pests and anything larger at the same time. The filter membrane also blocks unwanted molecules, ions, and larger particles that are present in the water and keeps them from passing through.

The most well-known membrane options on the market today are:

  • Reverse osmosis membranes. This process involves applying pressure to a semipermeable membrane while catching inorganic compounds that have dissolved. This process also allows water molecules to pass through and separates the water into two pathways.
  • Ultrafiltration membranes. With this process, the water isn’t separated like a reverse osmosis membrane. Instead, it is simply an ultra-fine particulate or sediment filter. It contains mechanical filtration that particulates down to 0.025 microns that cannot pass through the ultrafiltration membrane.
  • Nanofiltration membranes. This type of membrane technology works similarly to reverse osmosis. However, the only difference is that the filtration is not as refined.

All of these approach membrane filtration in a different way.

The Importance of Pre-Filtration

If you are wondering how pre-filtration helps protect reverse osmosis membranes, you should know that RO filter membranes are incredibly delicate. They play a big role in protecting your RO filter membrane. They are extremely susceptible to damage from larger particles such as microbes, particles, and other containments. This means that if the source water entering the RO systems is non-filtered to eliminate sediment prior to reaching the membrane, dust, sand, and other particles could cause costly damage.

Prefiltration protects the filter membranes against membrane scaling and fouling. This is the most crucial part of a smooth-running RO unit. This important process helps to prevent fouling and scaling of the membrane, thus maintaining its performance and efficiency. It will also extend its lifespan.

Many RO filters have problems with membrane fouling which begins when unwanted contaminants accumulate on the membrane surface or pores. Gradually, the pores will become clogged, thus reducing water flow throughout the unit.

Additionally, pre-filtration also removes bacteria to prevent bio-fouling of the membrane. Biofouling occurs when plants, algae, microorganisms, or other biological contaminants grow on or in filtration membrane surfaces and pores. These bio-foulants can survive in warm environments with reduced flow rates.

Pre-filtration also protects the filter membrane against toxic chemicals such as chlorine. Chlorine is a potent oxidizing agent and it can attack the chemical bonds of polymeric membranes. This can cause a reduction in performance as a result of membrane degradation.

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