Advantages and Disadvantages of RO Systems
performs a separation without a phase change. Thus, the energy requirements
RO systems are compact, and space requirements are less than with other desalting systems, e.g. distillation.
RO equipment is standardized - pumps, motors, valves, flowmeters, pressure gages, etc. Thus, the learning curve for unskilled labour is short.
Many RO systems are fully automated and designed to start-up and shutdown automatically through interlocks. Thus, RO plants usually require little labour.
Due to their modular design, maintenance is easy. Scheduled maintenance can be performed without shutting down the entire plant.
The modular design also makes expansion an easy option.
applied pressure must exceed the osmotic pressure to obtain product flow and
to separate the solute from the solvent. The maximum feed pressure for seawater
devices varies from 800 - 1000 psig, while the limit for brackish water varies
from 400 - 600 psig. Due to the high pressure requirement (about 200 psig or
more above the osmotic pressure) RO is usually not applicable for concentrated
Because all RO membranes and devices are susceptible to fouling, the RO process usually cannot be applied without pretreatment.
RO feed streams must be compatible with the membrane and other materials of construction used in the devices. If the feed stream contains incompatible compounds, these must be removed in pretreatment, or another compatible device and/or membrane must be considered.
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