Water is an elixir of life. With the God’s grace, we were blessed with plenty of fresh water resources for all the living organisms on Earth. Unfortunately, along with multitudinous advantages and opportunities that the growth of industrialization, urbanization, modernization, technological innovations and advancement that has been bestowed on us, it has brought negative impact on natural water resources. It is apt to quote considering the present state of environment that ‘water, water everywhere but not a single drop to drink’. The water sources those are available today like bore wells, lakes and reservoir contaminated and prone to diseases. Thus, it is of utmost importance to deliver pure, hygienic, safe and impurity-free water. There is growing need for the Reverse Osmosis plants. Looking into gravity of situation, there is a humongous gap between demand and supply. The products are widely demanded in urban cities, restaurant, cafes, hospital, offices, airports, metro, and railway stations. In urban households also, packaged water is a regular consumable product. This has led to the establishment of various RO Plants across states. The reverse osmosis plants provide a quality reliable, safe, hygienic drinking water.
What is RO plant or Reverse Osmosis plants?
Ro plants are manufacturing units that produce pure, safe, hygienic recycled water with the process of water purification called Reverse osmosis.
To understand Reverse osmosis, first understand what is normal osmosis?
Imagine there is fresh water on one side and concentrate solution, say salt on the other side with a semi permeable membrane in the middle. In normal osmosis, the fresh water moves spontaneously through the semi permeable membrane in the direction of concentrate solution. The semi membrane allows the passage of water molecules but will not allow the larger particles to move through. This is normal osmosis. To understand Reverse osmosis, reverse the normal osmosis process. The pressure is exerted on the side of concentrate solution to force the water molecules to flow through the membrane in the direction of fresh water. By this process the particulate matters and large particles are retained and we get the maximum salt free fresh water.
They undertake the process of treating contaminated water efficiently by taking out microorganisms, chemical, sediments and mineral from the water. The Reverse Osmosis plants also help in the effective management of waste material disposal.
How does RO plant process?
In RO plant, there are RO membranes which are made up from membrane flat sheet. This membrane has three layers namely polyimide layer, polysulfone layer and polyester layer. At the base of the membrane, there is polyester fabric support, above this layer there is a micro porous layer of polysulfone and above it lays a 0.2 microns thick polyimide layer. Polysulfone layer gives support and strength to the thin barrier layer. It is this barrier layer that extract chemicals, sediments, micro organisms like bacteria, virus, algae and nutrients from the water.
The RO membrane sheet is combined with the sheet of feed channel spacer; this combination helps in providing turbulence and opens the room for feed water to travel between the membrane sheets. Another layer of sheet of Permeate space sheet is laid upon the RO membrane sheet and feed channel spacer sheet. The structure now formed will allows the uniform flow of recycle water product across the surface of membrane even under high pressure. The other step involved in the formation of the structure that facilitate recycling is that the back of the membrane is sealed to the edges of permeate spacer while the other three exposed sides of the membrane is glued and cylindrically rolled around the core tube. The feed water is released to pass through these barrier layers. The trajectory of the forced feed water first passed through the membrane pouring into the permeate spacer channel and finally gets collected in the core tube in its spiral movements. The water that is obtained is the final recycled product or permeates.
Aforementioned structural mechanism is a single element of one pressure vessel that contain similar seven spiral walled elements in total. The structure once sealed is, now ready for the introduction of feed water. Then with high pressure, feed water is pumped into the vessel. The barriers layers that are present inside allow the passage of water molecules through the membrane while the passage of large particles or concentrate is restricted. The final recycle water product is collected at the end of the elements while the concentrate or reject flows to another successive stage producing more recycled water. There are actually 3 stages designed to extract the maximum recycled water with the reduced maximum concentrate or reject waste. The first stage extract maximum of 65% if recycle water, the concentrate is passed to second stage where 10% of recycle water is extracted and in the final stage the maximum of 5% is restored before the treatment of concentrate or reject waste become uneconomical. The concentrate wastes are send off to other sites for treatment before it get finally discharged into the ocean or rivers. Reverse osmosis plant serve as a well thought out, efficient water recycling mechanism that restores almost 80% of the total amount of feed water that was originally pumped. This is how RO plant process.
There are many types of RO plants. These are:
1. Industrial Reverse osmosis plant
There are many industrial units that require reverse osmosis plants in their smooth function of business operation. Application of Industrial Ro plants is done in food processing industry, fish processing industries, boiler feed water, beverage producing industry, medicine industry, cosmetic industry, snacks industry, sugar industry, etc. The industrial Ro plants are best suited given its optimization of resource quality. It makes the efficient use of water. Industrial Reverse osmosis plants are modified according to industrial requirements such as antiscalant dosing system, UV sterilizers, water softener, etc. Ro plant are available in different flow rates for 100 LPH to 25,000 LPH depending upon industry’s operation with TDS reduction that goes as much up to 90- 99%.
2. Commercial Ro plant system
There is variety of commercial Ro system available in the India like gold range Ro plants, platinum range, and silver range. There is an increasing demand of such plants given the awareness and Health consciousness among people. Also the institutions are highly concerned about their reputation; they like to provide best services to their clients. This has spurred its growth. Commercial Ro system is mostly used by Schools, colleges, hospitals, clinics, higher institutions, restaurants, hostels, etc, for the supply of impurity free, quality and hygienic water. They are available in different flow rates ranging from 50 LPH to 750 LPH RO plant. They are not expensive, easy to use, process huge quantity of water, require low maintenance and provide quality product.
3. Containerized Reverse osmosis plant system
The containerized Ro plant is designed to cater to the on-go mobile containerized Ro facility. They have versatility in operation as can they can be used for treating any water be it bore well water, brackish water, sea water, etc and provide a quality water. Containerized Reverse osmosis plants are best suited for military operations, remote villages, remote locations, emergency situations, in mining industries, scientific temporary installation, pharmaceuticals, power plants, off shore applications, petrochemicals, beverage, construction sites, resort, etc. Containerized Ro plant are best suited for military and emergency operations as they are skid- mounted fit into container and they can be operated with diesel generator and solar power. The best feature of containerized Ro plants is plug and play installation makes its a pocket friendly tool. Also the installation cost is no high. Owing to its advantages many industries and many people have installed containerized water treatment plants. Also the maintenance cost is minimal. It has flow rates ranging up to 5000 LPH which can be modified as per the requirement.
4. Mineral water or packaged drinking water plant
There is growing need for packaged and mineral water with the increasing health concerns. According to government data, it has been recorded that around 10, 738 deaths are caused by water-borne diseases in five years. The main serial killer remained Diarrhea killing 60% of the affected people. It is also reported that around 73 million working days are lost due to water-borne diseases. Other water-borne diseases are cholera, typhoid, enteric fever and viral hepatitis. This is because of the shortage of safe drinking water.
These plants undertake various processes for treating contaminated water such as antiscalant dosing, chlorine dosing system, activated carbon filter, and pressure sand filter, etc. Mineral water and packaged drinking water has helped a lot in keeping people healthier. You are supplied with many minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium. Safe and mineral filled water helps in promoting bone health, regulated blood pressure, reduce cardiac diseases, increase physical and mental alertness. Also they are available at affordable price and the portable bottles made carrying water and travelling easier. This booming demand contributed in the establishment of many Mineral water plants and packaged drinking water plant. There are many well known brands like Bisleri, catch, Himalayan, Kwa, Aquafina, Bisleri Vedika, xalta, etc.