The Essentials of Reverse Osmosis


Reverse osmosis (RO) is used throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Review the basics to understand best practices for troubleshooting, monitoring, and cleaning.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a desalination technique that was first applied commercially in the early 1960s. RO is used today to produce everything from drinking water and boiler feedwater, to ultrapure water for the pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries, as well as for advanced wastewater recovery and recycle.

While RO is now relatively commonplace, the technology is still a bit of a mystery to many. Understanding the technology is critical to keeping an RO system operating effectively at minimal cost. This article covers the basics of the technology and provides guidance on troubleshooting performance issues, cleaning, and more.

Author Bios: 

Jane Kucera

Jane Kucera is a global senior technical consultant at NALCO Water, an Ecolab company (Email:, where she is responsible for the design and technical review of global water treatment projects. She has more than 35 years of experience with membrane processes, and holds a BA in chemistry from Linfield College and an MS in chemical engineering from the Univ. of California, Los Angles (UCLA), where she began her work with reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. She is the author of Reverse Osmosis: Design, Processes, and Applications for...Read more

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