What is RO reverse osmosis membrane

Release Date:

2023-09-08

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The invention and large-scale application of Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a landmark achievement in the development of modern water treatment technology. As an advanced membrane separation technology developed after the 1950s, reverse osmosis has been widely used in fields such as seawater desalination, desalination of brackish water, household water purification, and wastewater reuse. In 2018, the global production of seawater desalination using reverse osmosis technology reached over 11 billion tons, which can serve 320 million people. In the past 70 years, numerous important scientists, entrepreneurs, and a large number of technology companies have jointly demonstrated a fascinating history of the development of reverse osmosis technology.

In 1963, the North Star Research Institute located in Minneapolis, Minnesota also conducted desalination technology research with OSW funding. In 1967, John E. Cadotte of the North Star Institute invented the microporous polysulfone support membrane. In the following years, he developed various non cellulose acetate composite membranes. But his passion for reverse osmosis is not limited to research.

In 1977, Cardot and three others founded FilmTec. In 1979, Cardot applied for the world's first patent for the preparation of reverse osmosis membranes using interfacial polymerization method (US4277344). The interface polymerization method enables the support layer and separation layer of the reverse osmosis membrane to be optimized separately during the preparation process, thereby further improving the performance of the membrane, which is called thin-layer composite membrane (TFC). Interface polymerization has also become the standard preparation process for modern commercial reverse osmosis membranes.

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