Reverse Osmosis Water Systems

Reverse Osmosis Water Systems

Reverse osmosis is economical.

Reverse osmosis is the most economical method to remove up to 99% of your water's impurities.  The RO membrane is semi-permeable with a thin microporous surface that rejects virtually all dissolved materials including dissolved inorganic solids, organics, particles and microorganisms.

RO water is versatile.

RO water can be used to prepare microbiological buffers and chemical reagents.  Additionally, it is a great option for use in general laboratory equipment, such as water baths, humidifiers, and autoclaves.  RO water is also an excellent pretreatment choice for our Type 1 systems.

Reverse osmosis removes up to 99% of feed water contaminants.

As the feed water approaches the RO membrane, impurities deposit on the surface of the RO membrane and are flushed away to the drain.  The purified product water that passes through the membrane is cleared of up to 99% of its impurities.  The specific rejection rates of all the impurities are shown in each of the product specifications.

Water Purification System

The figure above illustrates the natural osmosic flow of water through a semi-permeable membrane from less concentrated solutinos to more concentrate solutions. Reverse osmosis is achieved if an external pressure is applied to reverse this natural flow, as shown on the right.

Feed Water Factors

Certain characteristics of your feed water directly relate not only to membrane performance and lifetime, but also directly impact the quality of your product water.

Take advantage of our H²O Select Analysis Kit, our free comprehensive testing program which will analyze your feed water to ensure optimum RO performance.  Here is an explanation of why some of these characteristic impact RO performance.  Our technical service experts are a great resource for any feed water questions you might have.


The volumes listed for the reverse osmosis product water are based on a feed water temperature of 25°C (77°F).  For every 1°C below 25°C (77°F), the quantity of product water is reduced by 3%.  Additionally, if the feed water temperature goes beyond 35°C (95°F), the RO membrane may be damaged.  Thermo Scientific recommends a hot and cold water mixing valve to regulate the temperature to 25°C (77°F).

Alkalinity and Calcium

Carbonates, bi-carbonates, hydroxides and calcium impurities in your feed water contribute to scaling on an RO membrane.  The Membrane Protection System (MPS) system is standard in our Barnstead RO systems to protect the RO membrane against such impurities, however, if the levels are high enough, our Pure Water Experts can recommend alternative technologies to prolong the life of your membrane and keep your system running efficiently.


Chlorine can damage the RO membrane and reduce its performance and life.  Our Pure Water Experts can recommend the appropriate activated carbon cartridge to protect your RO system.


The turbidity level indicates the amount of suspended solids present.  This suspended material can shorten the life of filters and reverse osmosis membranes if not properly treated.  Our Pure Water Experts can recommend pretreatment options if this is an issue with your feed water.


Watch this Water System Video

Information courtesy of Thermo Scientific