News23ABC In-Depth

Actions

How does the desalination process work?

Posted: 6:02 PM, Aug 11, 2022
Updated: 2022-08-11 21:02:18-04

(KERO) — You may have questions about the "desalination" process and how it works. A large part of how the process works involves what's called "reverse osmosis."

The article "History of Water Filters" states reverse osmosis takes place when you apply pressure to a highly concentrated solution which causes the solvent to pass through a semi-permeable membrane or filter to the lower concentrated solution.

The San Diego County Water Authority explains: "Desalination uses reverse osmosis technology to separate water molecules from seawater. Water from the ocean is forced through thousands of tightly-wrapped, semipermeable membranes under very high pressure. The membranes allow the smaller water molecules to pass through, leaving salt and other impurities behind."

This leaves behind a more pure version of the solvent or water on the other side.

This process makes it possible to remove salt from seawater, which is also called desalination.

The process of reverse osmosis is also used for recycling wastewater treatment and for medical applications.