“Reverse osmosis” is a kind of cool-sounding however poorly understood buzz phrases plastered throughout water purification merchandise. Handheld water bottles you’ll be able to refill at a stream on a hike that use reverse osmosis to purify the water? Verify. House-use reverse osmosis water filtration kits that you may hook as much as your faucet? Verify. Techy phrases would possibly appeal to sure clients, however what on the earth does reverse osmosis really imply? And is it actually the case that the identical course of that cleans municipal water resulting in your kitchen sink cleans radioactive water? Sure, and sure.
At its core, reverse osmosis is not any completely different from a colander that drains pasta, or a espresso filter that lets by means of water however holds onto the grounds. Water will get handed by means of a semipermeable membrane — a floor that lets by means of some stuff, however catches different stuff — perforated with very tiny holes. How tiny? Tiny sufficient to catch particular person particles. All these dangerous particles get left behind on one aspect of membrane whereas clear, pure water exits the opposite aspect. Straightforward peasy.
There are a pair different methods to scrub radioactive water, like carbon filtration, which makes use of a carbon filter to soak up radioactive particles slightly than accumulate them. Then we’ve obtained ion-exchange water softening, which includes neither absorbing nor gathering particles, however exchanging them for different particles.