Real-Time Field Water Analysis with an Ultrameter III 9P: Myron L Meters

Posted by 30 Apr, 2014

Tweet The Ultrameter III 9P Titration Kit allows for fast, accurate alkalinity, hardness & LSI titrations in the field. The Ultrameter III 9P is based on the tried and tested design of the Ultrameter II 6P and measures conductivity, resistivity, TDS, pH, ORP, free chlorine and temperature quickly and accurately. The 9P also features new […]


The Ultrameter III 9P Titration Kit allows for fast, accurate alkalinity, hardness & LSI titrations in the field.

The Ultrameter III 9P is based on the tried and tested design of the Ultrameter II 6P and measures conductivity, resistivity, TDS, pH, ORP, free chlorine and temperature quickly and accurately. The 9P also features new parameters that allow the user to perform titrations in the field. The Ultrameter III 9P has a unique method of performing alkalinity, hardness and LSI titrations that makes field monitoring fast and feasible.

How does it work?

The 9P titrations are based on conductometric titration methods that are possible with the 9P’s advanced conductivity cell and microprocessor based design. Titrations are chemically equivalent to standard methods using colorimetric techniques, but replace color change identification of equivalence points with changes in conductivity, thereby replacing a subjective, qualitative assessment with a quantitative one. This means the instrument determines the equivalence point instead of the user and the method of analyzing the equivalence point is objective, rather than subjective.

What is a conductometric titration?

A conductometric titration is performed just like a colorimetric titration, only the equivalence point is determined by a change in conductivity rather than a change in color. This is based on the fact that changes in ionic concentration that occur as constituents react with reagents change the electrical conductivity of the solution.

A simple example can be given of the titration of a strong acid with a strong base. The acid solution, before the addition of the base, has a very high conductance owing to the concentration and mobility of the small hydrogen ions.

With the addition of the base, the hydroxide reacts with the hydrogen to form water, thus reducing the hydrogen ion concentration and effectively lowering the conductivity of the solution. The conductivity continues to decrease until all the hydrogen ions are consumed in the reaction, but then sharply increases with the next addition of base, which contains highly conductive hydroxide ions. The solution conductivity then continues to increase with each base addition. The equivalence point in this example would be a clearly defined minimum point of lowest conductivity (see Figure 2).

Not all solutions will give a plot with an equivalence point that is as easy to distinguish as the sharp upturn found in a strong acid-base titration, however. The 9P plots several reagent additions beyond any changes in conductivity and matches the derived curve to the behavior of solutions of known concentration.

Is a conductometric titration a standard method?

(Standard method comparison to methods listed in the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater published by the American Public Health Assn., the American WaterWorks Assn. and the Water Environment Assn.)

Myron L’s conductometric titration methods are chemically equivalent to standard methods that use the same procedure, but with pH indicators. That means that they use the same reagents in the same sequence with the same theoretical approach. The difference lies in the 9P’s ability to determine the equivalence point based on numerical data, rather than subjective observation of a color change.

The alkalinity titration is modeled after standard method 2320. The sample is titrated with sulfuric acid and conductivity changes are recorded at each titration point.

The hardness titration is modeled after standard method 2340. To reduce the affects of high alkalinity in the form of bicarbonate, acid is first added to the sample. This shifts the bicarbonate toward carbonic acid, then carbon dioxide (reference the carbonic acid equilibrium), which is gassed off the sample. The sample is buffered above pH 10 (effectively pH 12) by the addition of sodium hydroxide. EDTA reagent is then added incrementally, with conductivity measured after each addition.

The LSI titration uses a simplified version of the thermodynamic equations for the determination of the scaling tendency of water developed in 1936 by Dr. Wilfred Langelier. The user simply titrates for alkalinity and hardness, then measures pH and temperature, and the 9P generates the saturation index value automatically.

Conductometric vs. Colorimetric

The benefits of determining the equivalence points by conductometric titrations are that the user does not have to interpret any results. The 9P does it for you using objective measurements. And the 9P is a faster method. For example, a typical colorimetric titration for hardness can take up to 30 drops of reagent, while the 9P method for the same concentration only requires six to eight drops. Colorimetric distinctions are sometimes hard to make, as well, especially when adding reagents drop by drop while trying to carefully observe the precise point at which the color changes—and that can lead to inaccurate data. This is especially true in colored or turbid solutions.

The conductometric method can also be used with very dilute solutions or for solutions for which there is no suitable indicator. The conductometric titration method gives you empirical results that are calculated for you, eliminating potential sources of error. And the measurements can be stored in memory for later data transfer using the optional U2CI software and bluDock Bluetooth hardware installed on the 9P . This makes data analysis and reporting seamless.

What else can the Ultrameter III 9P do?

Alkalinity, hardness, pH and temperature values used to compute the saturation index of a sample can be manipulated in the LSI Calculator function, allowing you to perform on the spot analysis of water balance scenarios. You can use historical or theoretical data to populate the required values in the calculator.

And the 9P titration kit comes with all required accessories, reagents, and calibration solutions (see Figure 6). Streamline your field testing with an Ultrameter III 9P from MyronLMeters, where you can save 10% when you order online.

Myron L Meters is the premier online retailer of accurate, reliable, and easy-to-use Myron L meters like the Ultrameter III 9P.  Save 10% when you order online at Find out more about the Ultrameter III 9P in our Myron L Meters – Ultrameter III 9P Titration Kit Overview video.


Categories : Case Studies & Application Stories, Product Updates

Water Hardness and LSI –

Posted by 2 Nov, 2012

Tweet Hard water is water that has high mineral content. Hard drinking water is generally not harmful to one’s health, but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water. In domestic settings, hard water is often indicated […]

Hard water is water that has high mineral content.

Hard drinking water is generally not harmful to one’s health, but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water. In domestic settings, hard water is often indicated by a lack of suds formation when soap is agitated in water. Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water’s adverse effects.

Sources of hardness
Water’s hardness is determined by the concentration of multivalent cations in the water. Multivalent cations are cations (positively charged metal complexes) with a charge greater than 1+. Usually, the cations have the charge of 2+. Common cations found in hard water include Ca2+ and Mg2+. These ions enter a water supply by leaching from minerals within an aquifer. Common calcium-containing minerals are calcite and gypsum. A common magnesium mineral is dolomite (which also contains calcium). Rainwater and distilled water are soft, because they also contain few ions.

The following equilibrium reaction describes the dissolving/formation of calcium carbonate scales:
CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O ⇋ Ca2+ + 2HCO3−
Calcium carbonate scales formed in water-heating systems are called limescale.
Calcium and magnesium ions can sometimes be removed by water softeners.

Temporary hardness
Temporary hardness is a type of water hardness caused by the presence of dissolved bicarbonate minerals (calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate). When dissolved, these minerals yield calcium and magnesium cations (Ca2+, Mg2+) and carbonate and bicarbonate anions (CO32-, HCO3-). The presence of the metal cations makes the water hard. However, unlike the permanent hardness caused by sulfate and chloride compounds, this “temporary” hardness can be reduced either by boiling the water, or by the addition of lime (calcium hydroxide) through the softening process of lime softening. Boiling promotes the formation of carbonate from the bicarbonate and precipitates calcium carbonate out of solution, leaving water that is softer upon cooling.

Permanent hardness
Permanent hardness is hardness (mineral content) that cannot be removed by boiling. When this is the case, it is usually caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium sulfates and/or chlorides in the water, which become more soluble as the temperature increases. Despite the name, the hardness of the water can be easily removed using a water softener, or ion exchange column.
Effects of hard water

With hard water, soap solutions form a white precipitate (soap scum) instead of producing lather. This effect arises because the 2+ ions destroy the surfactant properties of the soap by forming a solid precipitate (the soap scum). A major component of such scum is calcium stearate, which arises from sodium stearate, the main component of soap:
2 C17H35COO- + Ca2+ → (C17H35COO)2Ca

Hardness can thus be defined as the soap-consuming capacity of a water sample, or the capacity of precipitation of soap as a characteristic property of water that prevents the lathering of soap. Synthetic detergents do not form such scums.

Hard water also forms deposits that clog plumbing. These deposits, called “scale”, are composed mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), and calcium sulfate (CaSO4).[1] Calcium and magnesium carbonates tend to be deposited as off-white solids on the surfaces of pipes and the surfaces of heat exchangers. This precipitation (formation of an insoluble solid) is principally caused by thermal decomposition of bi-carbonate ions but also happens to some extent even in the absence of such ions. The resulting build-up of scale restricts the flow of water in pipes. In boilers, the deposits impair the flow of heat into water, reducing the heating efficiency and allowing the metal boiler components to overheat. In a pressurized system, this overheating can lead to failure of the boiler. The damage caused by calcium carbonate deposits varies depending on the crystalline form, for example, calcite or aragonite.
The presence of ions in an electrolyte, in this case, hard water, can also lead to galvanic corrosion, in which one metal will preferentially corrode when in contact with another type of metal, when both are in contact with an electrolyte. The softening of hard water by ion exchange does not increase its corrosivity per se. Similarly, where lead plumbing is in use, softened water does not substantially increase plumbo-solvency.

In swimming pools, hard water is manifested by a turbid, or cloudy (milky), appearance to the water. Calcium and magnesium hydroxides are both soluble in water. The solubility of the hydroxides of the alkaline-earth metals to which calcium and magnesium belong (group 2 of the periodic table) increases moving down the column. Aqueous solutions of these metal hydroxides absorb carbon dioxide from the air, forming the insoluble carbonates, giving rise to the turbidity. This often results from the alkalinity (the hydroxide concentration) being excesively high (pH > 7.6). Hence, a common solution to the problem is to, while maintaining the chlorine concentration at the proper level, raise the acidity (lower the pH) by the addition of hydrochloric acid, the optimum value being in the range of 7.2 to 7.6.

For the reasons discussed above, it is often desirable to soften hard water. Most detergents contain ingredients that counteract the effects of hard water on the surfactants. For this reason, water softening is often unnecessary. Where softening is practiced, it is often recommended to soften only the water sent to domestic hot water systems so as to prevent or delay inefficiencies and damage due to scale formation in water heaters. A common method for water softening involves the use of ion exchange resins, which replace ions like Ca2+ by twice the number of monocations such as sodium or potassium ions.

Health considerations
The World Health Organization says that “there does not appear to be any convincing evidence that water hardness causes adverse health effects in humans”.
Some studies have shown a weak inverse relationship between water hardness and cardiovascular disease in men, up to a level of 170 mg calcium carbonate per litre of water. The World Health Organization has reviewed the evidence and concluded the data were inadequate to allow for a recommendation for a level of hardness.

Recommendations have been made for the maximum and minimum levels of calcium (40–80 ppm) and magnesium (20–30 ppm) in drinking water, and a total hardness expressed as the sum of the calcium and magnesium concentrations of 2–4 mmol/L.

Other studies have shown weak correlations between cardiovascular health and water hardness.

Some studies correlate domestic hard water usage with increased eczema in children.

The Softened-Water Eczema Trial (SWET), a multicenter randomized controlled trial of ion-exchange softeners for treating childhood eczema, was undertaken in 2008. However, no meaningful difference in symptom relief was found between children with access to a home water softener and those without.

Hardness can be quantified by instrumental analysis. The total water hardness is the sum of the molar concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+, in mol/L or mmol/L units. Although water hardness usually measures only the total concentrations of calcium and magnesium (the two most prevalent divalent metal ions), iron, aluminium, and manganese can also be present at elevated levels in some locations. The presence of iron characteristically confers a brownish (rust-like) colour to the calcification, instead of white (the color of most of the other compounds).
Water hardness is often not expressed as a molar concentration, but rather in various units, such as degrees of general hardness (dGH), German degrees (°dH), parts per million (ppm, mg/L, or American degrees), grains per gallon (gpg), English degrees (°e, e, or °Clark), or French degrees (°f). The table below shows conversion factors between the various units.

The various alternative units represent an equivalent mass of calcium oxide (CaO) or calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that, when dissolved in a unit volume of pure water, would result in the same total molar concentration of Mg2+ and Ca2+. The different conversion factors arise from the fact that equivalent masses of calcium oxide and calcium carbonates differ, and that different mass and volume units are used. The units are as follows:

Parts per million (ppm) is usually defined as 1 mg/L CaCO3 (the definition used below). It is equivalent to mg/L without chemical compound specified, and to American degree.

Grains per Gallon (gpg) is defined as 1 grain (64.8 mg) of calcium carbonate per U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), or 17.118 ppm.

a mmol/L is equivalent to 100.09 mg/L CaCO3 or 40.08 mg/L Ca2+.

A degree of General Hardness (dGH or ‘German degree (°dH, deutsche Härte)’ is defined as 10 mg/L CaO or 17.848 ppm.

A Clark degree (°Clark) or English degrees (°e or e) is defined as one grain (64.8 mg) of CaCO3 per Imperial gallon (4.55 litres) of water, equivalent to 14.254 ppm.

A French degree (°F or f) is defined as 10 mg/L CaCO3, equivalent to 10 ppm. The lowercase f is often used to prevent confusion with degrees Fahrenheit.

Hard/soft classification
Because it is the precise mixture of minerals dissolved in the water, together with the water’s pH and temperature, that determines the behavior of the hardness, a single-number scale does not adequately describe hardness.

Langelier Saturation Index (LSI)
The Langelier Saturation Index (sometimes Langelier Stability Index) is a calculated number used to predict the calcium carbonate stability of water. It indicates whether the water will precipitate, dissolve, or be in equilibrium with calcium carbonate. In 1936, Wilfred Langelier developed a method for predicting the pH at which water is saturated in calcium carbonate (called pHs). The LSI is expressed as the difference between the actual system pH and the saturation pH:

LSI = pH (measured) — pHs
For LSI > 0, water is super saturated and tends to precipitate a scale layer of CaCO3.
For LSI = 0, water is saturated (in equilibrium) with CaCO3. A scale layer of CaCO3 is neither precipitated nor dissolved.
For LSI < 0, water is under saturated and tends to dissolve solid CaCO3.

If the actual pH of the water is below the calculated saturation pH, the LSI is negative and the water has a very limited scaling potential. If the actual pH exceeds pHs, the LSI is positive, and being supersaturated with CaCO3, the water has a tendency to form scale. At increasing positive index values, the scaling potential increases.
In practice, water with an LSI between -0.5 and +0.5 will not display enhanced mineral dissolving or scale forming properties. Water with an LSI below -0.5 tends to exhibit noticeably increased dissolving abilities while water with an LSI above +0.5 tends to exhibit noticeably increased scale forming properties.
It is also worth noting that the LSI is temperature sensitive. The LSI becomes more positive as the water temperature increases. This has particular implications in situations where well water is used. The temperature of the water when it first exits the well is often significantly lower than the temperature inside the building served by the well or at the laboratory where the LSI measurement is made. This increase in temperature can cause scaling, especially in cases such as hot water heaters. Conversely, systems that reduce water temperature will have less scaling.

Hard water in the United States
More than 85% of American homes have hard water. The softest waters occur in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions. Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, and Alaska regions. Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. The hardest waters (greater than 1,000 ppm) are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California.

Measuring Hardness and LSI
The Myron L Ultrameter III 9PTK measures water hardness and LSI, as well as 7 other water quality parameters.
Measures 9 Parameters: Conductivity, Resistivity, TDS, Alkalinity, Hardness, LSI, pH, ORP/Free Chlorine, Temperature
LSI Calculator for hypothetical water balance calculations
Wireless data transfer capability with bluDock option
Auto-ranging delivers increased resolution across diverse applications
Adjustable Temperature Compensation and Cond/TDS conversion ratios for user-defined solutions
Nonvolatile memory of up to 100 readings for stored data protection
Date & time stamp makes record-keeping easy
pH calibration prompts alert you when maintenance is required
Auto-off minimizes energy consumption
Low battery indicator
(Includes instrument with case and solutions)

Watch the video here:

Material from Wikipedia shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Categories : Science and Industry Updates

Reverse Osmosis and RO Meters –

Posted by 1 Oct, 2012

TweetReverse Osmosis and RO Meters –               Schematics of a reverse osmosis system (desalination) using a pressure exchanger. 1: Sea water inflow, 2: Fresh water flow (40%), 3: Concentrate flow (60%), 4: Sea water flow (60%), 5: Concentrate (drain), A: Pump flow (40%), B: Circulation pump, C: Osmosis unit […]

Reverse Osmosis and RO Meters –








Schematics of a reverse osmosis system (desalination) using a pressure exchanger.
1: Sea water inflow,
2: Fresh water flow (40%),
3: Concentrate flow (60%),
4: Sea water flow (60%),
5: Concentrate (drain),
A: Pump flow (40%),
B: Circulation pump,
C: Osmosis unit with membrane,
D: Pressure exchanger

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a membrane-technology filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be “selective,” this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as the solvent) to pass freely.

In normal osmosis, the solvent naturally moves from an area of low solute concentration (High Water Potential), through a membrane to an area of high solute concentration (Low Water Potential). The movement of a pure solvent to equalize solute concentrations on each side of a membrane generates osmotic pressure. Applying an external pressure to reverse the natural flow of pure solvent, thus, is reverse osmosis. The process is similar to other membrane technology applications. However, there are key differences between reverse osmosis and filtration. The predominant removal mechanism in membrane filtration is straining, or size exclusion, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect exclusion of particles regardless of operational parameters such as influent pressure and concentration. Reverse osmosis, however, involves a diffusive mechanism so that separation efficiency is dependent on solute concentration, pressure, and water flux rate. Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water purification from seawater, removing the salt and other substances from the water molecules.

Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a semipermeable membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure. The largest and most important application of reverse osmosis is to the separation of pure water from seawater and brackish waters; seawater or brackish water is pressurized against one surface of the membrane, causing transport of salt-depleted water across the membrane and emergence of potable drinking water from the low-pressure side.

The membranes used for reverse osmosis have a dense layer in the polymer matrix — either the skin of an asymmetric membrane or an interfacially polymerized layer within a thin-film-composite membrane — where the separation occurs. In most cases, the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer, while preventing the passage of solutes (such as salt ions). This process requires that a high pressure be exerted on the high concentration side of the membrane, usually 2–17 bar (30–250 psi) for fresh and brackish water, and 40–82 bar (600–1200 psi) for seawater, which has around 27 bar (390 psi)[3] natural osmotic pressure that must be overcome. This process is best known for its use in desalination (removing the salt and other minerals from sea water to get fresh water), but since the early 1970s it has also been used to purify fresh water for medical, industrial, and domestic applications.

Osmosis describes how solvent moves between two solutions separated by a permeable membrane to reduce concentration differences between the solutions. When two solutions with different concentrations of a solute are mixed, the total amount of solutes in the two solutions will be equally distributed in the total amount of solvent from the two solutions. Instead of mixing the two solutions together, they can be put in two compartments where they are separated from each other by a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane does not allow the solutes to move from one compartment to the other, but allows the solvent to move. Since equilibrium cannot be achieved by the movement of solutes from the compartment with high solute concentration to the one with low solute concentration, it is instead achieved by the movement of the solvent from areas of low solute concentration to areas of high solute concentration. When the solvent moves away from low concentration areas, it causes these areas to become more concentrated. On the other side, when the solvent moves into areas of high concentration, solute concentration will decrease. This process is termed osmosis. The tendency for solvent to flow through the membrane can be expressed as “osmotic pressure”, since it is analogous to flow caused by a pressure differential. Osmosis is an example of diffusion.

In reverse osmosis, in a similar setup as that in osmosis, pressure is applied to the compartment with high concentration. In this case, there are two forces influencing the movement of water: the pressure caused by the difference in solute concentration between the two compartments (the osmotic pressure) and the externally applied pressure.

Around the world, household drinking water purification systems, including a reverse osmosis step, are commonly used for improving water for drinking and cooking.

Such systems typically include a number of steps:

a sediment filter to trap particles, including rust and calcium carbonate

optionally, a second sediment filter with smaller pores

an activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine, which will attack and degrade TFC reverse osmosis membranes

a reverse osmosis (RO) filter, which is a thin film composite membrane (TFM or TFC)

optionally, a second carbon filter to capture those chemicals not removed by the RO membrane

optionally an ultra-violet lamp for sterilizing any microbes that may escape filtering by the reverse osmosis membrane

In some systems, the carbon prefilter is omitted, and cellulose triacetate membrane (CTA) is used. The CTA membrane is prone to rotting unless protected by chlorinated water, while the TFC membrane is prone to breaking down under the influence of chlorine. In CTA systems, a carbon postfilter is needed to remove chlorine from the final product, water.

Portable reverse osmosis (RO) water processors are sold for personal water purification. To work effectively, the water feeding to these units should be under some pressure (40 psi or greater is the norm). Portable RO water processors can be used by people who live in rural areas without clean water, far away from the city’s water pipes. Rural people filter river or ocean water themselves, as the device is easy to use (saline water may need special membranes). Some travelers on long boating, fishing, or island camping trips, or in countries where the local water supply is polluted or substandard, use RO water processors coupled with one or more UV sterilizers. RO systems are also now extensively used by marine aquarium enthusiasts. In the production of bottled mineral water, the water passes through an RO water processor to remove pollutants and microorganisms. In European countries, though, such processing of Natural Mineral Water (as defined by a European Directive) is not allowed under European law. In practice, a fraction of the living bacteria can and do pass through RO membranes through minor imperfections, or bypass the membrane entirely through tiny leaks in surrounding seals. Thus, complete RO systems may include additional water treatment stages that use ultraviolet light or ozone to prevent microbiological contamination.

Membrane pore sizes can vary from 0.1 nanometres (3.9×10−9 in) to 5,000 nanometres (0.00020 in) depending on filter type. “Particle filtration” removes particles of 1 micrometre (3.9×10−5 in) or larger. Microfiltration removes particles of 50 nm or larger. “Ultrafiltration” removes particles of roughly 3 nm or larger. “Nanofiltration” removes particles of 1 nm or larger. Reverse osmosis is in the final category of membrane filtration, “hyperfiltration”, and removes particles larger than 0.1 nm.

Water and waste water purification

Rain water collected from storm drains is purified with reverse osmosis water processors and used for landscape irrigation and industrial cooling in Los Angeles and other cities, as a solution to the problem of water shortages.

In industry, reverse osmosis removes minerals from boiler water at power plants. The water is boiled and condensed repeatedly. It must be as pure as possible so that it does not leave deposits on the machinery or cause corrosion. The deposits inside or outside the boiler tubes may result in under-performance of the boiler, bringing down its efficiency and resulting in poor steam production, hence poor power production at turbine.

It is also used to clean effluent and brackish groundwater. The effluent in larger volumes (more than 500 cu. meter per day) should be treated in an effluent treatment plant first, and then the clear effluent is subjected to reverse osmosis system. Treatment cost is reduced significantly and membrane life of the RO system is increased.

The process of reverse osmosis can be used for the production of deionized water.

RO process for water purification does not require thermal energy. Flow through RO system can be regulated by high pressure pump. The recovery of purified water depends upon various factors including membrane sizes, membrane pore size, temperature, operating pressure and membrane surface area.

In 2002, Singapore announced that a process named NEWater would be a significant part of its future water plans. It involves using reverse osmosis to treat domestic wastewater before discharging the NEWater back into the reservoirs.

Food industry

In addition to desalination, reverse osmosis is a more economical operation for concentrating food liquids (such as fruit juices) than conventional heat-treatment processes. Research has been done on concentration of orange juice and tomato juice. Its advantages include a lower operating cost and the ability to avoid heat-treatment processes, which makes it suitable for heat-sensitive substances like the protein and enzymes found in most food products.

Reverse osmosis is extensively used in the dairy industry for the production of whey protein powders and for the concentration of milk to reduce shipping costs. In whey applications, the whey (liquid remaining after cheese manufacture) is concentrated with RO from 6% total solids to 10–20% total solids before UF (ultrafiltration) processing. The UF retentate can then be used to make various whey powders, including whey protein isolate used in bodybuilding formulations. Additionally, the UF permeate, which contains lactose, is concentrated by RO from 5% total solids to 18–22% total solids to reduce crystallization and drying costs of the lactose powder.

Although use of the process was once avoided in the wine industry, it is now widely understood and used. An estimated 60 reverse osmosis machines were in use in Bordeaux, France in 2002. Known users include many of the elite classed growths.

Car washing

Because of its lower mineral content, reverse osmosis water is often used in car washes during the final vehicle rinse to prevent water spotting on the vehicle. Reverse osmosis is often used to conserve and recycle water within the wash/pre-rinse cycles, especially in drought stricken areas where water conservation is important. Reverse osmosis water also enables the car wash operator to reduce the demands on the vehicle drying equipment, such as air blowers.

Maple syrup production

In 1946, some maple syrup producers started using reverse osmosis to remove water from sap before the sap is boiled down to syrup. The use of reverse osmosis allows approximately 75-90% of the water to be removed from the sap, reducing energy consumption and exposure of the syrup to high temperatures. Microbial contamination and degradation of the membranes has to be monitored.

Hydrogen production

For small-scale production of hydrogen, reverse osmosis is sometimes used to prevent formation of minerals on the surface of electrodes.

Reef aquariums

Many reef aquarium keepers use reverse osmosis systems for their artificial mixture of seawater. Ordinary tap water can often contain excessive chlorine, chloramines, copper, nitrogen, phosphates, silicates, or many other chemicals detrimental to the sensitive organisms in a reef environment. Contaminants such as nitrogen compounds and phosphates can lead to excessive, and unwanted, algae growth. An effective combination of both reverse osmosis and deionization (RO/DI) is the most popular among reef aquarium keepers, and is preferred above other water purification processes due to the low cost of ownership and minimal operating costs. Where chlorine and chloramines are found in the water, carbon filtration is needed before the membrane, as the common residential membrane used by reef keepers does not cope with these compounds.


Areas that have either no or limited surface water or groundwater may choose to desalinate seawater or brackish water to obtain drinking water. Reverse osmosis is a common method of desalination, although 85 percent of desalinated water is produced in multistage flash plants.[5]

Large reverse osmosis and multistage flash desalination plants are used in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. The energy requirements of the plants are large, but electricity can be produced relatively cheaply with the abundant oil reserves in the region. The desalination plants are often located adjacent to the power plants, which reduces energy losses in transmission and allows waste heat to be used in the desalination process of multistage flash plants, reducing the amount of energy needed to desalinate the water and providing cooling for the power plant.

Sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) is a reverse osmosis desalination membrane process that has been commercially used since the early 1970s. Its first practical use was demonstrated by Sidney Loeb and Srinivasa Sourirajan from UCLA in Coalinga, California. Because no heating or phase changes are needed, energy requirements are low in comparison to other processes of desalination, but are still much higher than those required for other forms of water supply (including reverse osmosis treatment of wastewater).

The Ashkelon seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant in Israel is the largest in the world. The project was developed as a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) by a consortium of three international companies: Veolia water, IDE Technologies and Elran.

The typical single-pass SWRO system consists of the following components:



High pressure pump

Membrane assembly

Remineralization and pH adjustment


Alarm/control panel


Pretreatment is important when working with RO and nanofiltration (NF) membranes due to the nature of their spiral wound design. The material is engineered in such a fashion as to allow only one-way flow through the system. As such, the spiral wound design does not allow for backpulsing with water or air agitation to scour its surface and remove solids. Since accumulated material cannot be removed from the membrane surface systems, they are highly susceptible to fouling (loss of production capacity). Therefore, pretreatment is a necessity for any RO or NF system. Pretreatment in SWRO systems has four major components:

Screening of solids: Solids within the water must be removed and the water treated to prevent fouling of the membranes by fine particle or biological growth, and reduce the risk of damage to high-pressure pump components.

Cartridge filtration: Generally, string-wound polypropylene filters are used to remove particles of 1–5 µm diameter.

Dosing: Oxidizing biocides, such as chlorine, are added to kill bacteria, followed by bisulfite dosing to deactivate the chlorine, which can destroy a thin-film composite membrane. There are also biofouling inhibitors, which do not kill bacteria, but simply prevent them from growing slime on the membrane surface and plant walls.

Prefiltration pH adjustment: If the pH, hardness and the alkalinity in the feedwater result in a scaling tendency when they are concentrated in the reject stream, acid is dosed to maintain carbonates in their soluble carbonic acid form.

CO32– + H3O+ = HCO3– + H2O

HCO3– + H3O+ = H2CO3 + H2O

Carbonic acid cannot combine with calcium to form calcium carbonate scale. Calcium carbonate scaling tendency is estimated using the Langelier saturation index (LSI). Adding too much sulfuric acid to control carbonate scales may result in calcium sulfate, barium sulfate or strontium sulfate scale formation on the RO membrane.

Antiscalants: Scale inhibitors (also known as antiscalants) prevent formation of all scales compared to acid, which can only prevent formation of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate scales. In addition to inhibiting carbonate and phosphate scales, antiscalants inhibit sulfate and fluoride scales, disperse colloids and metal oxides. Despite claims that antiscalants can inhibit silica formation, there is no concrete evidence to prove that silica polymerization can be inhibited by antiscalants. Antiscalants can control acid soluble scales at a fraction of the dosage required to control the same scale using sulfuric acid.

Some small scale desalination units use Beach wells, they are usually drilled on the seashore in close vicinity to the ocean. These intake facilities are relatively simple to build and the seawater they collect is pretreated via slow filtration through the subsurface sand/seabed formations in the area of source water extraction. Raw seawater collected using beach wells is often of better quality in terms of solids, silt, oil and grease, natural organic contamination and aquatic microorganisms, compared to open seawater intakes. Sometimes, beach intakes may also yield source water of lower salinity.

High pressure pump

The pump supplies the pressure needed to push water through the membrane, even as the membrane rejects the passage of salt through it. Typical pressures for brackish water range from 225 to 375 psi (15.5 to 26 bar, or 1.6 to 2.6 MPa). In the case of seawater, they range from 800 to 1,180 psi (55 to 81.5 bar or 6 to 8 MPa). This requires a large amount of energy.

Membrane assembly

The layers of a membrane

The membrane assembly consists of a pressure vessel with a membrane that allows feed water to be pressed against it. The membrane must be strong enough to withstand whatever pressure is applied against it. RO membranes are made in a variety of configurations, with the two most common configurations being spiral-wound and hollow-fiber.

Remineralization and pH adjustment

The desalinated water is very corrosive and is “stabilized” to protect downstream pipelines and storages, usually by adding lime or caustic to prevent corrosion of concrete lined surfaces. Liming material is used to adjust pH between 6.8 and 8.1 to meet the potable water specifications, primarily for effective disinfection and for corrosion control.


Post-treatment consists of preparing the water for distribution after filtration. Reverse osmosis is an effective barrier to pathogens, however post-treatment provides secondary protection against compromised membranes and downstream problems. Disinfection by means of UV lamps (sometimes called germicidal or bactericidal) may be used to sterilize pathogens which bypassed the reverse osmosis process. Chlorination or chloramination (chlorine and ammonia) protects against pathogens which may have lodged in the distribution system downstream, such as from new construction, backwash, compromised pipes, etc.[citation needed]


Household reverse osmosis units use a lot of water because they have low back pressure. As a result, they recover only 5 to 15 percent of the water entering the system. The remainder is discharged as waste water. Because waste water carries with it the rejected contaminants, methods to recover this water are not practical for household systems. Waste water is typically connected to the house drains and will add to the load on household septic systems. An RO unit delivering 5 gallons of treated water a day may discharge anywhere between 20 and 90 gallons of waste water a day. For household use, however, and based on consumption of half a gallon per day, this may amount to less than a toilet-flush per day.

Large-scale industrial/municipal systems have a production efficiency of 75% – 80%, or as high as 90%, because they can generate the high pressure needed for more efficient RO filtration. On the other hand, as efficiency of waste water rates increases in commercial operations effective removal rates tend to become reduced, as evidenced by TDS counts.

Reverse Osmosis Removes Minerals

Reverse Osmosis (RO) removesd more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply. RO removes minerals because they have larger molecules than water. The subject of minerals and RO created controversy and disagreement among water and health professionals.  The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that most of healthy minerals needed by the human body come from food or dietary supplementary sources and not from drinking tap water. In addition, some minerals found in water can be harmful to human health.  The evidence is strong that calcium and magnesium are essential elements for human body.  However, this is not to suggest that we should make up this deficiency through water consumption. Tap water presents a variety of inorganic minerals which human body has difficulty absorbing. Their presence is suspect in a wide array of degenerative diseases, such as hardening of the arteries, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, emphysema, diabetes, and obesity. What minerals are available, especially in “hard” tap water, are poorly absorbed, or rejected by cellular tissue sites, and, if not evacuated, their presence may cause arterial obstruction, and internal damage (Dennison, 193; Muehling, 1994; Banik, 1989).

A number of studies have looked at the long term health effects of drinking demineralized water. However, demineralized water can be remineralized, and this process has been done in instances when processing demineralized water for consumption. Dasani water uses this process.

Water filtered or treated by RO is generally pure, clean, and healthy.  RO treatment is currently the only technology that can remove emerging contaminants (prescription drugs and perchlorate) and some others (i.e., arsenic, cyanide, and fluoride) that are difficult to remove by other methods. Consumers should not be concerned about the removal of minerals by RO system.  WHO (2009) and WQA (2011) pointed out, that the human body obtains most minerals from food or supplements, not from drinking water.

Popular RO Meters

RO Meter – RO-1: 0-1250 ppm with color band










Instant and accurate TDS tests
Electronic Internal Standard for easy field calibration
Fast Auto Temperature Compensation
Rugged design for years of trouble-free testing
Simple to use


758II: Conductivity Digital Monitor/Controller

Conductivity monitor/controller










The choice of professionals for years, this compact instrument has been designed specifically to demonstrate and test Point of Use (POU) reverse osmosis or distillation systems. By measuring electrical conductivity, it will quickly determine the parts per million/Total Dissolved Solids (ppm/TDS) of any drinking water.

With a single ‘before and after’ test, this handy device effectively demonstrates how your RO or distillation system eliminates harmful dissolved solids. It will also service test systems, including membrane evaluation programs.

The unique circuitry of the 750 Series II Conductivity Monitor/controllers guarantees accurate and reliable measurements. Drift-free performance is assured by “field proven” electronics, including automatic DC offset compensation and highly accurate drive voltage.

Since temperature compensation is at the heart of accurate water measurement, all Myron L Monitor/controllers feature a highly refined and precise TC circuit. This feature perfectly matches the water temperature coefficient as it changes. All models corrected to 25’C. The TC may be disabled to conform with USP requirements.

Built-in electronic calibration allows for fast quality checks without standard solutions. (Note: for maximum system accuracy standard solutions are recommended).

Aquaswitch I 











For use with any two-bank supply systems (DI banks, RO systems, etc)

Must use with Inline Monitor/Controller

The AQUASWITCH I is a special purpose dedicated instrument which automatically “switches” from an exhausted DI or RO bank to a fresh stand-by bank. LEDs continually give the condition of both banks. An alarm output is activated as each bank is depleted.

Ultrameter III – 9PTK

Measures 9 Parameters: Conductivity, Resistivity, TDS, Alkalinity, Hardness, LSI, pH, ORP/Free Chlorine, Temperature
LSI Calculator for hypothetical water balance calculations
Wireless data transfer capability with bluDock option
Auto-ranging delivers increased resolution across diverse applications
Adjustable Temperature Compensation and Cond/TDS conversion ratios for user-defined solutions
Nonvolatile memory of up to 100 readings for stored data protection
Date & time stamp makes record-keeping easy
pH calibration prompts alert you when maintenance is required
Auto-off minimizes energy consumption
Low battery indicator
(Includes instrument with case and solutions)


Categories : Product Updates, Science and Industry Updates, Technical Tips

Myron L Meters Thanks the U.S. Navy!

Posted by 9 May, 2011

Tweet Myron L Meters thanks the U.S. Navy Trident Refit Facility, owners of a new Myron L Ultrameter III 9P. Learn more about their fine unit here: There’s always more at


Myron L Meters thanks the U.S. Navy Trident Refit Facility, owners of a new Myron L Ultrameter III 9P.

Learn more about their fine unit here:

There’s always more at

Categories : Valued Customers Announces the Arrival of the Myron L Ultrameter III 9P

Posted by 17 Feb, 2011 today announced the arrival of a new Myron L product, the Myron L Ultrameter III, a reliable, easy-to-use meter that measures 9 parameters – conductivity, resistivity, TDS, alkalinity, hardness, saturation index, ORP/free chlorine, pH and temperature.

Myron L Ultrameter III 9P today announced the arrival of a new Myron L product, the , Myron L Ultrameter III 9P , a reliable, easy-to-use meter that measures 9 parameters – conductivity, resistivity, TDS, alkalinity, hardness, saturation index, ORP/free chlorine, pH and temperature.

“The Ultrameter III is available right now at,” said James Rutan, president. “We’ve made it easy to order, offer great training videos, technical bulletins, manuals, and a 10% discount…just for ordering online. In addition, all Myron L Meters in stock will ship the next business day. The quality of the Ultrameter III and the company’s great reputation for reliable meters is sure to make this a big hit. Don’t forget – this new Ultrameter has wireless data transfer capability when you buy the bluDock.  Expect about a 10 day lead time for a week or so.” carries the full line of Ultrameter III accessories, including the Ultrameter III 9PTK AHL Titration kit, soft protective case, replacement sensors, and the full line of standard solutions and buffers – all at a 10% discount when you order online.

Myron L meters are renowned for their accuracy, reliability, and ease of use, and have applications in automatic rinse tank controls, boiler and cooling towers, circuit board cleanliness testing, deionized water, environmental applications, fountain solutions, dialysis, horticulture, hydroponics, ORP (oxidation reduction potential)/Redox, pool and spa, reverse osmosis, textiles. has a well-established web presence on Facebook, Gravatar, Twitter, Squidoo, LinkedIn, and WordPress. encourages customers to join them on these sites for special offers and discounts.

Tags:, Myron L, Myron L meters, Ultrameter III, conductivity, resistivity, TDS, alkalinity, hardness, saturation index, ORP/free chlorine, pH and temperature, automatic rinse tank controls, boiler and cooling towers, circuit board cleanliness testing, deionized water, environmental applications, fountain solutions, dialysis, horticulture, hydroponics, ORP (oxidation reduction potential)/Redox, pool and spa, reverse osmosis, textiles

Categories : Product Updates