What is Reverse Osmosis?

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Osmosis is when a solvent, such as water, moves from a low-solute concentration solution to a higher-solute concentration solution through a semipermeable. Osmosis is an example of diffusion (a special case of diffusion) in which the molecules are water, and the concentration gradient occurs across a semipermeable membrane that allows only water to pass. Diffusion is the movement of molecules from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration. An animal cell placed in a hypertonic solution (high solute concentration) will cause the cell to shrivel up, whereas a hypotonic solution (low solute concentration) will cause it to bloat. Placing raisins in a cup of water will cause them to puff up Reverse osmosis applies high hydrostatic pressure (external pressure) to a solution across a semipermeable membrane to prepare a purified solvent. Because the hydrostatic pressure is greater than the osmotic pressure (the pressure that happens as the molecules move), the direction of water flow through the membrane can be reversed.

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