Reverse Osmosis – Electricity
Industry: Fruit and Vegetables (NAICS 3114) Dairy (NAICS 3115)
Process Brief: Water is removed by forcing a product through a membrane.
Energy source: Electricity
Reverse osmosis systems use pressure to force a product through a semi-permeable membrane. This technique is used for juices, wine, cheese, whey, coffee, and sugar solutions. The membrane allows the only the passage of water and the systems may be put in series to achieve high levels of concentration. The main advantage of reverse osmosis over thermal processes is preservation of product quality including color, flavor, and nutrients.
One application of reverse osmosis technology is the production of tomato juice and a typical unit can have a capacity of 10,000 gallons/hour and a cost of about $350,000.