Reverse osmosis (RO) is a membrane technical 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.
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.