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Non-intermittent water softener

Counter-current osmotic exchange
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A regular water softener operates in an intermittent fashion -- it runs for a while, then needs to be regenerated. This idea is for a device which can run continuously, for as long as it's supplied with salt.

Osmosis is the movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of high water potential (low solute concentration) to an area of low water potential (high solute concentration).

If this membrane is in a counter-current exchange device, we can pump low solute concentration water in on one side, and have it come out with a high solute concentration, provided that in the other section of the counter current exchanger, we pump in high solute concentration water, which come out as low solute concentration water.

Thus...

We take hard tap water, full of calcium and other minerals, but which is nonetheless mostly water, and pass it through our counter current osmotic exchange filter. This fluid comes out of the device at a very high mineral concentration, and is discarded.

Meanwhile, we take highly concentrated salt brine, and pump it into the device... it comes out extremely dilute, and we then use it for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc..

goldbb, Mar 08 2010

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       <sigh>   

       Go look up "equilibrium", then come back and we'll explain why this can't work.
8th of 7, Mar 08 2010
  

       Buy two, run 'em in parallel with a changeover valve and make sure you use the contact to tell you when regeneration is occurring
gnomethang, Mar 09 2010
  
      
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