The main difference between osmosis and reverse osmosis is the the osmosis is the diffusion the water molecule from high come a lower water potential throughout a semipermeable membrane whereas the turning back osmosis is the diffusion the water molecules across a semipermeable membrane versus the potential gradient. Furthermore, osmosis is a natural process while reverse osmosis is an man-made process.

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Osmosis and reverse osmosis room two methods of water movement through a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane can it is in a type of organic or synthetic, polymeric membrane, which allows only certain molecules or ion to pass through it by diffusion.

Key areas Covered

1. What is OsmosisDefinition, Facts, Applications 2. What is reverse OsmosisDefinition, Facts, Applications 3. What are the Similarities between Osmosis and Reverse OsmosisOutline of common Features 4. What is the Difference in between Osmosis and also Reverse OsmosisComparison of an essential Differences

Key Terms

Direction the Flow, Endosmosis, Exosmosis, Osmosis, reverse Osmosis, Semipermeable Membrane, Water Purification


What is Osmosis

Osmosis is the movement of water molecules v a potential gradient. The occurs through a semipermeable membrane, which is mainly the plasma membrane that the cell. Water molecules move from a greater to a reduced water potential until the water potential the either side of the semipermeable membrane becomes equal. The two main varieties of osmosis the can happen in the cell space endosmosis and also exosmosis.

Endosmosis occurs as soon as cells are put in a hypotonic solution, which has actually a higher water potential when contrasted to the cytosol. Sometimes, the cells have the right to burst open because of the filling with too much water.Exosmosis occurs once cells are put in a hypertonic solution, which has actually a reduced water potential when contrasted to the cytosol. Cells become shrunk through the ns of water.

Figure 1: Different species of Water Movements

Applications that Osmosis

The opened of the stomata, which involves the gas exchange in plantsAbsorption of water from the soil by roots

What is turning back Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) is opposing of osmosis, i beg your pardon occurs versus the water potential. It is excellent by enhancing the pressure of the concentrated side or the side through the reduced water potential. This will keep many of the salt in the focused side while relocating water molecules to the side with the high water potential. Hence, the applied pressure overcomes the osmotic press of the system.

Applications of reverse Osmosis

Water purification solution that produce desalinated water usage water from natural sources, which carry contaminants. This contaminants execute not pass through the RO membrane, which is semipermeable. Hence, demineralized, desalinated or deionized water have the right to be obtained through reverse osmosis. This procedure is also known together ultrafiltration.

Figure 2: Membrane provided in reverse Osmosis

Bacteria in the intestine that reason cholera do the intestine unable to absorb water. This is excellent by reversing the normal flow of osmosis. The may reason severe dehydration and sometimes death.

Similarities in between Osmosis and also Reverse Osmosis

Osmosis and reverse osmosis are two methods of water movement through a semipermeable membrane.Both processes have actually their own applications.

Difference in between Osmosis and Reverse Osmosis


Osmosis refers to a process by i m sorry water molecule of a solvent often tend to pass with a semipermeable membrane native a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one while reverse osmosis refers to a process by i beg your pardon water molecule of a solvent passes with a semipermeable membrane in the direction opposite come that of natural osmosis once subjected to a hydrostatic pressure higher than the osmotic pressure.


The osmosis occurs with a potential gradient while reverse osmosis occurs against the potential gradient.


Osmosis is a natural procedure while turning back osmosis is an fabricated process.


Absorption that water native the floor by roots and also opening the stomata occurs due to osmosis while turning back osmosis is supplied in the water purification systems.

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The osmosis is a natural procedure of water movement through a potential gradient that water when the reverse osmosis is an artificial process in i m sorry the motion of water occurs against the potential gradient that water. Therefore, the main difference between osmosis and reverse osmosis is the direction of the water flow.


1. “Osmosis – meaning and Examples.” biology Dictionary, biologic Dictionary, 29 Apr. 2017, Available Here2. “What Is turning back Osmosis?” Puretec industrial Water :: Ultrapure Water Solutions, Puretec commercial Water, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Osmosis Diffusion Ultrafiltration and Dialysis” by ColnKurtz – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Reverse osmosis membrane coil” by David Shankbone – Own work (CC through 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia