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APS TechNotes See all articles

Reverse Osmosis Systems Flow Rate Changes With Temperature

(Data Normalization for a Reverse Osmosis Membrane Element)

The Basics : As water gets colder is gets thicker and the flow rate out of a membrane is lower. As water gets warmer it gets thinner and the flow rate coming out of a membrane increases. All flow rates stated on reverse osmosis systems and membranes are assuming a water temperature of 77F. As the water temerature changes so will the flow rate.

For every degree F you lower the temperature you lose about 3% of product flow. For every degree F you raise temperature you gain about 3% product flow rate.  

There are two key factors affect the performance of a Reverse Osmosis membrane and should always be considered when evaluating the system.  The temperature of the feedwater and the net driving pressure across the element both indicate whether the system or the membrane is in optimum operating condition or needs replacement.  Use the information below to calculate the affects of these two factors.

Temperature Correction Factor (TCF)

Temperature has an inverse affect on product flow through the membrane; a high temperature increases product flow, a low temperature decreases product flow. All Reverse Osmosis membranes and systems are rated at 25ºC (77ºF).  To find the membrane permeate rate at another temperature, follow these steps:

Find the temperature correction factor (TCF).

Divide the rated permeate flow by the TCF. The result is the permeate flow at the desired temperature.


Temp/Thin Film/Celulose

Temp/Thin Film/Celulose

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