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Distillation Purifiers

June 10, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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Purification using distillation eradicates impurities from water using a method that separates water away from pollutants based on chemical differences in substance volatilities. Distillation is usually just one part of a greater chemical procedure called the unit operation.

Distillation purifiers heat contaminated water to boiling temperatures and trap the released steam. Pollutants, like salt, pesticides, nitrates, metals, and dirt, do not evaporate and form sludge which can be discarded. A cooling device (frequently an electric fan) cools the water vapor so that it condenses from its gaseous state back into purified water for consumption.

Carbon filtration is another essential step in distillation purification. Carbon filters remove VOCs, benzene, and chloroform contaminants. Though distillers cannot remove all the items carbon filters can, some researchers believe they can eliminate bacteria, viruses, and cryptosporidium.

Positive aspects of distillation technologies include: easy to replace filters laced together, easy setup, and portability. Some downsides include how long the process takes, the drain on electricity, and what some people consider a ’flat’ water taste.

Initial product costs average $200 and there are additional costs of 15 to 88 cents per gallon of distilled water due to the drain on electricity (costs depend on local electric rates).


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