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Old 02-05-2020, 09:21 PM
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And then there is this: The Warka Water Tower

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Old 02-05-2020, 09:25 PM
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I agree that those thinking about distilling after SHTF need to own and be comfortable using their rig before the crisis occurs.

Too many specialized parts that you can't cobble together from stuff found at the home centers.

I guess if your neighbor was a specialist art glass blower with lots of shape stock sitting in his garage and you had a handful of high quality rough service gauges and you were also a passable tinsmith then you could whip something up.

OK, you are taking a similar stance that I did about making the thread. Grasping the complexity of the effort doesn't directly confer the comfort of teaching it. Because we know more than many do also means we know we can't do it justice. So I guess the hunt continues for a writer and I'll put you on the mental list for support team help if we find someone up to the task.
Because there are so many pollutants I don't know if anything more comprehensive can be written other than some basics, such as:

Make sure still and coil is spotless.

Make sure coil has no spots where water can stand and collect.

Make sure coil isn't plugged and pressure release is working and pointed in safe direction.

Start with the cleanest water possible. Use filters and floculants as necessary to make the water as clear as possible before putting it in the still.

Boil the water vigorously for x minutes before capping the still, or, toss firs x% of liquid produced once still has reached a vigorous boil.

After initial boil run the still at as low a head temp as possible while still producing a reasonable output.

If the final product has a chemical taste or smell find new water source.

Anything beyond that starts requiring that you know what chemicals you are dealing with and want to remove. Most things have a boiling "smudge" rather than a boiling point and when mixed with water that "smudge" gets even bigger. Because of that I am pretty sure there are some chemicals you just can't get out of water through distillation.

Also if you want to do precise distillation you need to really KNOW YOUR STILL. A half inch difference in the temp probes height could require several degrees difference in set point. Sun shining on the column or a breeze through and open door could change the set point by 5+ degrees.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:47 PM
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Navy ships used to have flash distillers on their ships when they had so many boiler steam units running already, but even that has died off and they have moved on to using membranes on the ships.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:46 AM
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I have distilled water.

My still can operate using electricity, or propane, or it can sit over our woodstove.

Either way it consumes a great deal of energy. In a Post-SHTF scenario, I am not sure that I would want to expend so much energy in that manner.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:08 AM
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Pretty hard to beat a simple under the sink R/O system these days.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QQ4JW2K...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

https://www.amazon.com/iSpring-5-Sta...005216&sr=8-12

You can get a deal on about 5 years of water filter changes for under $100.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:08 AM
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I dont understand this. If your boiling water, and vapor gets caught in the condenser and is brought back to water what possible contaminants can be left over?
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:28 AM
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I dont understand this. If your boiling water, and vapor gets caught in the condenser and is brought back to water what possible contaminants can be left over?

Not exactly what question you are asking so I will try to answer both of the most obvious potential questions that you could be asking, I can think of a couple other ways the question could be meant but they both seem a stretch.

Contaminants in the boiling container would be anything with a boiling point higher than that of water. Think mineral scale in a reused water pot on the stove etc.

Contaminants still in the finish water would be things that evaporate at or below the evaporation point of water. Common things like ethyl's and methyl's from organic decomposition have evaporation points less than that of water.

Bringing water to a brisk boil for a few minutes before distilling will remove all things with a boiling point below that of water.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:53 AM
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Not exactly what question you are asking so I will try to answer both of the most obvious potential questions that you could be asking, I can think of a couple other ways the question could be meant but they both seem a stretch.

Contaminants in the boiling container would be anything with a boiling point higher than that of water. Think mineral scale in a reused water pot on the stove etc.

Contaminants still in the finish water would be things that evaporate at or below the evaporation point of water. Common things like ethyl's and methyl's from organic decomposition have evaporation points less than that of water.

Bringing water to a brisk boil for a few minutes before distilling will remove all things with a boiling point below that of water.
Not quite that simple.
A single stage of separation is all you will get unless you add a reflux condenser, and establish an L/V across multiple theoretical stages.

If you have the vapor liquid equilibrium data (VLE date) for the components you are trying to separate you can put together a McCabe-Thiele diagram to determine the effectiveness of different reflux ratios and stage counts.

Furthermore, some distillations are limited by creating a minimum boiling azeotrope (like ethanol and water). Then you need to mix some pure stuff in at the right point in the column to get it over the hump so to speak.

Also you can experience weeping, flooding of stages, inadequate wetting or wall bypass , mal-distribution, and droplet formation that causes all sorts of negative performance issues.

I would recommend just getting an R/O filtration system unless you want to hire an engineer to design your distillation unit.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
Not quite that simple.
A single stage of separation is all you will get unless you add a reflux condenser, and establish an L/V across multiple theoretical stages.

If you have the vapor liquid equilibrium data (VLE date) for the components you are trying to separate you can put together a McCabe-Thiele diagram to determine the effectiveness of different reflux ratios and stage counts.

Furthermore, some distillations are limited by creating a minimum boiling azeotrope (like ethanol and water). Then you need to mix some pure stuff in at the right point in the column to get it over the hump so to speak.

Also you can experience weeping, flooding of stages, inadequate wetting or wall bypass , mal-distribution, and droplet formation that causes all sorts of negative performance issues.

I would recommend just getting an R/O filtration system unless you want to hire an engineer to design your distillation unit.
Nothing like taking a simple concept and turning it into rocket science.... You can also take an automobile and fill it full of computers and AI tech to drive you around more safely than driving an old beat up truck. But you can still get by with just the simple old beat up truck if need be..

I don't think anyone is trying to get to the moon here, just some basics on water distillation, 99% of which would work perfectly with just the simple basics. You can turn it into rocket science and make it complicated like you can anything, but what is the point?

“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Albert Einstein...
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
I have distilled water.

My still can operate using electricity, or propane, or it can sit over our woodstove.

Either way it consumes a great deal of energy. In a Post-SHTF scenario, I am not sure that I would want to expend so much energy in that manner.
You need to use excess energy generated for other purposes.

You use heat from the same fire that's heating your shelter or cooking your food. Use exhaust heat from any engines you run, such as a generator.

You also don't have to boil the water to get condensation on the cooler surfaces. There just needs to be a big enough temperature differential.

Solar distillation works just fine without excessively high temperatures.

Also, rethink your containers.

Distillation is just evaporation.

A large shallow pan will allow faster evaporation than a deeper more cylindrical vessel, meaning you use less heat to produce the same amounts of vapor.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:14 PM
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Nothing like taking a simple concept and turning it into rocket science.... You can also take an automobile and fill it full of computers and AI tech to drive you around more safely than driving an old beat up truck. But you can still get by with just the simple old beat up truck if need be..

I don't think anyone is trying to get to the moon here, just some basics on water distillation, 99% of which would work perfectly with just the simple basics. You can turn it into rocket science and make it complicated like you can anything, but what is the point?

“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Albert Einstein...
I guess my point was that a simple evaporation and condensation will not significantly remove organics whether heavier or lighter than water.
All it will do is take out the salts (Ca, Mg, Na carbonates). Things like Gasoline, kerosene, benzene will carry carry over with no more than 1 stage of separation. So if the source has 10% kerosene for example the distilled water will still have 8% or something (would need to look up the VLE data), unless you have a bunch of distillation stages in a refluxed column and then make the cuts according to carryover temperature.

Of course if the water is uncontaminated, it will work fine. But if the water is already pure, not a whole lot of point in distilling it. unless it was salt water, then by all means, distill away.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Survival_Joe View Post
I dont understand this. If your boiling water, and vapor gets caught in the condenser and is brought back to water what possible contaminants can be left over?
Did you read Lasers post?

Heating water doesn't separate it from other substances that have boiling points in the same general range.

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Distillation is just evaporation.
No.

Go visit your junior high physical science teacher and say that to them.






People, if it's just your life when you are playing redneck scientist with then do what you want, but once you include others in your efforts then you are practicing criminal negligence.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:17 AM
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https://www.techexplorist.com/mit-so...yMJl0pLA7C4DXo
New solar-powered desalination system with a record efficiency of 385%


Such a system could potentially enable an efficient and low-cost water source for off-grid coastal areas.

BY
ASHWINI SAKHARKAR
FEBRUARY 11, 2020

In detail, the system consists of multiple layers of flat solar evaporators and condensers. Each of the layers, aligned in a vertical array and topped with transparent aerogel insulation, plays an important role in this process.

Sunlight passes through a transparent insulating layer at left, to heat up a black heat-absorbing material, which transfers the heat to a layer of wicking material (shown in blue), where it evaporates and then condenses on a surface (gray) and then drips off to be collected as fresh, potable water."
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:44 AM
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Just a thought....
https://h2omachine.com/
A type of dehumidifier that is made to extract moisture out of the air for just such a purpose. Most dehumidifiers have parts that will contaminate the water (perhaps lead from the solder points). These type of water sources are designed to give clean water. Now, it is possible the air had other contaminants that might possibly get condensed into the water, but if so, you are breathing those elements anyways.
I do not sell these items and the link is only an example, but this type of water production is advertised in desert type areas as a way to produce water if needed.

Just sharing a bit of information. Perhaps it will be helpful. I have been familiar with similar items for about 20 years, but I suppose anyone with half a decade of experience may take objection to my suggestion. =-)
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:48 PM
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Pretty hard to beat a simple under the sink R/O system these days.

You can get a deal on about 5 years of water filter changes for under $100.
So I'm imagining a scenario where the water treatment plant stops functioning, and water stops flowing down the lines to your house. So I've got to go down to the local creek to get water. It's about 60 feet from my house. However, that water is clearly contaminated. That system that you linked on amazon looks like it needs water pressure to work.

Is there perhaps a similar system, where you can get a similar deal on 5 years worth of filters, that wouldn't need to be hooked up to water lines to work? Where you'd just dump in some water and it would eventually pass through the filters. Creek water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
So if the source has 10% kerosene for example the distilled water will still have 8% or something, unless you have a bunch of distillation stages in a refluxed column and then make the cuts according to carryover temperature.
Thanks for the explanation, I've learned a lot about distillation from this thread. But it looks like you're saying that in order to really get pure water (or close enough to it that you could safely drink it) you'd need multiple stages in your distiller.

So the water would first go into 1 tank, and just be boiled and collected over here. Then it would get sucked into another tank where... what would happen, exactly? Different temperatures would have to be used? And how many separate stages are we talking about here? If you had some engineering company build you the perfect distiller where it had everything built in, what would it look like? And how much do you think it would cost? My guess is, it can already be bought somewhere. If you've got plenty of money.

Lastly, it seems too bad that it's so difficult to get potable water. It almost seems like there must be some better, easier way that isn't so expensive. I don't mind the filtration idea, as long as I could stockpile 5 years worth of filters. And 5 year time period would allow me to freaking take a shower once in awhile. I'd of course water the plants with the leftover water but still. You want to shower, water plants, drink, cook, etc etc with this water. And you want to be able to do that for a very long time, until things get back up and running.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by INresponse View Post
Just a thought....
https://h2omachine.com/
A type of dehumidifier that is made to extract moisture out of the air for just such a purpose. Most dehumidifiers have parts that will contaminate the water (perhaps lead from the solder points). These type of water sources are designed to give clean water. Now, it is possible the air had other contaminants that might possibly get condensed into the water, but if so, you are breathing those elements anyways.
I do not sell these items and the link is only an example, but this type of water production is advertised in desert type areas as a way to produce water if needed.

Just sharing a bit of information. Perhaps it will be helpful. I have been familiar with similar items for about 20 years, but I suppose anyone with half a decade of experience may take objection to my suggestion. =-)
Are they all so expensive? Is there a cheaper one that perhaps produces less water? But that's still safe to drink.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:23 AM
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I am on my phone at the moment, so not going to type a textbook with my finger.

Just google distillation.

Yes an RO water system needs pressure to operate.

For what you describe, a 2 bucket water filter would be my suggestion.

There is a cheap micron dome filter you can buy designed for this purpose.
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
If you had some engineering company build you the perfect distiller where it had everything built in, what would it look like? And how much do you think it would cost? My guess is, it can already be bought somewhere. If you've got plenty of money.
Rig: $3248.00
https://milehidistilling.com/product...te-6-sections/

You'll also need a lab grade heating plate that will be several hundred dollars.

You'll also need the skill set to use it. As a hobbyist taking community college classes, you could be an amateur hack at it in a year or so.

Why you can understand that one temp doesn't get it done, is that temp alone isn't how the job gets done. It's temp and pressure in various amounts of each at different stages.

Learning to distill is a professional skill. An entire working life can be sunk into it.

Yes, you can pick it up as a hobby. But it isn't a hobby like building bird houses. It's more like taking up cabinetry and furniture building. Lots of time, tools, and experience are needed to produce something of respectable merit.

Maybe you want to learn a post-disaster profession. Great idea. But this won't be easy, cheap, or soon. Unless you sit around bored right now looking to fill your free time for a few years then you need to rethink this.

If all you want is safe water then buy yourself a bucket filtering system.
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:44 AM
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https://www.amazon.com/Ceramic-Repla...66892707&psc=1

https://www.ebay.com/p/929964092?_tr...d=122525677166

https://www.ebay.com/p/929964092?iid=122525675513

https://www.amazon.com/SHTFandGO-Cer...35973103&psc=1



Here you go. you drill a hole in a 5 gal bucket and lid, install this into the hole, then install a valve near the bottom of a second bucket. Put the bucket with the filter on top of the bottom bucket which is sitting on a table or something to elevate the valve enough to fill a pitcher or a glass. Then put a coffee filter over the dome filter to help prolong its life, then pour your surface water into the top bucket and get your clean water from the bottom bucket. Probably the cheapest method to get a lot of pretty clean water. Will not remove organics like gasoline, kerosine, benzine, oil, pesticides, etc.

Probably youtube videos online for step by step instructions. Zeke did a big water thread that is likely pinned under food and water that would also likely have info on it.

Here is the kit that includes a cheap water valve. Not sure if the other ones above had that part.

Use food grade buckets obviously.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Build-Your-...4AAOSwdGFYm-G5

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Old 02-27-2020, 10:06 AM
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I have a reflux still. I have been playing with it for 2 years. There is a learning curve to using it.

They are good for extracting herbal essence oils [oregano oil, mint oil, etc].

You can use one to purify water, but it would need to be monitored to remove the 'cuts' of contaminates.
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