A water distiller is a water treatment method that produces contaminant-free water by converting water into vapor before condensing it and returning it to a liquid state. During the evaporation process, impurities like bacteria, heavy metals, and arsenic are eliminated because they are unable to turn into steam. As the water transitions from a liquid to a gaseous state, these contaminants are left behind in the boiling chamber. The distiller then cools the evaporated water, returning it to its liquid state as a mineral-free, highly pure water.
Water distillation mimics the way the Earth naturally purifies and redistributes water. The heat emanating from the sun evaporates water from the ocean and surface waters like lakes and ponds, turning it into water vapor. The water vapor rises and begins to cool. The cooling vapor condenses and creates clouds, before returning the water to the earth through precipitation like rain, snow, and hail.
The hydrologic cycle is not only perpetually transforming the Earth’s water’s material form, the cycle is also recycling and purifying the Earth’s water. When the sun’s heat evaporates water, any contaminants or minerals present in the water dissipates. The salt present in briny ocean water is unable to become a gas, so, evaporated ocean water is salt-free. Everything from chemical waste to pathogenic microorganisms is left behind as the hydrogen and oxygen molecules transition from liquid to gas. The hydrologic cycle removes all the alkalinity and mineral content the water takes on when as it journeys through layers of rock and sediment. This is why when water rainwater falls to the Earth it is soft and slightly acidic. Distillation emulates the natural purification process in its production of exceptionally pure water.
How does a water distiller work?
- The water distiller boils the water, turning it into steam.
- The steam is then condensed and cooled, returning it back to a liquid state.
- Anything that cannot turn into steam, like minerals and microorganisms, is left behind.
To begin the process of distillation, water is poured into the boiling chamber. The boiling chamber is equipped with a heating element which will raise the temperature of the water to a rolling boil. As the temperature of the water elevates, steam is produced. The top of the boiling chamber is vented, and the rising steam travels through the vent into a condenser, leaving behind everything from bacteria to fluoride. The condenser is a stainless steel coil of tube where the vapor will be converted back to a liquid state.
A high-powered fan at the top of the distiller chills the vapor, forming water droplets. These droplets then travel down the condenser tube and pass through an activated carbon postfilter. This is because there are some contaminants, like VOCs, that can exist in a gaseous state and may have escaped into the condenser alongside the steam. The activated carbon, through adsorption, eliminates any contaminants that may still be hanging onto the water droplets. The water droplets then exit the distiller and collect within a glass bottle or stainless steel reservoir.