Before you buy ANY type of water purification or filtration system, you should know how each type of system performs, what they do or do not remove, relative costs and other factors. If you wish to see some comparison charts on these subjects, go to System Comparisons now.
You can then return to this or other pages and continue your review of the systems. If you are a DEALER and want to find out why distillation may be a lucrative market for your business activities, go to distiller markets and distribution.
As shown in the figure above, steam distillation relies on the physical principle of gravity to separate heavier inorganic salts from rising water vapor created by boiling water in a stainless steel chamber.
The raw tap water is first filtered by a carbon filter to remove liquid and gaseouschemicals such as chlorine, TCA, benzene, PCB,s chloroform, etc. Unless the water is first filtered, these gasses will not be removed by the boiling and condensation process in the distiller. In "batch" or "manual" distillers, the carbon filter is placed after the condensation process.
In the boiler, the heated water causes steam to rise, leaving salts(sodium, lime, etc), heavy metals such as lead and mercury, fluoride, pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria, Giardia and Cryptosporidium parasites, algae, mold and other dissolved materials behind. The vapor rising from the boiling water then enters a "heat exchange" system which converts the vapor(steam) back into pure water---drop by drop.
Early distillers used a small "gas vent" on the condensation coil to release these volatile gasses. Because most of these volatile gasses(chemicals) boil so very close to the boiling point of water, the "gas vent" cannot distinguish between pure water vapor and chemical vapors. This renders the vent virtually useless---and one must revert to the use of a carbon prefilter(or post filter in the case of manual or "batch" distillers.
Every home distiller manufactured today, whether it is an automatic or manual/batch system includes some type of carbon pre or post-filter. Manufacturers of distillers have known for some time now that simple "gas vents" are inadequate to remove certain volatile gasses from the incoming tap water. Therefore, carbon filters are included as standard components with each distiller.
Nevertheless, you will still find a considerable number of water "dealers" today who attempt to degrade the purity and performance of home distillation units by saying that
"...distillers do not remove dangerous organic materials"
or some other words to that effect.
This is unfortunate for consumers since dealers who make these types of statements either:
* do not understand the makeup or equipments included in today's water treatment systems(distillers in particular) or
* they are simply being dishonest with you(or others) about this subject in order to sway you toward their product.
In either case, they are incorrect and you need to know that if and when any discussion of the comparative capabilities of different water treatment systems comes up.
The combined action of the carbon prefilter and steam distillation provides water which is consistently 99% pure. The key word here is "consistently".
By comparison, water purified by an in-home reverse osmosis system normally is only 60-80% free from inorganic salts.
Furthermore, reverse osmosis CANNOT be relied on to remove microbial contamination from any water source, unless additional components such as ozone or ultraviolet systems are used in conjunction with the reverse osmosis system. See details under System Comparison.
Steam distillation outperforms reverse osmosis or filtration under any operating conditions or input water chemical makeup. Do not be misled otherwise!
Portable, countertop distillers