The CoolScientist

Distilling Seawater
Room Temperature
Part 1

by John N. Hait

Lesson 5

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   Understanding that the universe is not random, but pseudorandom, as we have learned in previous lessons, helps us understand why physical processes are so reliable. Take for example, the familiar process of distillation, which can be used for the purification of seawater into potable drinking water.

   What's more, we can use this detailed, pseudorandom field mechanism that controls distillation to our advantage, even though the actual process was discovered long before resonant fields were discovered.

   At sea level, the boiling point of water is 100o C. (212o F.) However, if you were to travel to a mountain top, the boiling point would be lowered. If the mountain were high enough, it would be lowered all the way down to room temperature.

   The reason this occurs, is because the resonant force fields that make up air, force against the resonant force fields of the water, kind-of holding the water together. When the pressure is reduced, the water will evaporate until the vapor, air and whatever presses against the remaining water enough to stop vaporization. This is called the vapor pressure.

   So how can we use this knowledge to distill seawater... AT SEA LEVEL and at ROOM TEMPERATURE. In the picture we have a 12 meter, (40 feet) tall vertical pipe (p1) called a column, with a valve on each end (v1) & (v2). The bottom end is completely immersed in water tank (t1). To create the proper balance of force fields, so as to lower the vapor temperature, we follow this simple procedure exactly in this order.

  1. Close valve (v1) at the bottom of the pipe.
  2. Fill tank (t1) with seawater.
  3. Fill pipe (p1) completely with seawater up past valve (v2).
  4. Close valve (v2) at the top of the pipe.
  5. Open valve (v1) at the bottom of the pipe.

   If the pipe is tall enough, several things happen. Assuming your valves are tight, some of the brine water (bw) from the column will run out the bottom. This will leave a space above at the top (wv), about 3 meters (10 feet) high that has a combination of air that has bubbled out of the water and water vapor.

   This arrangement is commonly used in the refinement of crude oil into gasoline and various other petroleum products. They can also be used to separate alcohol from water for making gasohol or whisky if you like.

   If there were no air at all, the seawater at the top would boil from the heat of your hand. In fact, it can be made to boil from any heat source warmer than the water at (bw,) or by changing the pressure above that water level.

   There are a variety of ways to introduce heat, change the pressure, and arrange the components so as to conserve heat within the system to make it more efficient. Some heat and pressure-changing energy sources include: solar, wind, wave, downhill flow of water, day/night temperature differences, and waste heat from other machinery. You could even build a merry-go-round, and as long as you can keep the kids playing on it, it can pump water through the system so they will have fresh water to drink when they are done playing.

   This energy is used to remove air from the incoming seawater, pump fluids through the system, and/or boil the seawater.

   There are many advantages to this type of system, depending on the exact design. They can:

  1. Be made completely out of plastic pipe that doesn't rust or wear out.
  2. Operate 24/7 so that you have a continuous supply of fresh water.
  3. Operate without commercial energy, fuel or electricity.
  4. Be used anywhere as long as it isn't freezing.
  5. Be used aboard ship.
  6. They do not require the purchase of expensive filters, and
  7. You can build one yourself.

   In our next lesson, we will add piping for introducing new seawater into the device, and for removing water vapor from the top and condensing it into fresh drinking water.

   To ask questions, catch up on previous lessons, and get further information go back to the Lesson Index Page.
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Update 3-13-2011