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Distilling water, and why it might not remove a chemical from the water

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by ATCclears, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I learned something new today.

    Peter

    WV: Why Home Distilling Won't Remove All Chemicals From Drinking Water

    "Because distillation requires boiling for a while, it kills bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If done properly, distillation like this can remove about 99 percent or so of pollutants, but it can’t be counted on to remove chemicals that have a boiling point around or below water. These products will turn to steam the same as the water and end up in the second “purified” container. Examples include toluene, benzene, some pesticides, and others."
     
  2. idahoan

    idahoan Boise, Idaho Active Member

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    Fortunately toluene and benzene have an extremely strong scent so they are easily detected by the human nose. Time and exposure to air is the easiest way to evaporate them. Air bubblers tend to do a pretty good job. Pestacides are a whole nother matter though, many of them are extremely stable.
     
    erudne and (deleted member) like this.
  3. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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  4. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Extracting those hydrocarbons is one thing, and I think any level of hydrocarbon contamination completely rules out trying to extract potable water from it, in sufficient quantities for use. Just best to move on in that case.

    The pesticide thing is huge. There are detectable levels of some types of pesticides in most watersheds. In the lower areas of those drainage areas, you will find those levels. Proximity to container nurseries, dairy's, golf courses, and the areas that tend to be non vegetated areas that have no plants to add in the scrubbing process will increase those levels.

    There is simply no way either chemically or mechanically, to remove the pesticides active ingredients from a water molecule.
     
  5. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Create a machine that breaks it down at the atomic level. We know that water is H2O.
    Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
    Break it down and then recombine.
    Presto, pure water.
     
  6. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I probably misspoke in that statement. There is no effective / practical way to remove the active ingredients where the exchange ratio makes it practical for sustainable levels of potable water.
     
  7. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you can nail that one, work on cold fusion next.
     
  8. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    We are SOOOOOOO Screwed!
     
  9. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Activated charcoal filtering?
     
  10. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Possible for small amounts, as in the filter straws. Unless you have an accurate idea of how many PPM you are looking at in contamination, you really have no clue as to what level you nee to filter to, if possible at all. Above certain PPM, it is very problematic if not impossible. I am not going to even attempt to filter hydrocarbon contamination for potable water.

    If your plans for SHTF include having to filter water for hydrocarbons, or anything beyond basic bacteria, parasite filtering, then you need to have alternate plans. Point and non point contamination in larger water ways and impoundments is going to be a huge problem.

    Having a reliable source of chemical free water to then filter for bacteria or viral pathogens is going to be a huge priority.
     
  11. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I'm reminded of what one UK Royal said a few days after his 1st ship was sunk under his command, 3 days before his second ship was sunk as well,,,
    "One does what one can, with what one has, where one is, and ignores all the doom sayers"
     
  12. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Where would a reverse osmosis process fit into this paradigm?
     
  13. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    RO is essentially a "molecular sieve" anything larger than H2O (this includes N2 and O2) will be removed from the water. However, depending on how badly contaminated the water is, you may have to increase your flush water flow.

    That said, it is quite easy to purify water by distillation, you just need tighter temp controls. A simple "pot" type still usually doesn't have the kind of tight control required, you need to use a refluxing tower.

    Boiling off chems that boil lower than water (keeping the condenser "off") and then once the top of the tower gets to water BP, turn on the condenser, and once temp rises much above 100C turn condenser off.

    You guys would make lousy moonshiners.
     
  14. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    What are pesticides going to do to you?
     
  15. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This is sarcasm...right ?
     
  16. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    This is actually a valid question.
    Id bet that many guys on here are not chemists nor in a field where acute and chronic exposures occure, thus giving the "know all" anti chemical, anti insecticide granola eating crowd a very limited comprehension on the subject other than the opinion that
    "well, they're bad.."

    The body can dilute, fight off, excrete and contain acute exposures to foreign bodies as well as chronic exposures to some.

    Working in the pest control field we're exposed to 100x's more insecticides than the average person and yet somehow we live to tell about it..
    My father and his father before him were exposed to some of the harshest (now banned) insecticides (working on a farm and also in the pest control field) available, however my grandfather was not a smoker and thus the acute exposure to asbestos never caused mesothelioma or what ever else those law firms are claiming now.

    If you listen to old time ads from the 50's and 60's they were even using the whole "organic" no chems type ads. You cannot deny that its as much a gimmick as "green energy" though both have some truth behind them.. To the low information folks or the panic stricken.. Its a marketing scam.

    On a different note.. Heck, I know smokers that are in their late 80's and are still walking around without any aid.

    Luck, superior genetics, progressive hogwash? Who knows.

    Thats the main issue I have with a these "anti insecticide, organic" types is: They talk big, but they are generally regurgitating what ever latest snippet they've read and have never actually been exposed to true non commercial but restricted use insecticides or attended a college level chem course.

    Just as with mag and "clip" the common nomenclature of "Pesticide" is incorrect.
    A pesticide is anything that is designed to aid in the eradication of "pests" i.e. something that we cannot tolerate.
    Rodenticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, germicides.. Etc.
    Soap, hydrogen peroxide and 70-100% alcohol are "pesticides" yet we don't label them that nor do we consider our exposure to them to be Non-beneficial its all in the indoctrination.