Many of us probably have heard of distilled water or distillate at least once in our lives. In fact, it's just water of high purity, actively used in the chemical industry and medicine. In this article, we will analyze what is distillate all the features of its production, properties and practical application. And we will start, perhaps, with the history of methods of cleaning such an important and widespread resource on Earth as water.
Over time, mankind, producing an increasing number of goods, increased the volume of waste produced at the same time. Of course, the most popular method of utilizing the harmful compounds obtained was their burial under the ground, or release into reservoirs. In fact, even after the "burying" of waste there is a great chance that some of them will enter reservoirs through groundwater. With the progress of the industry, water purification systems were improved, and this was necessary for the safe existence of people. The earliest methods of cleaning and obtaining cleaner water were probably made two thousand years ago, when people boiled or filtered water through damp sand. The purpose of these operations was to make the water tastier.
However, now there are more advanced methods of cleaning, and basically they are not designed for drinking water. The fact is that too much purified water is harmful to the body. It does not contain dissolved salts, so the body salts dissolve in it and are excreted through the urine. And washing out of salts does not promise anything good because they help with many important processes in the human body, including the functioning of body cells (potassium-sodium pump).
What is distillate?
Distillate is the water of a high degree of filtration, obtained by distillation in a special apparatus - a distiller. In order to distinguish between the degrees of water purification, the concept of a bi-distillate, i.e., a distillate that has undergone another distillation process, is also introduced.
Is the rectification or distillate the same? No, they should be distinguished. They differ in the way of purification: the distillate is purified by distillation, and the rectificate, as can be understood from its name, by rectification (this is the process of separation of mixtures due to countercurrent exchange of mass and thermal energy). Rectification, as a rule, is used to separate mixtures of various liquids. It allows to obtain the components of the initial mixture separately in practically pure form. But for water it is very often not relevant. Therefore, to purify the most important resource on the planet, distillation is used. It allows you to purify water from many ions, as well as impurities, which are inevitably present in it.
Also, de-ionized water is also released. It differs from distilled in that it practically does not have any substances in its composition. It can be said that this is the most purified water in the world. It is used only for experiments, since for a person such water is dangerous (and, by the way, completely tasteless). For de-ionized water, too, there is a different way of getting it, different from others, but more on this later.
Where is the distillate of water used?
We came to one of the most interesting questions. If this water can not be drunk, then what can you do with it, you ask. As we said above, distilled water is used for purely scientific purposes. With its help create media in the reactions because even a small concentration of any impurities can spoil the reaction. In addition, the distillate is perfect for washing metal surfaces. It is widely used in everyday life for pouring into an iron because it does not cause scale.
The rectifier or distillate is also used in pharmaceuticals to prepare solutions for oral administration. Distillate, by the way, is used to make one of the alcoholic beverages - grappa.
Getting distilled water
What is distillate, we have already dismantled. And now let's proceed to the ways of obtaining this ultrapure water. Typically, the simplest distiller consists of several parts: a heating element, a vessel with purified water, a refrigerator, and, in fact, a container in which the resulting distillate will accumulate. When the initial "dirty" water is heated, steam is formed, which is devoid of impurities of nanoparticles and salts. It enters the refrigerator, where it condenses and flows into the receptacle as a new purified liquid. This method is used to obtain light distillates.
There is also another way of purification. For its implementation, a column for distillation is used. In fact, the essence of the process remains the same, only the technological component changes. The tray column for distillation is used mainly for the production of alcoholic beverages, or more precisely, for purification of alcohol from impurities. Its advantage, unlike a conventional distiller, is that it involves stepwise purification, and after each step the purity of the product rises. And this happens without having to pour the liquid into the distiller or bi-distiller.
Production of de-ionized water
A little more about another type of purified water - de-ionized. It is obtained with the help of ion-exchange resins, i.e. substances capable of retaining positive or negative ions. After that, the water leaves as pure as possible, deprived of protons and hydroxide ions. It is used in chemical experiments. In addition, de-ionized water has distinctive physical properties: its electrical resistance is very high, since there are no ions in it that can carry an electric charge.
We analyzed in detail the process of obtaining distilled, bi-distilled and de-ionized water, and learned what distillate is. Suffice it to say about the importance of this product, which is actually the result of water distillation. Therefore, let's just say that although water purification is important in everyday life, it's also not worth it to bend a stick, since it can cause significant harm to your health.