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APS TechNotes See all articles

Laboratory Water Stills Not pure enough for modern lab applications

Distillers are obsolete for many scientific applications.

Distillation is a very old technology that has been replaced with laboratory water polishing systems.

Lab Water Polishing Systems

The main problem with a distiller is that you MUST store the water. Since the storage tank MUST be vented to atmosphere to avoid collapse, the stored water rapidly absorbs Carbon Dioxide which degrades the water significantly. As the CO2 enters the water it produces carbonic acid, very low pH and high total dissolved solids. For this reason distilled water is not recommended for TYPE I or other critical lab applications.

CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 or Carbonic Acid
You can expect a pH of 5.5 on most distilled water.

Pure water always has a pH of 7.0

Distilled water will fail to produce water that is pure enough for most laboratory applications. Most of these application require ASTM Type I water that is 18.0 Megohm in ionic purity. Distillers can not meet this basic required specification.

ATSM Laboratory Water Specifications

Lab Polishing Systems eliminate this failure by purifying the water as you use it. The pure water is no longer stored and is significantly purer than distillation. Lab Polishing system can consistently produce water of extreme purity that is pyrogen free, ion free and organic free making it a much better choice compared to distillation units for science applications.

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