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Production of distilled water for ships use - The evaporation process

Requirement of sea water distillation systems
Distillation is the production of pure water from sea water by evaporation and re-condensing.
Distilled water is produced as a result of evaporating sea water either by a boiling or a flash
process. This evaporation enables the reduction of the 32000 parts per million of dissolved solids
in sea water down to the one or two present in distilled water. The machine used is called an
'evaporator', although the word 'distiller' is also used.
Boiling process
Sea water is boiled using energy from a heating coil, and by reducing the pressure in the
evaporator shell, boiling can take place at about 60°C. The sea water from the ship's services is
first circulated through the condenser and then part of the outlet is provided as feed to the
evaporation chamber .

Hot diesel engine jacket water or steam is passed through the heater nest and, because of the
reduced pressure in the chamber, the sea water boils. The steam produced rises and passes
through a water separator or demister which prevents water droplets passing through. In the
condensing section the steam becomes pure water, which is drawn off by a distillate pump. The
sea water feed is regulated by a flow controller and about half the feed is evaporated. The
remainder constantly overflows a weir and carries away the extra salty water or brine. A
combined brine and air ejector draws out the air and brine from the evaporator.

Fig:Boiling process evaporator Flash process Flash evaporation is the result of a liquid containing a reasonable amount of sensible heat at a particular pressure being admitted to a chamber at a lower pressure. water pressure and chamber pressure are designed to provide a desired rate of evaporation. The sensible heat content. without boiling taking place. . The liquid immediately changes into steam.e. i. More than one stage of evaporation can take place by admitting the liquid into chambers with progressively lower pressures. it flashes.

The preheater uses steam to heat the sea water and most of the latent heat from the flash steam is returned to the sea water passing through the condensers.Fig:Two stage flash evaporator A two-stage flash evaporator is shown in Figure . The heated sea water then passes to the first-stage flash chamber where some of it flashes off. scale will form on the heating surfaces. This steam is demisted and condensed and. which is at a lower pressure. The heated sea water passes to the second-stage flash chamber. Maintenance During the operation of evaporating plants. A demister removes any water droplets from the steam as it rises and is then condensed in the first-stage condenser. together with the distilled water from the first-stage. The concentrated sea water or brine remaining in the second-stage flash chamber is drawn off by the brine pump. and more water flashes off. The rate of scale formation will depend upon the operating temperature. the flow rate and density of the . The feed pump circulates sea water through the vapour condensers and the preheater. An air ejector is used to maintain the low pressure in the chambers and to remove any gases released from the sea water. is drawn off by the distillate pump.

can reduce scale build-up.brine. Ultimately. the plant must be shut down and the scale removed either by chemical treatment or manual cleaning. the alternate rapid heating and cooling of the tube surfaces. Evaporators The working density of evaporators should not be allowed to rise above the manufacturer’s recommendation. however. The treatment is to be continuous rather than in "slug" form and is to conform to the supplier’s dosage rates. When the evaporator is in use it must be treated with the selected scale retarding chemical. . Feed water regulators and brine ejection equipment must be kept in good working order. Cold shocking. for a boiling process type. Scale formation will result in greater requirements for heating to produce the rated quantities of distilled water or a fall-off in production for a fixed heating supply.