Friday, October 10, 2014

Water filtration reminder

This is a reminder to myself, and to anyone who is interested, that I am continuing to work the filtration problem.

If I have the time, which is always in short supply, I am going to conduct another condensation experiment this weekend.  This will be a "full test", with filtered greywater this time.

If the results seem to be good, then what?  How do I know the quality of the water?  That is the subject of this post, something I don't want to forget, hence the reminder.

That is to say, I want to be able to test my results.  There are obvious tests
  • is it clear, or is it cloudy?  Duh.  It has to at least look clean, even if it isn't
  • does it have a smell?  Yeah, duh again.  If it smells bad, who wants to drink it or wash in it?
  • if those two pass, it may not be safe even then.  You need a couple more tests 1) for infectious stuff and 2) for chemicals
Now, I just thought of how to test for chemicals.  Use an evaporation test.  Look for water stains after an evaporation has taken place.  If the treated water is leaving a stain, it has chemicals in it.  The treatment hasn't removed those.

If it passes the chemical test, then just add some bleach and that will take care of the rest!

Now, I'd like to be even more sure than that.  I would consider a test in a lab, but that costs money.  I'll have to wait for that after having run several "successful" experiments with passing tests.


The water filtration experiment is underway as of 7 pm local time.

Early indications is that it's not going to be as efficient this time.  I'm guessing that the reason is that I've plugged up all the escape ways for the vapor, and I've not added enough cooling in the container. It may take a few hours running this thing in order to process most of the water.

It's only 1 pint of greywater that I filtered earlier this week.  The greywater is mostly clear and yellowish in tint.  No doubt the coloring is from the charcoal.   The sudsy quality is reduced, but still present.  This is a lot like the initial test several weeks ago.  Now, the thing to determine is if the yellowish tint is gone in the condensate, and whether or not the chemicals were removed.  That's the big question to answer.

Back with results perhaps tomorrow morning local time.  I don't know how long this thing is going to run, and once it is through, I'm going to "sack out".

Update ( one hour later ):

As I thought, the efficiency is way, way down.  I'm going to run this thing a lot longer in order to capture enough water to determine if it is getting cleaned up any.

Update ( three hours into experiment and halted ):

The halt is happening because it just isn't processing the water.  Only 3 ounces in 3 hours.  Probably less than an ounce was recoverable.  Of the water recovered, it looked good, but there's so little.  Don't know if this is a malfunction, or a setup that was self-defeating in some way.  First indications are that it won't process the water very well in any case.  It is either because the humidifier is malfunctioning or it won't process this type of water.  I'll do a test on distilled or tap water first thing in the morning.  As of now, I've gotta get some rest.

Update ( Sat. 10/11 ( next morning ) ):

I did the water droplet test on the little amount of water collected.  It did leave a slight residue, which suggests that the water is not pure.  Also, in the container, there are water stains all over the saran wrap.  Clearly, the condensation is not producing pure water.

Secondly, I did a test on the humidifier in order to determine what was going on there with the low output.  No question about it, tap water does much better than the filtered greywater.  The efficiency drops noticeably.  It may not account for all of the bad performance, but it does explain a significant part of it.

Of all the experiments I've run so far, the humidifier problem seems to be the show stopper.  This method of purification does not appear to work well enough.

I may do some more tests, but the verdict is starting to look negative for this method.

Update  ( maybe an hour or so later this morning ):

The rate that the humidifier worked with the greywater was measured just now.  It is not precise, unfortunately.  However, I did measure it precisely last night.  Heck, I still can, wait a sec.

Between 11 and 12 ounces was collected, and 13 last night.  That means over an hour, and it has produced less than 2 ounces of mist.  Clearly, this is much, much less than last week.  Didn't I get about 10 ounces?  It was far better than this.  Too lazy to go look it up, but it isn't really necessary.  The greywater doesn't mist as well, no doubt about it.

To top all of that off, it looks like the greywater has to be filtered more than once in order to get it to clear up.  Dirtier water will work even less well with this humidifier.

Final conclusion:  Too early to shut this down, but it isn't looking good at the moment.  I've got some activated charcoal coming and I could try to improve upon the filtration from the sand.  But as it stands right now, this isn't good enough.  Not by a long shot.  The greywater has to be filtered significantly better before it can go through the humidifier.


Verna Griffin said...

Best of luck with that. I know for sure that that having to keep water clean is a monumentally unbearable job. However, you shouldn't worry because there are endless and continuing arrays of options to start such task. Thanks for sharing that!

Verna Griffin @ AXEON Water Technologies

Greg said...

Hi, Verna:

Thanks for sharing and thanks for coming by.