Distilled Water Vs Reverse Osmosis Water

Although distilled water and reverse osmosis (RO) water are ubiquitous types of purified water, many individuals may not be fully aware of their distinctions. The processes used to extract pollutants from tap water vary greatly between these two forms of purified water.

In this post, we’ll examine the main distinctions between distilled water and RO water, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Distilled vs. reverse osmosis water, which one should you choose?

Figure 8 Drinking water from brackish water RO systems.

➣What is Distilled Water or Distillation?

The process of distillation results in distilled water, which is a kind of refined water. This method involves boiling water, capturing the vapor that results, and then cooling it to turn it back into liquid. By removing contaminants like minerals and other impurities, this procedure produces clean water that has no dissolved solids.

Distilled water is frequently employed in scientific research, medicinal operations, and even some industrial activities due to its purity. However, it’s important to note that because it is completely pure and contains no minerals, it may not be the best choice for regular consumption, as it may not provide the necessary minerals and electrolytes that are essential for proper bodily function.

➣What is Reverse Osmosis Water?

Water that has undergone a reverse osmosis process is referred to as reverse osmosis water. It is generally considered to be high-quality, pure water because the RO process removes a wide range of contaminants, including dissolved salts, minerals, organic molecules, and other impurities. In order to create clean, safe drinking water, reverse osmosis is frequently utilized in households, businesses, and industrial processes where quality water is necessary.

➣How to Obtain Distilled Water and Reverse Osmosis Water?

(1)Distilled Water Production Process

Distilled water, as a type of pure water, is water that has been treated to be pure, and clean and does not contain impurities or bacteria. The preparation process is mainly distillation, condensation, and separation. Water is vaporized through distillation equipment, and then the water vapor is condensed into water. After separation, high-purity distilled water is finally obtained.

Figure 2 Distillation process

(2)Reverse Osmosis System Process

● Pre-treatment

The water is pre-treated to remove large particles, sediment, and chlorine. This step helps to protect the RO membrane from damage.

● Pressure

The water is then pressurized and forced through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through, but block larger particles such as salt, minerals, and other contaminants.

● Separation

The water that passes through the membrane is called permeate, and the water that does not pass through is called concentrate or brine. The concentrate is typically discharged or recycled, while the permeate is collected for use as reverse osmosis water.

● Post-treatment

The permeate is further treated to remove any remaining contaminants and to adjust the pH and mineral content to the desired level. This step is important to ensure the water is safe and suitable for its intended use.

Figure 3 Reverse osmosis process

➣Advantages of Distilled and Reverse Osmosis Water

(1)Pros of Using Distilled Water

  • Removal of Impurities

Boiling and condensation are used to create distilled water, which purges contaminants such as minerals, chemicals, and microorganisms. This makes it ideal for use in applications where purity is important, such as in laboratory experiments or medical procedures.

  •  Consistency

Distilled water has a consistent composition, which makes it useful in applications where the exact composition of the water is important. For example, in industrial processes where water is used as a solvent or a cleaning agent, the consistency of distilled water can help ensure that the process is repeatable and predictable.

  •  Improved Taste

Because distilled water is devoid of the minerals and chemicals that can alter the flavor of tap water, some individuals prefer the taste of it to that of the latter.

  • Reduced Mineral Buildup

Minerals that can accumulate in devices like coffee makers, steam irons, and humidifiers are absent from distilled water. This can extend the life of these appliances and reduce the need for maintenance.

(2)Reverse Osmosis Water Advantages

Reverse Osmosis In Laboratory Water Purification Systems

  • The cost of production is relatively low

Compared with distilled water, reverse osmosis water has lower purity and does not require much energy consumption to heat and treat the water, so it is more energy-saving and has lower operating costs.

  • High-quality reverse osmosis water

The filtration accuracy of the reverse osmosis membrane is as high as 0.01 micron. Compared with ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, and other membrane treatment methods, the pure water produced can be of higher quality. It can ensure that impurities, rust, colloids, minerals, bacteria, heavy metal ions, and viruses in the water are filtered out.

  • Wide range of applications

Reverse osmosis equipment is very common in water treatment applications. The same goes for reverse osmosis water applications. Common applications of reverse osmosis equipment include seawater desalination, drinking water production, food and beverage processing plants, pharmaceuticals, agricultural irrigation, laboratories, military, oil and gas, cooling tower equipment, etc.

  • Equipment for producing reverse osmosis water is easy to maintain

After the reverse osmosis equipment is put into installation and operation, it is very simple and convenient to operate. Basically, no maintenance is required, except for the replacement of consumable components.

-Differences Between Distilled Water and Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water

● Purification Process

Distilled water is generated as a consequence of boiling water, collecting the steam in a separate container, and then condensing it to remove contaminants and minerals. In contrast, RO water is created by squeezing the water through a partially porous membrane that removes pollutants and minerals.

● Water Purity

Both distilled water and RO water are highly purified and free of most contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, and minerals. However, distilled water may still contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have a lower boiling point than water and can evaporate along with the water molecules during the distillation process.

● Applications

Distilled water is often used in laboratory experiments, medical procedures, and automotive cooling systems. RO water is commonly used for drinking, cooking, and aquariums, as well as in some industrial and commercial applications.

Image 2 Laboratory water

● Water Taste

Because there are no minerals or other natural impurities in distilled water, it has a flat, neutral flavor. RO water, on the other hand, may retain some minerals and has a slightly better taste than distilled water, although it is still considered to have a bland taste compared to tap water or mineral water.

➣Reverse Osmosis Water and Distilled Water Applications

Distilled water and reverse osmosis water have different application fields because of their different purity.

Distilled Water Applications Reverse Osmosis Water Applications
Distilled water for irrigating surgical wounds Boiler feed water
Biological experiments Biochemical products are pure water
Chemistry experiment Preparation of food and beverages
Appliance cleaning Preparation of drinking water
Industrial circulating cooling water Deionized water for the electroplating process
Battery battery repair fluid Car cleaning water
Chemical reaction cooling water
Municipal drinking water

NEWater Filter Bags are Used in a Variety of Industrial Applications.

➣Reverse Osmosis vs Distilled Water: Which is Better?

Distilled water and reverse osmosis water each have their own advantages.

If you are wondering whether to use reverse osmosis or distilled water, you can choose to use reverse osmosis water or distilled water based on the water quality and applications of the two types of water we introduced above, and combined with your budget.

Contact a professional water treatment engineer to answer your questions. You can send your water treatment needs to info@newater.com.

➣Frequently Asked Questions

-Can I Use RO Water Instead of Distilled?

It depends on your final water quality needs. The reverse osmosis water production process is more economical and convenient. If the final product water can meet your product water quality requirements after being filtered by reverse osmosis equipment, then RO water can replace distilled water.
If you have higher requirements for product water quality, we recommend that you consider distillation or adding a post-treatment system after the reverse osmosis system, such as an EDI system or a secondary reverse osmosis system.

-Is Distilled Water and Reverse Osmosis Water Safe to Drink?

Figure 9 Drinking water from seawater systems.

Reverse osmosis water is considered to be drinkable directly because the water filtered by the reverse osmosis water purifier is pure water and contains almost no other harmful substances. Although some people think that the reverse osmosis system not only removes harmful substances but also removes minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are beneficial to the body. But for the human body, it is more direct to absorb trace elements through diet.

As for distilled water, because the distillation method cannot remove harmful substances such as organic matter, artificial synthetics, chlorides, algae, and other substances with a lower boiling point than water, it is not recommended to drink it. Moreover, the cost of fraud in the preparation process is too high, making it unsuitable for drinking purposes.

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