I need to distill water. Vapor compressors are the best choice. However, difficult to find small scale vapor compressor. I am exploring the feasibility of rotary screw compressor used in refrigeration. This is small scale so issues of condensation can be handled manually if needed.

Alternative is to buy a centrifugal impeller (customized for vapor compressor) and cast the casing using silicone. Casting a centrifugal compressor will require more expertise and work. 3D printing is an option but not willing to risk the money without adequate knowledge.

Appreciate the assistance.

  • $\begingroup$ this was my original concern but I can overlook it for the time being. because I don't have many options and it is urgent. Oil will be lighter and will come on top. I can remove the oil easily. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2023 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ There will be some additional manual work but it is ok for now. Not suitable for mass production but it will do for now. very urgent need for copious amounts of cost effective distilled water. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2023 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ I am trying to arrange one from a local technician. Have you tried something like this before? $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2023 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ no, I have not ... how much water do you require? ... for what purpose? $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Mar 8, 2023 at 4:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are the seals rated for the temperature? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 8, 2023 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


It is not recommended to use a rotary screw compressor used in refrigeration as a steam compressor for distilling water. The reason is that a rotary screw compressor is not designed to handle the high temperature and pressure of steam. The materials used in the compressor may not be able to withstand the high temperature, which can lead to failure or even a dangerous situation.

If you are unable to find a small-scale vapor compressor, an alternative option is to use a diaphragm compressor or a small-scale reciprocating compressor that is specifically designed for steam or high-temperature gases. These types of compressors are designed to handle the high temperature and pressure of steam, and may be more suitable for your application.

Alternatively, you may want to consider using a different method for distilling water, such as using a solar still or a distillation unit that does not require a compressor. It is important to ensure that the method you choose is safe and effective for your specific application.

  • $\begingroup$ The body is metallic so it should withstand the conditions. why do you say a reciprocating compressor is a better choice? $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2023 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ I can go for solar stills. but the amount won't be sufficient for my needs. Hence require a compressor. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2023 at 5:11

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