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Simple and Reliable Solutions for Membrane Distillation with elobau Float Switches

23 Apr 2020  |
Aquastill was founded in 2008 and designs and builds water purification plants that are used worldwide, such as in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, the United States, Brazil, Australia, Africa, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and the Czech Republic.

They are one of the few companies in the world applying membrane distillation on a commercial scale.  Aquastill’s technology is a unique concept. It combines natural processes, advanced materials and state-of-the-art production techniques to provide a low-cost solution for one of the world’s greatest needs: clean water.

The treatment plants are used, for example, to distil salt water and turn it into purified water. Aquastill’s unique water treatment plant offers solutions for desalination, the food and beverage industry, the chemical industry, the oil and gas industry, mobile desalination (eg on ships), and the agricultural sector. The plants can also be successfully combined with solar energy.

Since 2013, Aquastill has been using miniature float switches from elobau. “A small application that we are very happy with,” says Paul – project manager at Aquastill.

Challenge – monitoring the processes in membrane distillation


“As Aquastill we are in membrane distillation, which is a relatively small industry,” says Niels – R & D Engineer at Aquastill. Membrane distillation is when water is distilled by means of a membrane that vapour molecules are allowed to pass through.  These vapour molecules are then collected and allowed to condense. The pure distillate can then be collected. Using this process, distilled water can be made from salt water, and with the addition of minerals and a little salt, it becomes suitable for human consumption. Aquastill also works on other applications, but the main focus is on desalination. 

There are multiple processes to be monitored in membrane distillation, and float switches are required for this. The switches operate as a kind of security that controls the process. They are used for the protection of the heating, to switch the pumps on and off, and to control the water level in water-filled vacuum tanks. If there is enough water in the tank, the float switch is triggered to indicate that the water level is high enough for the heating to switch on. The switches are therefore extremely important and used in every Aquastill system.

The float switches from elobau were selected for their simplicity, efficiency and reliability. The material of the switches, PVDF, is chemically resistant to many different liquids, which ensures a wide range of applications. They can resist cold, hot, salt water, acids, and alkalis.

“It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it works well and it’s reliable, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for and what we need,” says Niels. “We have never had a complaint about the product, so we are very satisfied with it.”

elobau’s float switches in an Aquastill installation

 “ Clean water is easily accessible in the Netherlands and Europe, but that is not the case in all countries. elobau certainly contributes to a better and cleaner world. “- Paul, project manager at Aquastill

Aquastill about co-operation with elobau – simplicity, efficacy, reliability and sustainability

Aquastill marks elobau’s float switches an A+. They are easy to use and the quality is always excellent. Communication with elobau is also excellent. The information that is exchanged between elobau and Aquastill is always technically substantiated and leads to results.

In addition, Aquastill and elobau share the same views and approach to sustainability. “Clean water is easily accessible in the Netherlands and Europe, but that is not the case in all countries,” says Paul. “elobau certainly contributes to making a better and cleaner world and providing good drinking water facilities all over the world. Of course, we cannot provide fresh, clean drinking water to the whole world in one day, but we will never stop trying”. In carrying out this mission, it is important that Aquastill collaborates with like-minded companies, and that is definitely the case with elobau: the philosophy and footprint of elobau, which produces in a carbon-neutral manner by, among other things, using solar energy, goes hand in hand with the green philosophy of Aquastill.

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