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Solar Powered Water Distiller Turns Salt Water into Fresh Drinking Water with Only Sunlight Required


A revolutionary ceramic solar-powered still has the ability to combat one of the greatest threats to human life in the developing world, water insecurity. The solar still turns salt water into fresh water and can be built for under $50 U.S. dollars.

Water insecurity is one of the biggest issues facing the developing world today, but innovative designer Gabriele Diamanti has created a simple, yet effective, solution.

The Eliodomestico is basically a personal desalination still, which operates similar to an “upside down coffee percolator.” The device is an open-source design, noted for its remarkable simplicity to build and use, as specifically intended by Diamanti when creating the solar still.

The device consists of two ceramic pieces that sit on top of one another. Within the top piece is a black container into which the salt water is deposited.


The sun heats the container of water, turning the water into steam. The pressure then builds until the steam is forced into a tube and is deposited into a container, where the water then cools, condenses and collects in the basin.


The Eliodomestico is designed to be carried upon the head when traveling, as is common place in developing countries where water is not a centralized commodity. People often are forced to walk great distances to collect this vital resource.

The solar still has the ability to collect about five liters of water a day and costs less than $50 to build. This simple, yet effective, lifesaving device has the potential to permanently change the lives of millions of people across the globe.

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Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on BenSwann’s Truth in Media, Chris Hedges’ truth-out, AlterNet and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

  • James M. Ray

    Does anyone else in Florida want to try to buy one of these things (or know how to try to buy one!)?? Thanks.

  • I wonder what happened to this project. I’m sure more people, even those in developing nations, are already considering this type of water purification. But, this one’s clearly made especially for those communities that are so far off from the nearest accessible drinking water. Regardless, I’m just glad how this type of purification process has gained the attention of many. I’m personally interested in the whole idea of solar water distillation and for that, I’ve dedicated an entire article to discuss all the important things that we need to know about it and even included a section that teaches you how to make one at home. I would love to share it everyone. My article is accessible at this link: http://all-about-water-filters.com/ultimate-guide-to-solar-water-distillation/

  • Kim

    I love that this innovation could help a great great number of people in water-stressed areas around the world. Thanks for sharing!