1,040,781. Distillation apparatus; production of potable water from saline water. SALINE WATER CONVERSION CORPORATION. March 19,1964 [June 12,1963], No. 11608/64. Heading B1B. Pure solvent is recovered from solutions, e.g. potable water is produced from sea water and other sources of impure water, by passing the solution through a heater and feeding the warmed liquid through pipe 16 to the head of a vertical cylinder 76 filled with packing material such as Raschig rings, pieces of broken stoneware or steel wool, where the pressure-conditions in the free space of the packing are maintained such that diffusion-vaporization of some of the solvent occurs from the solution as it flows down over the packing in the form of a film; the vapours pass through apertures 94 and are condensed on cooling- coils 98 disposed in stages 91 formed by plates 86 extending between the packed column and the housing 82. The condensate flows out of each stage via a liquid-seal and then flows into the next lower stage, e.g. the condensate flows from stage 91a to stage 91b via pipe 112 and annular passage 116. The transfer-pipes between the other stages are not shown for they are staggered in a spiral-like manner around the housing. The total condensate is withdrawn from the last stage 91e via outlet 68 by a wet pump. The residual non-evaporated solution flows out of the bottom of the packed-column through openings 80 into sump 95. Non-condensable gases are withdrawn from each stage through a needle-valve each of which leads to a common vent pipe, the lower end of this pipe being connected to the wet pump. The liquid-to-be-distilled is preheated by passing it through the cooling coils in series where it acts as coolant, the liquid being introduced into the coils through inlet 64 and withdrawn through outlet 66. The liquid is then further heated, e.g. by an electric immersion heater, before it is fed to the packed column. The residual solution withdrawn from sump 95 through outlet 53 may be recirculated to the system, if desired after passing it through an air-cooler. The purification of sewage effluent is mentioned.