Eco-distillery, salt water to fresh drinking water in a day.


Designer: Gabriele Diamanti
Location: Milan, Italy
Category: Social Impact
Award: Professional Winner

This year’s Professional Winner for Social Impact by Gabriele Diamanti, “Eliodomestico” is an improvement over current water filtration system. As we wrote on Core77 when we first learned about the project, the simple, straight forward construction keeps production costs down and is made from readily available materials. In addition Diamanti himself promotes innovation and modification of “Eliodomestico” to further its beneficial attributes.

Eliodomestico is an open-source eco-distiller, running on solar power, to provide safe drinking water for people in developing countries. It’s a very simple way to produce freshwater, starting from sea or brackish water. The device produces 5 liters daily, through a direct solar-powered distillation process. Eliodomestico works without filters nor electricity, and requires minimal maintenance.

How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?

It was 1pm here in Italy so I was having my lunch break looking at the live jury announcements on the award website. I was so excited that I decided to switch the audio off and follow the results on twitter!

What’s the latest news or development with your project?

During the summer I’ll have the opportunity to test it further thanks to the many sunny days and with the help of some people who have fallen in love with this project. I have a huge list of people and organizations to say thanks to, many whom will help me in the up and coming stages. I’m always looking for collaborators, because this project needs a big effort to become widely known and produced by the local craftsmen. I hope I’ll also have the opportunity to start some production personally in the field. I need to take a closer look at the production issues, to refine the process.

Materials like terracotta and clay allow for local production.

What was an “a-ha” moment from this project?

When I made the very first prototype, I created an experiment to test if the steam could be forced down through the pipe or not. So I put a bottle of water under the evaporator with the end of the pipe, 5cm under the water level. When I saw the pipe end bubbling in the water, I was very happy. In that moment I understood that my insights were correct, and I kept following the path…