Vapor Compression Desalination

Our technology improves upon Vapor Compression Desalination. This technology is an excellent platform; it’s robust, has a high water recovery, and is energy efficient.


How it works:

  • Saltwater is added to the boiling side of the heat exchange

  • A compressor increases the temperature of the steam

  • Compressed steam is added to the condensing side

  • The condensation of steam returns energy to the boiling side


  • Compressor efficiency and scalability

  • Heat exchanger size and cost

StarRotor Compressor

The research and development of Mark Holtzapple at Texas A&M has led to the invention of the StarRotorTM compressor, an advanced system that is more robust, more compact, and 33% more efficient than today’s dominant technologies.


Mechanical efficiency is lost with each additional moving part. StarRotor™ compressors achieve efficiency through simplicity. Compare the parts of a conventional compressor and StarRotor below

StarRotor Parts.png
Complicated compressor.png

*StarRotor Compressor

*Conventional Compressor


StarRotor™ compressors are efficient, even at small scale. This important feature allows the vapor-compression system to be operated at a small scale in a distributed manner. In contrast, other distillation approaches require large centralized plants.

StarRotor Efficiency.png

Note the efficiency on the y axis, and the scale of the machine shown by power output on the x-axis.

Cascade Water Solutions holds the exclusive license to use The StarRotor™system in water desalination applications.

Advanced Heat Transfer

Heat exchangers employ a very simple mechanic: energy passes through a wall, from one chamber to another, and water collects on this wall the same way warm steam clings to a cool shower door.

Dropwise condensation graphic.png

The trouble in most heat exchangers is that water creates a smooth film on the surface, creating an additional barrier for heat to pass through.

Dropwise condensation.png

With careful material selection and finely tuned process conditions, our heat exchangers collect water as droplets. 

As a result, we achieve identical output with 1/10th the size and ¼ the cost.