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About Us

Aqua-Chem’s position of world leadership in water technologies began in 1929 when entrepreneur-engineer John Cleaver joined forces with businessman Raymond Brooks to provide the industry’s first “packaged” boiler system. Gone were the days buying separate components and assembling a system one piece at a time.

In 1943, the US Government commissioned Aqua-Chem to design and build a mobile distillation unit for military troops in the Pacific. The still converted seawater and brackish well water into 1000 gallons of purified drinking water per day. While this was an impressive rate for the time, the still’s mobility is what made it unique.

In 1951, Aqua-Chem designed and produced a seawater desalinating system for the Army. This project formalized the "package" concept of water purification systems in which all the necessary components were engineered and assembled into one system, including pumps, valves, steam compressors and plate evaporators, as well as filter components. The system could be fully operable merely by making electrical and piping connections.

In the 1960s, Aqua-Chem developed a factory assembled, packaged Spray-Film® vapor compression technology. This technology is capable of producing the purity levels needed by the most demanding applications. Today, Spray-Film® vapor compression is a cornerstone of the Company's products sold to the offshore, pharmaceutical/biotech and bottled water markets.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Company received many patents for desalination and its numerous applications. In part, this was the result of intensive federal government investment in development of water treatment technologies. Over the next decades, government research lessened and industry practices developed in less visible, more proprietary ways, through expertise and practicality in design and fabrication techniques.

In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Aqua-Chem became the product developer and prime production contract supplier to the U.S. government for transportable water purification systems for military use, and later also for civilian emergency use. These systems were known as Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units (ROWPUs) and delivered 3,000 gallons of water per hour in field use.

In the late 1990s, the Company teamed with a third party to develop a 1,500 gallon per hour Tactical Water Purification System (“1500 TWPS”), a new mobile water purification system for the US Military.

In 2000, Aqua-Chem purchased from Osmonics the Vaponics brand product lines of stills and steam generators, to enhance and expand the Company’s service to pharmaceutical/biotech industry customers.

Since 2001, Aqua-Chem has launched more than three dozen new products, including increasingly large vapor compression systems, reverse-osmosis water purifiers, pretreatment and sanitary process distribution systems, waste heat plate type evaporators, vacuum vapor compression units and titanium and copper-nickel heat exchangers. The Company continues to develop and introduce innovative products and applications to support its customers’ needs.


Customer Service

With our broad range of product and industry expertise, we can help you with many of the questions you might have regarding product specifications, or simply which of our products is the right fit to your need.

Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 4:00 PM EST

(865) 549-5413



Contact Us

Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST

(865) 544-2065

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