Our team have been creating distillation equipment for over 40 years and can help you design and plan your apparatus based on the substances you are working with. Even if you’re not 100% sure what you need, our team can provide advice regards what solution will best fit your needs.
The Distillation Process
Distillation is a procedure whereby elements or substances from a liquid are separated through the process of boiling and condensation. Each elements boiling point must be different to allow effective separation to occur. The closer the boiling points of the elements within the liquid, the more complex the distillation process is required to be.
In a laboratory setting distillations are generally carried out as batch distillations. Thre are three essential pieces of distillation equipment needed to carry out the process;
- Reboiler or Pot – Used to heat the source liquid
- Condenser – The heated vapour is cooled back to a liquid state.
- Receiver Flask – The device into which the concentrate/distillate is collected.
The Basic Distillation Procedure
The first step is to heat a liquid to boiling point using the reboiler or pot. This causes the liquid to evaporate and form a vapour.
The vapour is then cooled by passing it through the condenser, which is maintained at a lower temperature through the use of cooling water.
The vapour, now cooled, condenses to form a distillate.
Types of Distillation
There are many different types of distillation and the process used will depend on the compounds being worked with. Three of the most common methods are detailed below;
Fractional Distillation – This process refers to a process where the same liquid is distilled multiple times at increasing temperatures to remove different substances from the mixture.
Steam Distillation – Used for extracting temperature-sensitive compounds that may suffer decomposition by techniques that employ higher boiling points.
Vacuum Distillation – Some substances have extremely high boiling points. In these cases, it can be more effective to lower the pressure in the column above the substance so elements within the mixture with lower vapour pressures evaporate off.
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