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Alaqua 7004 Boulevard East, Suite 28A,Guttenberg, NJ USA 07093    +(00-1) 551 482 7568   
Alaqua 7004 Boulevard East, Suite 28A,Guttenberg, NJ USA 07093    +(00-1) 551 482 7568   

Distillation: Equipment and Processes

Date:27 October, 2021   |   No Comments   |   Posted By Team Alaquainc

Alaqua is a distillation equipment supplier along with other processing equipment such as the evaporator, crystallizer, solvent recovery systems, heat exchanger, and spray dryer. Distillation is the process of separating the components of a liquid mixture by alternating evaporation and condensation. Distillation can result in an essentially full separation, resulting in practically pure components, or it can result in a partial separation, resulting in higher concentrations of specific combination components. Hence, Distillation takes the use of variances in the volatile nature of the mixture’s constituents.


Specifications of Distillation Equipment:

A distillation process, which comprises the stages below, is used to recycle solvents:

  1. A batch or continuous distillation vessel processes waste solvent solution.
  2. By using conductive thermal transfer, a heated jacket heats the waste solvent.
  3. A vacuum can be applied to the vessel, lowering the solvent’s boiling temperature.
  4. The waste solvent transforms from a liquid to a vapor when it reaches its boiling point.
  5. Clean solvent vapor travels via a condenser with a condensing and sub-cooling portion. The solvent returns to a liquid state in the condenser, where it is cooled to room temperature.
  6. The impurities do not transit through a vapor phase and remain in the drain port to be released.

Distillation Design and Technology-

Distillation is a significant phase or “unit operation” in many industrial processes since it is one of the most dependable and cost-effective ways of chemical separation. Alaqua is a distillation supplier for “Modular” and “Field-erected” distillation systems for a variety of industries, including:

  • Petrochemicals
  • General Chemical Production
  • Renewable Fuels
  • Food Processing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Mining

Distillation is a heat-mass separation technique. While there are a variety of ways for separating chemical compounds, distillation has shown to be the most dependable and cost-effective solution in many cases.

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Separation Processes in Single and Multiple Stages-

Before getting into the mechanics of the distillation process and design concerns, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between single and multiple-stage separation methods in general.

Evaporation, or more technically but less usually “Flash Distillation,” is a single stage of separation. Heating and boiling the solution eliminate one volatile component. The solution vaporizes and eliminates its more volatile constituent from the equation.

In the separation process, multiple-effect evaporation uses many phases of evaporation. The sequential process design in multiple-effect evaporation limits the procedure. Distillation equipment services use the same multi-stage approach in countercurrent stages to make the process more efficient and waste-free.

Distillation Basics-

Define distillation as the separation of components in a solution based on their relative volatility. Within a vertical column, the liquid and vapor interact in a counterflow configuration to complete the distillation process. The volatility of compounds separated by distillation is proportional to the vapor pressure of the chemical. At various pressures, chemicals have varying boiling temperatures.

In the design of a distillation process, relative volatility and activity coefficients are important characteristics. Because most distillation systems have several components, the resulting equation matrix is rather big. A measure of relative volatility compares the vapor pressures of the components in a system. Researchers use the activity coefficient as a computational factor to address deviations from ideal behavior.


Distillation Design Process-

The entire design process follows a uniform procedure, regardless of the models utilized. The following are the general measures to take:

  • Evaluate the data on vapor-liquid equilibrium.
  • Determine the steps of balance that are required.
  • Calculate the hydraulics of the tray
  • Choose the best tray or packing efficiency.

When conducting rough system cost analysis, evaluating operational variables, establishing separations with coarse purity criteria, and designing perfect and near-ideal systems, engineers justify the use of manual calculation processes.

A rigorous design approach, on the other hand, is employed in numerous situations:

  • lack of adequate VLE data or the design of a system that deviates greatly from optimum behavior
  • product purity standards are stringent
  • a very exact cost estimate is required
  • distillation of many components with a narrow range of boiling points

Experts recommend conducting pilot testing in various contexts, particularly when a design presents a performance risk.

Design and Operating Conditions Selection:

After deciding on a basic system design, the engineer must examine the equipment’s important operational characteristics, which include:

  • Column Pressure

Reducing the operating pressure of a column enhances separation by improving relative volatility. When lowering column pressure, additional parameters like reboiler and condenser temperatures must be taken into account.

  • Pressure Drop

It’s common to presume that pressure at the bottom of a still is the same as the pressure at the top for design considerations. That isn’t the case, because there can’t be vapor flow without a pressure differential. To be concise, we need to analyze changes in the VLE for each equilibrium stage. Using today’s simulation software overcomes this problem since the rigorous modeling is quite precise and allows for quick evaluation of the pressure gradient in the column design.

The pressure drop in a vacuum column can be a considerable proportion of the absolute pressure. In such instances, relative volatility from the condenser to the reboiler might differ significantly.

Integrated Distillation System:

Integration is the last point to talk about with your designer. In classic distillation columns, process integration is gaining traction as a way to improve performance while lowering costs. The idea is simple: collecting latent heat and repurposing it elsewhere in the distillation process reduces energy consumption because this heat would otherwise be squandered. However, for any design more complicated than a single distillation column, putting this type of energy-recapture system in place can be problematic. To enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a system, design engineers use technologies such as multi-effect evaporation and mechanical vapor recompression (MVR).


Several factors in solvent recovery influence even the most basic distillation configurations. Alaqua supplies processing equipment to ASME and CE code requirements such as evaporators, crystallizers, solvent recovery, heat exchangers, spray dryers, and distillation equipment for the environmental, and chemical. Pharmaceutical, food, and power generation industries. To know more about processing equipment or clear any queries contact us today!

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