Distillation is a process that is used in various industries for various industrial applications. Not only the process of distillation used in various applications but there are various ways of performing the distillation process as well. The different types of distillation processes have their own advantages and disadvantages in the industry. The different types of industrial distillation processes depend on various things. For example, if we talk about the speed and fast process of the industrial distillation system, then the name that would come in our mind is a wiped film distillation system. However, a wiped film distillation process is not a good solution for the fine separation of the components.
Whereas, when it comes to the fractional distillation process, then it is usually used for greater separation of the components and it is also a slower distillation process as compared to wiped film distillation.
Let’s have a look at the various types of distillation which are used in various industries.
- Simple distillation: The process of simple distillation is performed in various labs and this is the most basic and simplest process of the distillation system. The simple distillation process involves the boiling of the flask or you can say still pot. The solution is heated in the boiling flask till the time it turns into the vapor. The solution is further cooled down in the condenser and goes to the receiver flask.
- Short path distillation: The short path distillation is the process of distillation in which the distance of traveling the molecules of vapor to the condenser is very short in length. In this type of distillation process, the speed of the distillation is very fast and the cost of the whole process will also be low as compared to other distillation processes. However, in short path distillation, the risk of degradation will always be there.
- Molecular distillation: In the process of molecular distillation, the path is very short and due to this, the temperature is reduced. Because of the reduction of the temperature, the molecules of vapor are forced to enter the condenser. In this process, some molecules go to the opposite direction of the vacuum and due to the vacuum traps, the opposite direction molecules are eliminated.
- Fractional distillation: In the process of fractional distillation, a column is placed between the condenser and the boiling flask. In this process, as heat is provided to the solution, the vapors generated, and due to the presence of the fractional column, the vapors get distilled multiple times, which helps in making the greater separation of the components.
- Thin-film distillation: In the process of the thin film distillation, the solution is fed to the heated cylinder. The presence of the blade and roller spreads in the cylinder helps the solution to make it into a thin film. The solution is then further heated and as the solution turns into vapors, it goes to the condenser. The thin-film distillation process is a perfect solution for the reduction of degradation.
- Spinning band distillation: The process of spinning band distillation is very similar to the fractional distillation method. In this process, a long column along with the spinning band is used, which helps in forcing the process of vapor generation and then converting it to liquid. Due to the extra force provided by the fractional column and spinning band, the process of distillation becomes more efficient. Consequently, it increases the fine separation of the compounds.
A classic example would be a distillation involving the distillate travelling from one glass bulb to another, without the need for a condenser separating the two chambers. This technique is often used for compounds which are unstable at high temperatures or to purify small amounts of compound. The advantage is that the heating temperature can be considerably lower (at reduced pressure) than the boiling point of the liquid at standard pressure, and the distillate only has to travel a short distance before condensing. A short path ensures that little compound is lost on the sides of the apparatus. The Kugelrohr apparatus is a kind of short path distillation method which often contains multiple chambers to collect distillate fractions.
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