Distillation has been used over the years in various capacities. The benefits of using this process are efficient removal of contaminants, the separation of boiling points, removal of water and solids, extending the life of fluids, and reduced disposal.
How does it work?
Distillation works by exploiting the different boiling temperatures of liquids. To separate two or more liquids by distillation, they first must be heated. The more volatile liquid (the liquid with the lower boiling point) will typically evaporate first and the vapor will pass into a condensing column, where it can revert into a liquid (condense). Heating further will cause less volatile liquids to evaporate and distill at higher temperatures. This is known as simple distillation. Simple distillation, along with fractional distillation, are the two main types and both are used widely in industry.
Fractional distillation incorporates a fractionating column between the boiling flask and the cooling water (or condenser) that is filled with plates. These plates provide surfaces on which the refluxing liquid can condense, re-evaporate, and condense again, essentially distilling the compound over and over. This type of distillation is typically used if the boiling point between the liquids is too close, if a defined constituent is to be recovered or a higher purity is desired, from the distillation.
What can this be used for?
Distillation is a technique used for separating and purifying liquids from liquids, as well as liquids from solid material. In an industrial setting, Trucent uses distillation to purify and recover various straight oils and solvents by utilizing fractional distillation.