Types of Distillation Processes

Distillation is used in many different industries. Major industries include Industrial Chemistry, Fossil Fuel Industry, Industrial Gases, Chemical Engineering, Essential Oils, etc. Distillation is not a chemical reaction it is simply separating chemical compounds from a source material.

Different distillation processes are used to depending on the source material and component that is being targeted for separation.

The four main categories of distillation applications are laboratory scale, industrial, herbal, and food processing. Within these four applications are specific subcategories some of these are described below.

Simple Distillation – Used when compounds have widely differing boiling temperatures.

Fractional Distillation – Components have close boiling points. Condensed and vaporized multiple times to extract purest form.

Steam Distillation – Used to separate heat sensitive compounds.

Vacuum Distillation – Used to separate compounds with extreme boiling points inside a vacuum.

Short Path Distillation – Used to distill small quantities. Typically made up of small glass components.

Reactive Distillation – Removes volatile compounds from feed mixture.

Catalytic Distillation – Used to continuously separate desired compounds and ensure equilibrium reactions.

Pervaporation – Utilizes non-porous membrane for partial vaporization.

Extractive Distillation – Distillation when miscible is present

Azeotropic Distillation – Separates an impurity with the same boiling point as the desired compound from the distillate.