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Learn the types of distillation through only ONE table.

By Thomas Huang September 28th, 2023 78 views

Table of Distillation Types

There are many types of distillation, which can be clasified according to different perspectives, and there are further classifications under each category.

No. Perspective. Primary classification. Secondary classification. Tertiary classification. Application cases
1 Types Classified By mode. Simple distillation (also known as single-stage distillation). Water and vapor distillation technology. In-water distillation. Volatile oil of Cinnamomum cassia, Azadirachta indica, Perilla frutescens, Erythrina officinalis, Ligusticum chuanxiong, Rhodiola rosea, Artemisia capillaris and Artemisia alba.
above-water distillation. Large-scale cultivation of aromatic plants such as peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus leaves, etc. are distilled above water to extract essential oils. 
Water-gas distillation. Preparation of biomolecules such as DNA and RNA.
Simultaneous Distillation and solvent Extraction (SDE). Spices and Chinese medicine volatile oils.
Water diffusion distillation technology. Extraction of volatile oil.
Molecular distillation technology. Extract spices from rose oil.
Fish oil ethyl ester remove fishy smell, purification and decolourisation.
Chilli red pigment desolventisation.
Separation of products and catalysts.
 Balanced distillation (FLASH DISTILLATION). Petroleum refining and petroleum cracking separation.
Rectification(Also known as multi-stage distillation). Classified by operation mode. Batch distillation.
Continuous multi-stage distillation.
Sorted by group fraction of the mixture. Binary distillation.
Multiple distillation.
Special distillation. Additive distillation. Extractive distillation. Extractive separation of benzene-cyclohexane solutions by adding an extractant as the third component.
Constant boiling distillation. Anhydrous alcohol is produced by constant-boiling distillation of industrial alcohol, using benzene as the constant-boiling agent.
DISTILLATION WITH ADDING SALTS. Salt is added to distillate anhydrous ethanol.
Reactive distillation. Preparation of ethyl acetate.
Adsorption distillation. Adsorption distillation in the tert-butanol-water azeotrope separation process.
Crystallization distillation. Processes combining crystallisation and distillation in one process.
Vacuum distillation. Separation of dye intermediates, extraction of natural products, refining of spices, separation of fatty acids, refining of high carbon chain alkanes
2 Types sorted according to the operating pressure. Atmospheric distillation.
Crude oil is separated into naphtha, solvent oil, paraffin, diesel and transformer oil and other different products.
Pressurised distillation.
1、Separate high-boiling point paraffin and petroleum residues. 
2、Separate and purify high-boiling point pharmaceutical raw materials.
3、Purify high boiling point chemical raw materials.
Decompression distillation.
1、Separate different fractions of crude oil, such as gasoline, diesel, liquefied gas, etc.
2、 Decompression distillation can also be used in the pharmaceutical industry in the separation and purification of drugs.
3、Separation and purification of chemical raw materials in the chemical industry.
3 Types categoried by components in the mixture. Two-component distillation.
Multicomponent distillation.
4 Types sorted as per the operation mode. Batch distillation.
Continuous distillation.
Continuous distillation is particularly useful when dealing with large quantities of industrial chemicals, as it can be distilled without interruption. This process is particularly important in the petroleum industry for refining crude oil.

Supplementary introduction of partial types of distillations:

1.Water vapour distillation technology

Water vapour distillation method is only applicable to the volatile, can be distilled with water vapour without being destroyed, and water does not react, and insoluble or insoluble in water components of the extraction. The boiling point of such components is mostly above 100 ℃, and water is not miscible or only slightly soluble, and has a certain vapour pressure at about 100 ℃.

2. Simultaneous distillation and solvent extraction ( SDE)

This type of distillation is realized by simultaneously heating the sample liquid phase and organic solvents to boiling.
It combines the water vapour distillation and distillate solvent extraction into one. It can concentrates the volatile organic components at 10-6 level in the lipid or aqueous media  for thousands of times.

3. What's the molecular distillation

Molecular distillation is a distillation method operated under high vacuum, when the average free range of vapour molecules is greater than the distance between the evaporation surface and the condensation surface, so that the difference in the evaporation rate of each component in the liquid can be used to separate the liquid mixture.

4. Reactors for some types of distillation purpose


Decompression distillation reactor photo of decompression distillation reactor
Pressurized distillation reactor Pressurized distillation reactor photo
Reactive distillation reactor esterification reactor photo
Multi-stage distillation reactor Multi-stage distillation reactor
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