• Jingmeng Tian

A Guide to the Short Path and Wiped Film Distillation Process



Distillation has been used for many years now in the separation of liquid solution components using highly selective heating and cooling. The process makes use of many instruments to control the different thermodynamic properties of the solution compartments. This causes the separation of the mixtures through condensation, boiling, and evaporation. Distillations can be used in many areas such as water purification and increasing alcohol content in fermented beverages.

Short path distillation and wiped film molecular distillation are the two thermal separation processes mostly used for thermally sensitive products. The wiped film evaporator is sometimes called the thin film evaporator in certain wiping systems. Normally, partial separation of mixtures will use different distillation processes. The important thing to consider when deciding which distillation process that you choose is the boiling point difference of two fractions being separated.



How Does Wiped Film Distillation Work?

Wipe Film distillation is a condensed purification procedure best suited for lab applications that require minimal instrumentation. While other conventional distillation techniques need larger apparatuses, wipe film distillation equipment will occupy a relatively smaller working space.

There is a condenser in the middle of the evaporation vessel where the extracted material components are divided and concentrated. The condenser is close to the heated vessel wall, shortening the distance that the extract has to cover. That is how the name "short path wipe film distillation" was coined. The wiper pushes the extraction material as it evaporates to the condenser where it converts back to liquid. The liquid is collected at the bottom in the form of a distillate. Heavier components such as salts, chlorophyll, and wax travel through the wiper blades into another container.



Short path distillation equipment has a setup that utilizes the same principles without the wiper system distributing the extraction components. The extraction material is instead fed into a heated flask where heat is applied gradually. A vacuum aids in drawing the vapors into the fractioning tubes before the contents get to the condensing tubes, where they will separate. As in the wiped film process, each of the fractions is put in collection flasks depending on their weight. For better product refinement, the process can run the material through more than once.

The wiped film evaporators/short path evaporators are recommended for refining, concentrating, decolonizing, separating, and even deodorizing. They are mostly used in the pharmaceutical, polymers, chemical, and food industries. Some of the typical products handled include tall oil, fatty acids and amine, esters, fruit juices, urea, rocket fuel, and many others.

To achieve the best distillation results, you need a quality short path distillation kit. At Hydrion Scientific Instrument LLC, apart from manufacturing the best equipment, we also offer professional advice and free testing and demonstration. Get in touch with us today for more information about the short path wiped distillation equipment we offer.

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