Falling Film Distillation Systems

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Falling film distillation is a type of distillation in which a thin film of liquid is passed over a heated surface. As the film falls, the heat evaporates the volatile components of the liquid, leaving behind the non-volatile components. This method of distillation is often used when a company needs to purify a large amount of liquid quickly. Chemtech Services Inc.’s falling film distillation systems feature a two evaporator design. The first stage is a falling film that is connected to a second stage rolling film evaporator.


How It Works

Falling film evaporation systems work by pumping liquid through a heated tube bundle, where it forms a thin film. The volatile components of the liquid evaporate relatively quickly, while the non-volatile components remain on the surface. The vapors are then  condensed back into a liquid form and collected.

Falling Film Distillation Common Applications:

Falling film distillation can be used for a variety of applications, including: 

  • Removal of volatile organics from wastewater  
  • Concentration of fruit juices 
  • Production of essential oils 
  • Purification of drinking water 
  • Recovery of solvents 

Pros & Cons

Falling film distillation has a number of advantages over other types of liquid-liquid separation processes, such as centrifugal separation or membrane filtration. One advantage is that it can be used to separate fluids of very different densities, such as oil and water quickly. Additionally, the process can be used to remove dissolved solids from a fluid. 

Another advantage of falling film distillation is that it is relatively gentle on sensitive materials. This means that it can be used for separations where one of the materials being separated is heat-sensitive, such as in the case of certain pharmaceuticals or food products. Additionally, because there is very little shear forces involved in falling film distillation, it can also be used to separate emulsions without ruining their structure. 

There are many pros to selecting a falling film evaporation system for your facility. Below are some of the most important pros and cons of this type of distillation equipment. At Chemtech we specialize in helping you get the right equipment for your unique needs.

Pros of Falling Film Distillation

  • Able to produce large batches or quantities
  • Quick Production
  • Minimal waste
  • Operates at lower temperatures
  • Suitable for heat sensitive compounds
  • Higher separation factor
  • Low foam risk  
  • Can be used with viscous liquids that other methods cannot handle

Cons of Falling Film Distillation

  • Requires a large amount of energy to operate 
  • High initial cost for equipment and installation 
  • Significant changes in the feed composition may require process adjustments

Who is FFD Right For?

Falling film distillation is often used by companies that need to recycle large amounts of liquids quickly and efficiently. This method of distillation is well suited for companies that have high volumes of waste products or contaminated liquids that need to be purified or recycled. 

Companies who may benefit most from falling film distillation include those in the food and beverage industry, industrial manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry, and the chemical industry. If your company is looking for a way to improve the efficiency of its operations, falling film distillation may be the answer.

Falling film evaporation systems are well-suited for a wide range of materials, including those with high boiling points and those that are heat sensitive. Falling film distillation can also be used to purify liquids with suspended solids. Other ideal applications include distillation of new liquid materials that need to be purified in large batches efficiently. 

Getting Your Falling Film Evaporation Systems

To learn more about Chemtech’s falling film evaporation systems and how they can benefit your company, contact us today by calling (815) 838-4800. Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have about this process and equipment to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your needs.