Short Path Distillation Systems

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Short path distillation equipment gets its name from the distance in which the vapor stream is condensed. This allows for very high vacuum and reduced evaporator temperatures. Short path distillation systems in a plant setting is a continuous process. Chemtech Services uses a roller design within the short path evaporator to create the short path wiped film.

Short path distillation, also known as molecular distillation, is a type of distillation that involves the fractional distillation of a liquid under high vacuum. This process allows for the separation of components with very different boiling points. Short path distillation systems are commonly used to purify delicate chemicals and essential oils. 

This glassware allows for the efficient fractional distillation of a liquid by providing a large surface area for evaporation and condensation. Short path distillation equipment is typically used when products with different boiling points need to be separated, such as in the purification of essential oils. Short path distillation is also an effective way to remove impurities from a liquid, making it an ideal choice for the purification of delicate chemicals and products.


Pros & Cons

Traditional Short Path Distillation

Traditional short path distillation or table top units are inexpensive and simple to use and set up. They make good material in smaller batches. They are ideal for testing and creating new products before moving to a bigger batch production.  These units do not offer continuous feed, and are prone to more inconsistencies.

Pros of Traditional Short Path Distillation

  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to set up & use
  • Makes good material

Cons of Traditional Short Path Distillation

  • Small batch sizes
  • Not continuous
  • Inconsistent due to small size

Short Path Series With Rollers

Continuous short path systems include an internal condenser which allows you to have continuous feed. There is a short distance between the evaporator and condenser which creates a smaller vapor cloud and really deep vacuum. These are great for heat sensitive molecules. These units are more costly than traditional table top units and slightly more complex in use. 

In this case, the evaporator wall generates the vapors as the feed moves by gravity, while being agitated and distributed evenly, down the evaporator wall. The vapor stream travels a “short path” directly to the condenser which is located within the evaporator chamber. Since the vapor stream is immediately condensed, the short path distillation process precludes the vapor from forming vapor pressure. This allows ultimate pressures of 0.001 mbar to be attained which, in turn, allows heat-sensitive materials to undergo purification at much lower temperatures preventing degradation. It also allows for very high ambient equivalent temperatures to be achieved. Short path distillation in a plant setting is a continuous process.

Rollers work by creating an even thin film around the evaporator surface using a spinning action. A cooling coil condenses the film back into a liquid, then separates and collects it. Using a spds with rollers helps with evaporation therefore increasing performance. Rollers utilize a simple method which does not rely on springs. While this type of unit adds slightly more cost and sophistication to your process, it can be a worthwhile investment due to increased production.

Pros of Short Path Series With Rollers

  • Creates an even thin film around the evaporator surface
  • Helps with evaporation which increases performance
  • Rollers are simple and don’t rely on springs
  • Continuous
  • Very short distance between evaporator & condenser
  • Small vapor cloud
  • Really deep vacuum
  • Great for heat sensitive molecules

Cons of Short Path Series With Rollers

  • Adds more cost and sophistication 
  • May not work on all fluids

Short Path Wiped Film

Short path wiped film distillation is a process often used to purify or separate temperature-sensitive materials, such as oils and waxes. Thin wiped distillation equipment is often used in the pharmaceutical industry to purify active ingredients for drugs.


Ready To Get Started?

No matter what your distillation needs are, Chemtech is here to help you get the proper equipment set up, and the in-depth understanding of how to use your new equipment. Call (815) 838-4800 today to speak to our team of professionals so you can begin to increase your throughput, maximize efficiency and create consistent quality in your products and services.