You need to use a distillation process to separate and purify liquids in a laboratory. There are many different types of distillation processes you can use, such as simple distillation, vacuum distillation, and fractional distillation. Discover the common types of laboratory distillation processes to use below.
Simple distillation is one of the most basic methods of distillation, but its resulting liquified component is not 100 percent pure. However, this method of distillation does an adequate job of purifying and separating components in a liquid. Perform this process by applying heat to vaporize the liquid. Then, lead the vapor through a condenser to a collection vessel where the vapor transitions into a liquid state.
Another type of distillation is vacuum distillation. There are many industries that use vacuum technology for distillation, such as the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Instead of using temperature, vacuum distillation uses pressure to purify and separate liquid components. To perform vacuum distillation, you’ll need to use a specialized vacuum to lower the pressure inside a condenser tube to separate liquid components.
Fractional distillation is essentially the same process as simple distillation, except that the process is repetitive to purify the liquid as much as possible. Also, this process takes place inside the condenser tube. Instead of performing multiple simple distillation procedures, you can perform a fractional distillation to purify the liquid as much as possible.
If you need to purify liquids that contain heat-sensitive compounds, then steam distillation is one of the best methods. If you use fractional distillation on heat-sensitive combinations, it could degrade and destroy the compounds. Steam distillation allows you to purify molecules in a current of steam, and the results are often composed of two layers. Since the results are composed of two layers, you’ll need to take steps to purify the results further.
These are some of the common types of laboratory distillation processes to use. Using one of these methods and the proper equipment, you will be able to distill liquids in a laboratory safely and successfully.