Extraction of certain substances from a chemical or plant-based mixture is not an easy task. There are many ways in which the separation of components can be achieved. The main three methods of extraction are:
- Steam distillation
- Cold press extraction
- Solvent extraction
Depending on the type of material to be extracted, the volume of extraction, and the heat and chemical properties of the mixture, any one of the above methods can be employed.
In this guide, we will talk about the steam distillation method, its advantages, and the main accessories involved. Have a look!
What is steam distillation?
Steam distillation is a continuous distillation program that can be used to separate different fractions from a liquid mixture. It is useful in the complete or partial extraction of components from a chemical or bio mixture.
How does steam distillation work?
In steam distillation, a liquid mixture is passed through different stages of evaporation and condensation during which various components with different boiling points evaporate at different temperatures. Also, when some of the components are volatile, they will directly go into the gaseous stage and separate.
When the fraction with the highest boiling point is left behind as a smudge, the other components separate through various outlets and get collected in the outlet basins.
What are the best instruments for steam distillation?
One important thing to keep in mind while choosing the pieces of equipment for your steam distillation process is the quality of its material. So, it is crucial that you get your instruments from trusted companies like LeDab.ca which provide the best distillation instruments at the most competitive prices.
Before looking at the best steam distillation equipment out there, it is important to understand what the major components of a distillation setup are. Some of the most important parts are:
- Main vessel
- Receiving flask
- Cold trap
- Diffusion pump
- Heater chiller
- Vacuum pump
- Stainless tubing
What are the advantages of the steam distillation process?
Steam distillation is a continuous process and has many advantages over its counterparts. Have a look at some of the main advantages of this process:
- It is a fast process as it does not involve waiting for the components to separate.
- It is a continuous process and can be employed for as long as it is required.
- The purity of separated fractions is much superior.
- It is cheaper and most commonly used for high-precision separation work.
- It can be applied to both chemical and plant-based extracts.
To conclude, steam distillation can be used for the cost-efficient separation of components from a mixture with high accuracy and fast processing.