Description and Function
Distillation column utilities in a way such that a mixture is separated into its component by heating the mixture to a temperature in which one or more of its component will evaporate and then is condensed and collected.
Types of distillation columns:
There are different types of distillation columns :
Simple distillation column
Simple distillation is when a liquid is boiled and the vapor moves up through the column until it reaches the condenser and is cooled and re-liquefied.
Fractional distillation column
It is similar to the simple distillation however it is packed with a material that has high surface area packing to make separation more efficient that is caused by the repeated condensation and evaporation. Therefore, only the vapors that has enough amount of energy to stay in the vapor phase and reach the condenser. In result, the component that is condensed can approximately have pure composition.
In the figure below it demonstrates the path vapors in simple distillation column and fractionating distillation column take, it is taken from .
Figure 1: This figure shows liquid-vapor phases diagram on A and B composition.
The phase diagram above shows how a liquid of A and B, for example if C2 composition evaporates at constant temperature shown with in red line and then is condensed; the vapor will have C3 composition which is not pure B and is usually what happens in a simple distillation column. But in a fractionating distillation column a composition of C1 shown in turquoise line will evaporate and will get condense back, followed by red line path which then condense again and then lastly take the green path and will condense at nearly pure B composition. This ...
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W.F.”Simple distillation.”[on-line].Available: http://www.wfu.edu/chem/courses/organic/distill/distillation.htm[April 15,2014]
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