Comparison of Spinning Band Distillation with Packed Column Distillation

All distillations attempt to separate a lower boiling material (A) from a higher boiling material (B). Packed columns are "packed" with a material that creates a large surface area within the distillation column. Vapors rise through the column, are condensed by the condenser and fall back down the column. This material is called the condensate.  The descending condensate "wets" the packing. Ascending vapors rise through the wet packing and are forced into intimate contact with the condensate. This intimate contact causes the vapor to become enriched in the lower boiling material. This process is often called rectification.

Spinning band distillation creates intimate contact between the vapors and the condensate in a dynamic process. It uses a helix rotating at high speeds inside the distillation column. The rotating band forces vapors into intimate contact with the condensate on the wall of the distillation column. This contact takes place in a very thin layer that is refreshed thousands of times per minute. As a result, spinning band distillation gives a very efficient separation in a short distillation column.

Some advantages of spinning band distillation are:

High Efficiency:  The Spinning band gives the highest efficiency for a given distillation column height.  So spinning band will give the best distilled purity possible.
Low Hold Up: Less than 3 ml of material remains in the column at the end of the distillation.  Valuable material is not left behind in the distillation column at the end of the distillation.  Cleaning between distillations is also minimized. 


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