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.
||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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