Short-path distillation

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Short-path vacuum distillation apparatus with vertical condenser (cold finger), to minimize the distillation path; 1: Still pot with stirrer bar/anti-bumping granules 2: Cold finger – bent to direct condensate 3: Cooling water out 4: cooling water in 5: Vacuum/gas inlet 6: Distillate flask/distillate.

Short-path distillation is a distillation technique that involves the distillate travelling a short distance, often only a few centimeters, and is normally done at reduced pressure.[1][2] A classic example would be a distillation involving the distillate travelling from one glass bulb to another, without the need for a condenser separating the two chambers. This technique is often used for compounds which are unstable at high temperatures or to purify small amounts of compound. With short path distillation, a decrease of boiling temperature is obtained by reducing the operating pressure. It is a continuous process with very short residence time.[3] The advantage is that the heating temperature can be considerably lower (at reduced pressure) than the boiling point of the liquid at standard pressure, and the distillate only has to travel a short distance before condensing. A short path ensures that little compound is lost on the sides of the apparatus. The Kugelrohr is a kind of a short path distillation apparatus which often contain multiple chambers to collect distillate fractions.

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  1. ^ Harwood & Moody 1989, p. 150
  2. ^ Hickman, K. C. D. (2002-05-01). "High-vacuum Short-path Distillation-A Review". Chemical Reviews. 34 (1): 51–106. doi:10.1021/cr60107a002. 
  3. ^ "Short Path Distillation Plant VKL 70-5 | Root Sciences". Root Sciences. Retrieved 2018-05-03.