Vacuum Distillation

Definition - What does Vacuum Distillation mean?

Vacuum distillation is the process of distilling water and other volatile components that can cause corrosion in machinery and other components if not removed. In this method, the pressure above the liquid mixture that needs to be distilled is reduced below its vapor pressure (usually below atmospheric pressure), which causes evaporation of the water and other volatile liquids.

Corrosionpedia explains Vacuum Distillation

Vacuum distillation of the liquid mixture that needs to be separated out from water and other volatile components can be performed either by heating the mixture or without heating the mixture. Heating involves converting the mixture into vapors, then condensing and cooling these vapors. The components of the liquid mixture are separated out by partial vaporization, and then the vapors and liquid residue is collected. The more volatile components such as water are converted into a vapor state by this process, which is subsequently condensed or purged into the atmosphere.

The two main advantages of vacuum distillation are:

  • It avoids thermal decomposition and fluid (and its additives) degradation.
  • The energy usage for heating and cooling the mixture and the volatile components is reduced.
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