The Advantages of Simple Distillation

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One of the methods chemists use in separating substances involves taking advantage of physical properties. Simple distillation is one of those methods which use the difference in boiling points as a means of separating different substances. However, it is important to understand that in order to separate two compounds; the boiling point between the two substances should be more than 40 degrees centigrade. Once the boiling point of one substance is reached it vaporizes and may be removed as steam.

Low Heat Energy

Compared to other separation methods, such as fractional distillation, simple distillation uses less energy. This is because it uses simple apparatus which consists of only a distilling pot and a condenser, an adapter and a receiver. Due to the simple equipment used, the avenues through which much energy can be used or lost during the separation process are minimized thus making the process more energy efficient.

Use of Cheap Apparatus

Compared to other methods of distillation, simple distillation uses simple and cheap apparatus for the separation processes. This enables manufacturers to save on the cost of production. When purer compounds are needed, the process can be repeated over and over again until the required standards are achieved. A fine product is achieved without incurring a lot of expense.

Less Time

A simple distillation process requires only one cycle in order to obtain the required product. When separating a simple solution, provided the compounds making up the mixture have a great gap in their boiling points, there is usually no need for continuous distillation which most of the time consumes a lot of time and energy. With simple distillation, a clean final product can be achieved using a single process only.


Simple distillation is used for a variety of applications. One of them is to make wine and spirits. Simple distillation is used to purify water for home use, schools or hospitals if there is no bottled water or clean tap water available.


About the Author

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, David Karanja has been writing since 2008. His articles have appeared in newspapers such as “Our Sunday Visitor," “Weekly Citizen” and “People Daily." Karanja holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Nairobi.

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