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"Distiller" and "Distillery" redirect here. For other uses, see Distiller (disambiguation) and Distillery
For other uses, see Distillation (disambiguation).
Laboratory display of distillation: 1: A heating device 2: Still pot 3: Still head 4: Thermometer/Boiling
point temperature 5: Condenser 6: Cooling water in 7: Cooling water out 8: Distillate/receiving flask
9: Vacuum/gas inlet 10: Still receiver 11: Heat control 12: Stirrer speed control 13: Stirrer/heat plate
14: Heating (Oil/sand) bath 15: Stirring means e.g.(shown), anti-bumping granules or mechanical
stirrer 16: Cooling bath.
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in their volatilities in a boiling
liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical
Commercially, distillation has a number of applications. It is used to separate crude oil into more
fractions for specific uses such as transport, power generation and heating. Water is distilled to remove
impurities, such as salt from seawater. Air is distilled to separate its components—notably oxygen,
nitrogen, and argon—for industrial use. Distillation of fermented solutions has been used since ancient
times to produce distilled beverages with a higher alcohol content. The premises where distillation is
carried out, especially distillation of alcohol, are known as a distillery.
Distillation apparatus of Zosimus, from Marcelin Berthelot, Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs (3
vol., Paris, 1887-1888).
Early types of distillation were known to the Babylonians in Mesopotamia (in what is now Iraq) from
at least the 2nd millennium BC. Archaeological excavations in northwest Pakistan have yielded