The chemical and pharmaceutical industry requires a lot of high-end machines that help to produce the purest form of medicines that people use. A very crucial process that the makers follow is vacuum distillation. Apart from the pharmaceutical industry, vacuum distillation is also used in food and beverage production. Crude oil is another sector where vacuum distillation is widely used. Since crude oil has a high content of both heavy and light hydrocarbons, it requires two separate distillation processes for different boiling points.
Importance of vacuum pumps for distillation
Vacuum distillation is the center point of many industries, especially the ones that need atmospheric distillation to purify the products. Crude oil, for example, goes through a double distillation process where after the atmospheric distillation the pump does a second distillation to separate all the heavy hydrocarbons at a lower temperature compared to the first separation. In fact, the second distillation is essential to avoid the creation of any unwanted byproduct and to minimize thermal cracking.
Types of vacuum pumps used for distillation
Vacuum pumps are highly effective when it comes to distillation. If you are searching for a vacuum pump that fits this purpose, make sure it is corrosion-free and vapor compatible. One of the vacuum pumps that ticks all the boxes required for distillation is a dry screw vacuum variant. It is ideal for distillation applications.
One of the reasons why they are so popular in the pharmaceutical and beverage industries is they can produce very high vacuum in a single stage. Since they don’t require any fluids to work, they can extract the needed product as a vapor without contaminating it. This allows the manufacturers to reuse the product again after condensation. These pumps are available in a variety of sizes and models that give you an opportunity to compare the power and pressure depending on the product you will be using it for.
The dry screw vacuum pumps are best suited for industries that need contaminant-free gases and vapors. Due to its free gas outlet and asymmetrical screw profile, the pump is compatible with a high degree of particles and fluids. Most importantly, it comes with optimum corrosion resistance with an ability to distribute temperature evenly. The high-efficiency level of these pumps extend their lifespan and reduce thermal stress.
Apart from dry screw vacuum pumps, the liquid ring vacuum pump is another excellent alternative that can serve the same purpose as its competitor. These are also used in different stages of the distillation process. A significant reason for the popularity of this pump is its robust design. You can choose from the single stage or double stage pump depending on the distillation process you follow. They come with an assembled base plate and flange-mounted motor to give the added power that the distillation process requires.
The operating principle of this pump finds its way into various industries, especially the ones where critical applications like evacuation and extraction of vapors and gases are required. These are easily managed liquid ring vacuum pumps. Again, the design of the pump plays a vital role in meeting the requirements of the users. The custom systems and base plate versions can extract enormous amounts of gases and vapors. Moreover, the robust design allows the pump to operate for hours at a stretch without losing its efficiency. Although there are different sizes and versions available, you need to buy the one that can handle the pressure efficiently. There are a few models that support a range of accessories allowing the vacuum pumps to adapt to any condition.
The third type of vacuum pump that supports distillation is oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pumps. Similar to the liquid ring variant, this pump also has a robust design, and you can trust on its operational reliability to meet the industry demands and standards. You will be surprised to know that there are more than 3 million oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pumps used every day in various industries. One of the reasons why it is such a huge hit among industrialists is their energy-efficient vacuum generation. This process is not only helpful for distillation but also in various applications where double stage purification is required.
These pumps owe a lot to their design that comes with recirculating oil lubrication. It warrants a high and consistent vacuum level that can adjust to even the toughest operating conditions. Since the distillation process is different in different industries, the vacuum pumps need to be compatible with the respective distillation method. This pump variant is compatible with almost all the distillation processes. If you fit a gas-ballast valve, you can pump out the vapors without condensation.
The last vacuum pump variant that helps in the distillation process is a once-through oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum. Like the previous pump, this one too can operate under the toughest conditions. All the models available under this category have a two-stage distillation process. With low maintenance requirement, you can expect the pump to last for years without any disturbance. Its fresh oil lubrication allows you to pump out gases and vapors without the pump running into a risk of corroding itself.
Another reason why people like this pump is it allows the user to adapt to the distillation process optimally. It will choose between the circuit cooling and radiator cooling processes depending on the industry it is being used in. Its ability to change the cooling procedure is something that sets this pump apart from all the other variants. You can also add accessories to this pump to improve its efficiency. However, if the oil dries out, you need to make sure that you purchase oil that is compatible with this model only. In addition to lubricating oil, it will require several other liquids to provide a better distillation process.
With so many distillation vacuum pumps available, it's imperative to compare their pros and cons and decide which variant will suit your needs the best. While purchasing, don’t forget to consider the pressure, distillation methods, and space available to use the pump.