Key Difference – Batch vs Continuous Distillation
Batch distillation and continuous distillation are types of distillation process. The key difference between batch and continuous distillation is that the batch distillation is done in batch-wise whereas continuous distillation is done as a continuous process.
Distillation is a chemical technique that is used to separate components in a mixture.
What is Batch Distillation?
Batch distillation is the method of separating components in a mixture batch-wise. In this method, the separation via distillation is done repeatedly. Batch distillation is easy to be carried out. This process gives a very high purity of the separated chemical and a maximum flexibility of the process (a single batch process can handle several different chemicals).
A batch distillation can be done in a single distillation column. There, multiple components can be separated into separate receiver tanks. When distillation of one batch is completed, the column can be used for a completely different component mixture quickly and efficiently. And also, this process can be completely automated.
However, the batch distillation is highly subjected to contamination. That is because, when the column is used for a separate batch after the completion of one distillation, trace amount of the previous batch can be remaining in the system and thus, the following batch can get contaminated (if the following batch is identical to the previous batch, this is not something to be concerned).
What is Continuous Distillation?
Continuous distillation is the method of separating the components in a mixture using a continuous process. There are no interruptions for this process until the completion of the distillation. This method has high efficiency for separation. The amount of the mixture used for the separation has no limits as for batch distillation.
The continuous distillation is an expensive process when compared with the batch distillation. This technique requires more distillation columns than that of batch distillation; the number of columns required for the continuous distillation is expressed as N-1 whereas N is the number of components separated from the distillation.
What is the Difference Between Batch and Continuous Distillation?
Batch vs Continuous Distillation
|Batch distillation is the method of separating components in a mixture batch-wise.||Continuous distillation is the method of separating the components in a mixture using a continuous process.|
|Number of Distillation Columns|
|Batch distillation requires one distillation column.||Continuous distillation requires N-1 columns where N is the number of components needed to be separated.|
|The efficiency of batch distillation process is low compared to the continuous distillation.||The efficiency of the continuous distillation process is very high.|
|Batch distillation is highly flexible because several different components can be separated using a single distillation column.||Continuous distillation is less flexible because there are several distillation columns used for each component separated from the mixture.|
|Changing the Mixture|
|In batch distillation process, after completion of the distillation of a batch, the column can be used for a completely different component mixture quickly and efficiently.||In continuous distillation process, it takes a long time to change the mixture that is being distilled.|
Summary – Batch vs Continuous Distillation
Distillation is the technique of separating components in a mixture via continuous heating and cooling. There are two major forms of distillations; batch distillation and continuous distillation. The difference between batch and continuous distillation is that the batch distillation is done in batch-wise whereas continuous distillation is done as a continuous process.
1. “Batch Distillation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Apr. 2018. Available here
2. “Continuous Distillation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Apr. 2018. Available here
3. Costello, R.C. “Batch vs. Continuous Distillation – COSTELLO.” COSTELLO, 8 Dec. 2016. Available here