Rectification is a thermal separation process in which the more volatile components of a mixture are recovered and concentrated. The supply of thermal energy vaporizes the more volatile components and the ascending vapor phase comes into contact with descending liquid (reflux of volatile components).

Part of the condensate is discharged as top product. The reflux contact normally occurs in trays or packages installed in a column. Increasing the number of rectification steps increases the concentration of the most volatile component. This means that the concentration of the low-volatile component is increased by the forwarding of the top product of the first rectification column into a second column.

Rectification is commonly used to purify alcohols, but usually ground streams are used to preheat the cold stream and optimize overall energy requirements. By combining with other technologies than mechanical vapor recompression, there are a variety of other uses.

Energy optimization options
  • Multi-level systems
  • Mechanical vapor compression
  • Thermal vapor recompression
Column internals
  • packs
  • floors
  • packing
  • Falling film evaporator
  • thin film evaporator
  • forced circulation


  • continuous operation
  • energetically more favorable than a distillation
  • save space
  • less technically complicated
Areas of application and separation of substance mixtures
  • Alcohol / water
  • Solvent / water
  • Solvent / fatty acids
  • Trichlorethylene / oil
  • Solvent / water from spinning bath for fiber industry
  • Alternative fuels
  • Methanol separation from condensate of the evaporation plant
  • Methanol / water
  • Ethanol / water
  • Acetone / water
  • Butyl acetate / water
  • Butyl alcohol / water
  • Glycerine / water
  • Lactic acid / water

and much more.

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