Centrifugal Molecular Still – Pharmaceutical Engineering B. Pharm Third Semester PDF Notes

Centrifugal Molecular Still


• In this method, liquid feed is introduced into a vessel,
which is rotated at very high speed (centrifugal action)

• On account of heating, vaporisation occurs from a film of
liquid on the sides of the vessel

• The vapour (molecules) travels a short distance and gets
condensed on the adjacent condenser

• Each molecule is condensed individually

• The distillate is subsequently collected


• It consists of a bucket-shaped vessel having a diameter of
about 1 to 1.5 m

• It is rotated at high speed using a motor

• Radiant heaters are provided externally to heat the fluid
in the bucket

• Condensers are arranged very close to the evaporating

• Vacuum pump is connected to the entire vessel at the top

• Provisions are made for introducing the feed into
the centre of the bucket, for receiving the product and residue for


• Vacuum is applied at the centre of the vessel. The bucket
shaped vessel is allowed to rotate at high speed

• The feed is introduced from the centre of the

• Due to centrifugal action of the rotating bucket, liquid
moves outward over the surface of the vessel and forms a film

• Since, the radiant heaters heat the surface, the liquid
evaporates directly from the film

• The vapour (molecules) travels its mean tree path and
strikes the condenser. The condensate is collected into another vessel

• The residue is collected from the bottom of the vessel and
is recirculated through the feed port for further distillation


Molecular distillation is used for the purification and
separation of chemicals of low vapour pressure

1.   Purification of
chemicals such as tricresyl phosphate, dibutyl phthalate and dimethyl phthalate

2.   More frequently
used in the refining of fixed oils

3.   Vitamin A is
separated from fish liver oil. Vitamins are concentrated by this method from
fish liver oils and other vegetable oils

4.   Free fatty acids
are distilled at 100°C

5.   Steroids can be
obtained between 100°C and 200°C, while triglycerides can be obtained from
200°C onwards.

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