2. Distillation

  1. Shri Ramaswamy2,
  2. Hua-Jiang Huang2 and
  3. Bandaru V. Ramarao3
  1. Zhigang Lei and
  2. Biaohua Chen

Published Online: 4 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118493441.ch2

Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries

Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries

How to Cite

Lei, Z. and Chen, B. (2013) Distillation, in Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries (eds S. Ramaswamy, H.-J. Huang and B. V. Ramarao), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118493441.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, Empire State Paper Research Institute, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, USA

Author Information

  1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470977965

Online ISBN: 9781118493441



  • azeotropic distillation;
  • biorefineries;
  • distillation technology;
  • extractive distillation;
  • molecular distillation;
  • ordinary distillation;
  • separation mechanism


In recent years, the distillation has been extended from its original field of chemical engineering to fields such as biotechnology, bioengineering, environmental engineering, biofuel and bioenergy engineering. This means that distillation technology will face new issues and challenges. The chapter presents some special distillation technologies associated with modern biorefineries. First, it introduces ordinary distillation due to the simplicity of its separation mechanism, and discusses recent distillation equipment with respect to biorefineries. Then azeotropic distillation and extractive distillation are introduced in sections two and three respectively, but the description of extractive distillation is given in more detail because it seems to be more promising than azeotropic distillation. The fourth section discusses molecular distillation and its application. These distillation processes are compared in the fifth section from the viewpoint of energy consumption, production scale, investment cost, and operation complexity. Finally, the chapter presents some concluding remarks.