Distillation columns with vertical partitions can separate a feed mixture into 3 or 4 pure fractions. Compared to other column arrangements, their investment costs and energy consumption are lower. Production columns show good results and are easily controlled. Conventional distillation columns produce only 2 pure product streams at the top and at the bottom of the column. Side products are contaminated by light or heavy components, depending on the location of the side stream in the rectifying or stripping section. This disadvantage is set aside by using a distillation column with a vertical partition. The internal separation wall prevents lateral mixing of liquid and vapour in the central part of the column, forming there separate feed and outlet sections. In the presence of a vertical partition, 3 or 4 pure fractions can be obtained in a single distillation step. This is particularly advantageous when heat sensitive components are to be separated. On account of good thermodynamic properties, the energy consumption is 20 to 35% lower than that of other distillation arrangements. The control behaviour is similar or better than that of conventional distillation columns.