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Separation Process Engineering: Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, Third Edition by Phillip C. Wankat

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8.3 Steam Distillation

In steam distillation, water (as steam) is intentionally added to the distilling organic mixture to reduce the required temperature and to keep suspended any solids that may be present. Steam distillation may be operated with one or two liquid phases in the column. In both cases the overhead vapor will condense into two phases. Thus, the system can be considered a type of azeotropic distillation where the added solvent is water and the separation is between volatiles and nonvolatiles. This is a pseudo-binary distillation with water and the volatile organic forming a heterogeneous azeotrope. Steam distillation is commonly used for purification of essential oils in the perfume industry, for distillation of organics obtained ...

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