Thin Film Distillation is accomplished using a process which distributes the chemical compound to be distilled into a thin film across a surface, typically less than 1mm thick, to facilitate separation of a specific molecular fraction through boiling for subsequent collection via condensation.
Thin film evaporator systems typically include a heating facility to initiate boiling and a condenser to transition the resultant vapours back to a liquid state. High vacuum is also applied which has the benefit of reducing the observed boiling point of the material to be distilled. There are various types of thin film evaporators such as Falling Film evaporators, Wiped Film evaporators and Short Path evaporators capable of vacuum levels of 0.50 to 0.001 absolute pressure. The high levels of vacuum are achieved with Short Path Distillation systems.
Wiped Film and Short Path systems use mechanical wipers to achieve a homogeneous Thin Film which facilitates the distillation process.