Wiped-Film Distillation Equipment

Proven technology for the purification of heat-sensitive materials.

Wiped-Film Distillation Equipment

Wiped-Film Molecular Still Types

Wiped-Film Still equipment, also known as Molecular Stills, Short-Path Stills, Short-Path Evaporators, Thin Film Stills, Wiped-Film Evaporators and Thin Film Evaporators, are designed to perform optimally for difficult thermal separation applications with heat-sensitive materials. This equipment is characterized by a fixed feedrate of starting liquid material into the inside of a vertical heated cylindrical chamber where it is actively wiped as a turbulent, thin film around and down the heated area under high vacuum, ensuring efficient evaporation of the more volatile components.  The design ensures short residence times (seconds) at vacuum-lowered temperatures, with two product streams, distillate and residue, being collected under cooled conditions.  All of these factors are incorporated in Pope’s wiped-film stills, resulting in successful distillation processes for customers with minimized degradation and the greatest possible product quality, yield, and value.

Our engineering team collaborates closely with clients in initial testing and process development to determine the specific equipment to achieve the best results for your specific application.  There are three main types of wiped-film stills offered which are covered below, which while sharing several common features, have design differences that maximize their efficiency in different applications.  In addition, most applications require more than one pass through a still for best results.  Thus, most of Pope’s turnkey pilot and production plant systems have more than one still unit and may use multiple stages and types of stills, configured to provide the customer with the best overall process.

Wiped-Film Evaporators (WFE)

Our Wiped-Film Evaporators, often known as Thin Film Evaporators (WFE), are expertly designed for processing feed materials containing high percentages of solvents, water, or other low to mid-boiling point components that must be efficiently removed. Operating at vacuum levels significantly lower than those required for molecular stills, these systems integrate a high surface area, external condenser to maximize efficiency. They are particularly effective for applications such as concentrating dilute pharmaceutical intermediates and removing extraction or chromatography solvents from various target products.

Utilize our superior process for separating, evaporating, concentrating, or purifying your products.

Wiped-Film Molecular Stills (Short Path Stills)

Designed for the distillation of very high boiling point materials, our Wiped Film Molecular Stills require the strongest vacuum levels and feature the closest proximity between the evaporator and internal condensers. This design minimizes the thermal degradation of sensitive compounds. Typical applications include processing triglycerides, diglycerides, long-chain free fatty acids, tall oils, polymers, and cannabinoids

Wiped Film Hybrid Stills

The Hybrid Wiped-Film Stills combine the functionalities of a Wiped-Film Evaporator with a packed fractionating column, making them ideal for distilling heat-sensitive compounds with components close in boiling points. This system enhances product purity and yields through the multiple theoretical plates of the column, increasing the separation efficiency substantially. Pope Scientific is a global leader in this complex technology, providing both equipment and toll processing services. Key applications include distilling Omega-3 compounds such as EPA and DHA esters from fish oils or algae fermentations and processing large molecule flavor products.

Download Pope Scientific Wiped-Film Stills PDF. It is an introduction on the molecular background, brief operating description and molecular distillation unit applications.

Hybrid Distillation: Combining Fractional and Wiped-Film for Purification

Customized Hybrid Fractionating Column systems combine the multi-plate efficiency of fractional columns with the gentle reboiling effect of Wiped-Film Evaporators. This proven Hybrid technology allows the purification of heat-sensitive materials similar in volatility, which could not otherwise be separated.

Turnkey Processing Equipment

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Wiped-Film Gallery

View our gallery of Wiped-film systems including standard systems and customized solutions.

2” Standard Glass Wiped Film Still

Complete Molecular Still Package System with electric band heating (bands removed), external condenser, all utilities, plus optional feed pump.

2” Standard Glass Wiped Film Still
4” Standard Glass Wiped Film Still
6” Standard Stainless Steel WFS
Turnkey 6” 2-Stage Wiped Film Still System
ProPass 600 System
Turnkey 6” 3-Stage Pharmaceutical Wiped Film Still System
Turnkey 6” 3-Stage Pharmaceutical Wiped Film Still System, Front View
Turnkey 9” Wiped Film Still System
Turnkey 6” System
Turnkey 6” Hybrid Still System
Turnkey 9” Wiped Film Evaporator System
Turnkey 9” Molecular Still System
Turnkey 6” Wiped Film Evaporator Pharmaceutical System
Two-Stage 6” Molecular Still System
Turnkey 6” Molecular Still with Degassing System
Turnkey 6 ” Molecular Still and Reaction System
Turnkey 6” Wiped Film Evaporator System
Turnkey 6” Molecular Distillation Processing System
Turnkey 12” Molecular Still System
Turnkey 6” 2-Stage Molecular Still System
Turnkey 9” Molecular Still with Degassing Stage System
Turnkey 20” Molecular Still with Degassing Stage System
Turnkey 12” Molecular Still with Degassing Stage System, Corner View
Turnkey 12” Molecular Still with Degassing Stage System
Turnkey 6” Molecular Still with Wiped Film Evaporator System
Turnkey 9” + 6”, 4-Stage Pharmaceutical Processing System
Turnkey 9” & 12” Still 2-Stage Production System
Turnkey 4” 1-Stage Pharmaceutical Wiped Film Still System
Turnkey 6” Wiped Film Evaporator System
2” CE-Certified Molecular Still System
6” CE-Certified Molecular Still System