Learn More About Wiped Film Distillation

Learn More About Wiped Film Distillation

You may have heard of wiped film distillation and short path distillation. These are just different names for molecular distillation. Molecular distillation is especially suitable to separate substances of high boiling point, heat sensitive and easy to be oxidized.This method enables you to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant and treat the molecules with minimal thermal degradation. Today, the molecular distillation is widely used in CBD industry. We will talk about something about the wiped film distillation.

Wiped film distillation system

The actual design of the distillation may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in most cases, the distillation package includes:

  • Heating equipment – needed for evaporation
  • Condensers
  • Chilling units
  • Vacuum pump and gauge – for sucking and trapping air in the heating equipment
  • Receiving Flasks – used for the collection of fractional distillates and testing purity.


Wiped film distillation working principle

Feed material is delivered from a feed flask into a cylindrical evaporation section, having heating, on the outside, (Normally it’s circulating hot fluid jacket type), and a diagonally slotted wiper mechanism forcing liquid around and downward in a thin film on the inside.

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In the center of the body is a closely positioned internal condenser, providing a short path for vapor molecules traveling from the heated surface to the condenser surface. It is because the whole process is performed in vacuum levels below 0.1Pa. It allows the distillation of high boiling point products at moderate temperatures which is beneficial because the plant isn’t exposed to high temperatures for a long time. This means that there is minimal thermal degradation of the desired compounds. 

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During the journey downward, lighter (lower boiling point) fractions of the liquid begin to vaporize, move to the internal condenser and condense, falling down as a liquid into a well that captures and separates the distilled liquid (cannabinoid) which flows into a receiver flask. Heavier residue material (Chlorophyll, salts, sugars, heavy wax fractions) does not evaporate and instead travels the length of the still body and flows into a different receiver flask. Because of the optimized design, this all happens within a number of seconds.

Normally, extracted material prior to distillation is in a range of 55-70% cannabinoid, and it is typical to distill this up to a range from 85-90+%. In addition to increased percentage purity, the product is significantly lighter yellow in color, with high clarity.

The compact design of Wiped Film Distillation systems makes them an ideal choice to use in operations where large quantities of multiple strains need to be extracted. Lastly, these machines are easy to use and are largely automated in their


Jason Chen

Jason Chen

Cannabis & Hemp Extraction, Distillation, Purification Technology & Equipments.

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