Difference between Distillation and Fractionation?

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Distillation and fractionation and fractional distillation are all same. which all means seperation of key components based on the relative volatility and/or boiling points. there is no difference at all between them....!!


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  • Sep 5th, 2009

Distillation is differ from fractionation, separation of liquids on their boiling points is known as distillation. Separation of liquids on their boiling points, if the boiling points of liquids differ in 10 to 20 degree celsius, fractionating column is used to retain low boiling liquid due to small difference in their boiling points, is know an fractionation.

ibn zaini

  • May 25th, 2010

From what I read, fractionation is simply separation process which comprise of many type of separation processes which includes distillation. Other type of separation process is column chromatography, fractional crystallization, ion exchange chromatography and many more.


  • Dec 22nd, 2010

From what i've known, distillation is separation process to distill all the remain carbon chain at certain boiling temperature. The remain will become residue and will not evaporate.

Fractionation is also separation process but it will cut out at certain composition

e.g. Palm stearin composition is range from c8-c20 at certain temperature and pressure with design reflux and column, we can cut the composition at c10. So the first product will be c8-c10. The remain will product base on what process will going through. If distillation process, c12-c18 will distill out. If continue with fractionation process, we can cut more like c12-c14.

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  • Oct 10th, 2011

A type of distillation is fractionation. Other types are Extractive distillation, azeotropic distillation and flash distillation.

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Nitesh Jangid (Mechanical Engg.)

  • Dec 1st, 2011

From my notions, distillation is divided into two types i.e. flash distillation and fractional distillation.
in flash distillation, we only remove colour of particular solution and in fractional distillation we seperate
some compound from solution by heating up to boiling point. in short we can say fractionation is subset of distillation.

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kannan nainar

  • Feb 7th, 2012

Distillation is the separation of particular compound according to boiling point by using external heat. Fractionation is like a same as earlier, but flash evaporation not happening there. Vapor liquid eqm is difficult.

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  • May 15th, 2012

Fractionation is used when the boiling point difference is less than 70 degree, but distillation is widely used not need this requirement..both are distillation or we can say processes of separation based on boiling point.

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  • Aug 11th, 2012

if the difference between boiling points is less than 25 degrees we use fractional distillation otherwise we use distillation

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Sunil Palandurkar

  • Oct 17th, 2013

Fractional Distillation is a type of distillation...Distillation is normally applicable for binary systems, whereas fractional distillation is applicable for multi-component systems such as Crude oil processing.....

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  • Dec 11th, 2013

distillation it is unit operation in which we can separate two or more liquids mixture by its different boiling temperature ( vapour pressure) and fractional distillation it is one of the type of distillation mostly use in separation of more than two liquids mixture which having small difference in there boiling point ( small vapour pressure difference). e.g. fractional distillation mostly used in petroleum industry.

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santosh choudhary

  • Apr 30th, 2014

for distillation steam or boiler is required but in case of fractionator this is not required.

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Praveen kumawat

  • May 10th, 2014

Distillation is the process of separation of a multiple component system having some relative volatility...where fractionation is the method of concentrating a particular type of vapor.

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Both are used to separate the components of feed mixture based on their boiling points but the key difference is:

Distillation: Used when boiling point of chemicals in mixture are significantly different.

Fractionation: Used when boiling point of chemicals of mixture are close to one another.

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  • Sep 3rd, 2014

I think, distillation and fractionation are d same process both are separating liquids based on different boiling point of diff component..but when we simply separate the mix of liquid we called this distillation but in case refineries we say it fractional distillation

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  • Jan 12th, 2015

Distillation is separation of one component from a mixture of liquids whereas fractionation is separation of a mixture into several fractions.

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  • Mar 3rd, 2015

Distillation is the process by which a solution containing multiple liquids is separated by heating gradually and collecting the vaporised samples at different temperatures, whereas fractional distillation is the process of heating a solution once to vapourish the lot and collect different samples at different fractions ( temperatures ) within a cooling tower.

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  • May 5th, 2015

Distillation is the process of distilling utilizing heating and cooling or reflux - which can merely be 2 miscible liquids. Fractionation is taking a feed of multiple components (more than 2) and doing fractional distillation to separate all the components in a column.

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  • May 25th, 2015

Fractionation is one of the method of distillation process. Separation of a particular liquid from the liquid mixture based on their corresponding boiling point is commonly known as distillation. Fractionation (also known as FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION) is the process of desperation of the particular liquid from the mixture of other liquid which both of their boiling points are very nearly e.g., both of their B.P are 80 ° c and 90° c.

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  • Jul 9th, 2015

Distillation: Technique of preferential separation of more volatile components from less volatile components by partial vaporization followed by condensation.

Fractionation: Its a special type of Distillation. Separation of mixture into its components parts/fractions,such as in separating chemical compounds by their boiling point by heating them to a temperature at which one or more fractions of the compound will vaporize.

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Larry Felder

  • Dec 16th, 2016

Their are physical differences between the two columns (I am surprised that no one has noticed) a distillation is a binary column with a top and bottom product. Product separation is achieved by trays and depending on the boiling points will determine the number of trays.
The Fractionator internal difference is there is an internal device known as a chimney which allows product recycle entrained to be recovered. Fractionators trays also has what is called a trap-out pan that is used to main a level to prevent the product strippers (another feature that is difference from a binary column) while the operation is similar their are also differences here too. So they are not basic the same. Just climb in one and look at the internal (Thanks AMOCO for the education)

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Atish dhukte

  • Dec 20th, 2016

Distillation is the separation of components from liquid mixture using thermal energy with respect to relative volatility. Where as in fractionation, you can distill out various fractions of liquid mixture.

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  • May 29th, 2017

Distillation is a separation of one volatile component from a mixture of two or more
Fractionation is a separation of a certain component from many e.g gasoline

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Manish Firake

  • Apr 13th, 2018

Fractionation is a separation process in which a certain quantity of a mixture (gas, solid, liquid, enzymes, suspension, or isotope) is divided during a phase transition, into a number of smaller quantities.
Distillation is the process of separating the components or substances from a liquid mixture by selective boiling

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