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Market profile: laboratory distillation.

Distillation is a method of separating liquids in order to determine the chemical compounds present. Each compound in a liquid mixture has a different volatility. The distillation process vaporizes each of the components and then re-condenses them one by one into liquid form in order to identify them.

There are four main types of laboratory distillation. Kjeldahl distillation is used in sample preparation for Kjeldahl digestion and determination. Petroleum distillation is used as a scale-down model of petroleum-refining systems. Classic distillation uses basic semi-automated or automated units, and spinning band distillation uses a rotating device to recirculate vapors. Of these four categories, Kjeldahl distillation systems are most in demand, while spinning band systems experience the least market demand. Distillation can be performed manually, using basic glassware; however, semi-automated or automated distillation equipment now addresses most applications.

The petroleum industry represents the highest demand for distillation systems, followed by the agriculture/food industry. Other end-users include environmental testing, pharmaceutical and biotechnology labs. The various uses for distillation in these industries include quality control, pollution detection, and protein determination in foods.

FOSS leads the lab distribution market, while Buchi is second. PAC is the leading developer and supplier of distillation equipment for the petroleum industry, followed by Petrotest. Other companies that develop and manufacture distillation systems include: Lachat Instruments; Pope Scientific; Kimble-Kontes; and B/R Instruments. The laboratory distillation market is estimated at about $40 million worldwide and is forecasted to grow 3% annually for the next few years.
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 31, 2002
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