Distillation Rates Comparison

by brblog on November 24, 2018

How do different methods of distillation stack up against each other?

System (Size) Distillation Rate


Liters of Distillate Number of Passes Final Purity Total Time
Short Path 1


0.5 L/hr 10 L 2 90% 40 Hours
Short Path 2


1 L/hr 10 L 2 90% 20 Hours
Wiped Film 1


0.75 L/hr 10 L 2-3 90% 27-40 Hours
Wiped Film 2


1.5 L/hr 10 L 2-3 90% 14-20 Hours
Spinning Band 1

(21 mm diameter)

0.5 L/hr 10 L 1 90% 20 Hours
Spinning Band 2

(32 mm diameter)

1.5 L/hr 10 L 1 90% 6.67 Hours
Spinning Band 3

(50 mm diameter)

3.5 L/hr 10 L 1 90% ~3 Hours

40 Hours to complete all passes! That’s a full-time job just running the equipment! Of course every lab will have chores to do in the down time, but both short path (SP) and wiped film (WF) require a babysitter. This is because they lack the same control options as spinning band (SB) and are much less set-it-and-forget-it.

Not to mention that wiped film cleaning and maintenance can takes hours, can be costly, and exposes the equipment to risk of breaking (Wiped film evaporator bodies are not cheap and are typically one piece).

Wiped film has low separating power (thus the requirement for so many passes) and therefore leaves valuable cannabinoids in waste fractions. So much so, that it can be worthwhile to reprocess some cuts.

This table assumes that all purities would be equal. 1stpass spinning band distillate can easily be over 95% cannabinoids! Get to higher percentage total cannabinoids in equal or less total time. Second pass spinning band distillate can easily be over 99% total!  As pure as it gets without wasteful chromatography or other costly isolation techniques. Don’t believe our purity claims? Ask us for our proof!

What could an even faster spinning band do for your lab?

Posted in cannabis-distillation

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