Steel Fabrication Spotlight: 2-Solvent Separation Distillation

Distillation Steel Fabrication Equipment Project

Solvents play an important role in industrial manufacturing, processing, and certain lab applications. They can expedite or retard drying times, thin out solutions, clean/disinfect raw materials, and boost fuel performance. Custom distillation equipment gives companies the ability to separate crucial solvents for cost savings and workflow efficiency.  

Our 2-Solvent Separation Distillation Steel Fabrication Equipment Project

Our team of fabricators successfully built a purity-driven distillation structure for a client. The client needed to separate two hydrocarbons, xylene and toluene, from a solution for recycling purposes.

About Xylene and Toluene

These two substances are widely used in a variety of applications including printing, paint production, solution thinning applications, rubber production, adhesive production, and cleaning/disinfecting applications.

Companies that use xylene and toluene as solvents create dirty solutions. They cannot reuse the contaminated solution without some sort of recycling process. A company that uses solvents on a smaller scale may choose to discard contaminated solutions instead of recycling them. Larger companies cannot afford to waste solvent, so they invest in solvent recycling equipment.

Well-constructed recycling equipment can use heat distillation to separate xylene and toluene from a solution for reuse over time. A reliable solvent reclamation structure will pay for itself over time, making it a worthwhile investment.

The Distillation Structure

Distillation Steel Fabrication Equipment Project 2

We created the 2-solvent distillation steel fabrication structure to complement existing processing equipment. The system heats the solution to separate xylene and toluene into two different streams based on differences in boiling points. Xylene boils at 144°C/291.2°F while toluene boils at 110.6°C/231.08°F under normal atmospheric conditions.

The bottom distillation stream yields xylene with a purity greater than 99% while the top distillation stream yields toluene with a purity great than 99%. Tanks at the end of the distillation stream allow our client to store the individual solvents in pure liquid form for reuse in the application cycle. The company no longer needs to purchase as much toluene or xylene for its solvent applications.

The structure stands approximately 27 feet high and weighs about 22,000 pounds. We used 10 x 22 beams, C6 and C10 channel, 3 x 3 angle pieces, 6 x 6 tubing, and grating to construct the structure. Our fabricators relied on structural fabrication, stairs, rolling, bending, laser cutting, and other methods to create the structure according to client specifications. A galvanized finish will protect the structure from rusting over time while green and yellow paint gives it a customized appearance. Form and functionality blend in this project to deliver a complete and efficient solvent recycling solution.

Consider the total value a custom fabricator can provide before ordering a mass manufactured solvent recycler. The ability to integrate and rely on a well-fabricated solvent distillation system can save your business time and money. Swanton Welding Company Inc. specializes in custom fabrication projects. We can build a range of thermal distillation structures to accommodate various solution separation needs. Contact our office at (419) 826-4816 for more information about this project or any of our many fabrication capabilities.

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