What is 'atmospheric distillation' 🧑‍🔧

After a few coworkers requested my assistance on the matter, I decided to write about "What is 'atmospheric distillation'". If you're still with doubts, bear with me…

Did you know the short answer is…

Distillation operation conducted at atmospheric pressure, in contrast to vacuum distillation or pressure distillation.

Atmospheric distillation is a technique used to separate components in crude oil that is performed under atmospheric pressure.

This technique is used to separate components having a low boiling point (low boiling fractions).

Atmospheric distillation is the first and most fundamental step in the the refining process.

The primary purpose of the atmospheric distillation tower is to separate crude oil into its components for further processing by other processing units.

In atmospheric distillation, the desalted crude is heated in a heat exchanger and furnace to approximately 750°F then fed to a vertical distillation column under pressure.

The crude vaporizes and separates into various fractions by condensing on 30–50 fractionation trays, each corresponding to a different condensation temperature.

Gaseous nitrogen and oxygen are obtained from atmospheric air by means of atmospheric distillation.

In this process, the atmospheric air is progressively cooled until the formation of a liquid phase rich in oxygen, which condenses at a temperature higher than that of nitrogen.

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Materials: What is 'atmospheric distillation' 🧑‍🔧
What is 'atmospheric distillation' 🧑‍🔧
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