The introduction of an automated distillation unit, designed by ILUDEST®, is one of the more effective means of improving efficiency. In fact, separations are sometimes so complete that it is often possible to recover solvents whose purity exceeds that of the original, newly-purchased material.
Objections to solvent recycling are usually based on concerns about the adequacy of the recovered product and the expected effort required to complete the distillation. The first concern has been addressed above and we see that, for most clinical applications, very pure materials can be recovered. The work involved in completing a distillation was considerable until the introduction in recent years of automated equipment.
An example of a state-of-the-art distillation apparatus is the ILUDEST® model LM-6/H Computerised Recycling System.
The instrument has a capacity of 6 litres of solvent mixture with a throughput of up to 1 l / hr (e.g. when recovering Xylene). A microcomputer controller holds up to 100 programs as well as monitoring the distillation process for normal and safe operation. Variable reflux ratios and equilibrium times are possible so that the operator has maximum flexibility to design a program for optimal efficiency.