A tall, horizontally subdivided or packed container for fractional distillation in which vapor passes upward and condensing liquid flows downward. The vapor becomes progressively enriched in more volatile components as it ascends, and the less volatile components become concentrated in the descending liquid, which can be drawn off.
- Vapors from the oil move into a fractionating column, a tall tower containing a series of chambers.
- The crude oil is heated in a furnace and pumped into the fractionating column, near its base.
- The packed fractionating column can be used for the production of terpeneless essential oils and isolation of natural aroma chemicals under high vacuum.
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Syllabification: frac·tion·at·ing col·umn
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