When distilling any solvent, molecular sieves accomplish this process of removing the water and impurities effectively. Molecular sieves are actually an aluminosilicate crystalline structure that works in drying and purifying process of liquids and gases. In the case of solvent distillation, 3A and 4A molecules can be used for distilling the range of solvents based on their molecular diameters and osmotic water pressure.
The pore size of molecules less than 3 angstroms is used to purify ethanol, methanol, and acetone, while pore size of molecules greater than 3 angstroms and smaller than 4 angstroms is used for drying the solvents such as ether, tetrahydrofuran, toluene, benzene, etc. It would be great to distill the solvents using cost-effective and easy to use desiccants.
3A and 4A molecular sieves are the solvent drying and distillation units used in variety of industrial applications. These molecules which are available in broad array of beads and pellets series are heated and cooled to adsorb water vapors and other unwanted compounds from the solvents. This purification process for solvent distillation is carried out by removing the additional water to make it a final product that can be used in the required application effectively. This way, you can obtain a solvent with low water content by simply drying and purifying process through the distillation using the most suitable desiccants and adsorbents. Each solvent has its own drying agent which then distilled for the purification process.
The molecular sieve with 3A and 4A angstrom in the beads and pellets form with sodium and potassium alumina silicates has the ability to adsorb small water molecules. The drying of the solvent followed by distillation is enough to purify the compounds using the appropriate type of molecular sieve at the specific boiling point. These desiccants can also be regenerated and reused for similar or another application.