Thursday, June 4, 2009

Alembic...distillation apparatus



Andreas Libavius


A. Alembic with long delivery tube.
B. Alembic with short delivery tube.
C, B, H. Closed alembics.
E. Tin alembic.
F, G. Sublimation heads.
I, T. Closed alembics with tubus.
K. Bell-shaped head.
L. Elongated alembic.
M. Tin alembic with delivery tube in the apex.
N. Alembic with exit tube.
O. Alembic with arrangement for cooling.
P. Miniature alembics.
Q. Closed alembic with delivery tube.
R. Triple closed alembic.
S. Alembic with three delivery tubes.

Irony...the alembic distillation apparatus provided the tools of the trade for alcoholic spirits--forbidden by Islamic law.

"...early Muslim scientists made great advances in distillation, a process they refined to create medicines, perfumes, and essential oils. The alembic was the first device that could fully separate substances with different volatilities. A liquid mixture was heated until the component with the lowest boiling point vaporized and rose to meet cool air at the neck. There it condensed back into liquid form, and the purified fluid dripped into a collection container."

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