What is Fraction Finding?

Fraction finding is the methodology of determining which fraction is being passed during distillation.

Striving for perfection in your short-path distillation (SPD) process?

Fraction Finding is figuring out where components start and stop flowing to optimize separation. Differentiating these different components is important. There are imperfect ways to separate component parts of distillate during the process. Technicians running distillation can make better decisions if they knew exactly where they were in the distillation process.

Purer Distillates Through Scientific Instrumentation  |  Optimize Separation with Fraction Finding

Making every SPD run more precise and repeatable, the Fraction Finder helps take the guesswork out of the process. Scientists have developed expertise in this area to the point where they know what to expect. The Fraction Finder does that for you and will be your best friend during short path distillation.

Fraction Finder

The first & only real-time monitor for purity* in short-path distillation.

Learn more about Fraction Finder  >

* Relative purity

Fraction Finding is the process of determining fractions.

Fractions of the distillate, which are collected over a small temperature range, will be essentially purified. As the temperature changes, several fractions should be collected and these portions of the distillate should be distilled again to increase the purification that has already occurred. How this is done is typically a mix of skill, visual and sensor observation. How we’ve observed many short path distillations progress is by experience:

Basic Steps of Short Path Distillation

1. Set the temperature and vacuum level

2. Observe the flow and bubbling action through the head

3. Observe both the rate of flow and color of distillate in the collection flask

4. Determine when to switch flasks

The Art of Successful Distillation

Technicians and scientists have developed expertise in this area to the point that they know what to expect. Through experience and 3rd Party Lab quality checks they have improved their processes and can now achieve better distillations as measured by purity and potency. But what if there was a more fool proof way of doing it?

How to use fractional distillation hardware

See the guide >

Challenges with Typical Fraction Finding Techniques

One challenge with using the eye to determine fractions is that no two strains are exactly alike. Two adjacent runs may contain slightly different strains or impurities that may change the color. So it could be that observing a particular color on Run A indicated it was time to switch flasks. However, on Run B it may not be the case. Impurities may cause that color to come up before the fraction is ready, or perhaps after. In either case, you end up with a non-optimal result. So how do you avoid human error? The Fraction Finder solves that problem by showing you which fraction is being passed so you know the precise, most optimal time to switch flasks.

What about Colorimetry for determining fractions?

Colorimetry is the science and technology used to detect color as perceived by humans. This technology is less subjective than the human eye, however, it relies on the same phenomenon as our technician’s eye – using color to determine fractions. This can and has worked well, however, there are other ways that are less prone to impurities and strains variety.