Sep '22

What Glassware Should Be Used for Distillation?

Whether you’re stocking supplies for a high school lab or outfitting a professional laboratory, choosing the right glassware for distillation is essential. Quality glassware will help ensure the success rate of experiments while also improving the purity of your resulting product. Before choosing the right glass for your distillation apparatus, be sure to consider all of the following factors.

Choosing the Right Type of Glass

For the uninitiated, it is easy to make the mistake of assuming there’s only one type of glass. However, not all glass is created equal, and selecting the right kind for distillation is imperative. 

Several industries require glass that simply goes above and beyond the normal limits in terms of thermodynamic durability. That’s where borosilicate glass comes in.

This type of glass’s standout property — thermal shock resistance — stems from its coefficient of thermal expansion, which reflects the rate it expands in changing temperatures. Since it creates stresses and fractures, thermal expansion can stretch material to breaking points, but borosilicate glass withstands temperature change at a low enough coefficient of thermal expansion to be ideal for distillation.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Glassware for Distillation

Aside from the type of glass, there are several other factors to consider when making your choice. Before making your purchase, it’s essential that you understand precisely what kind of application you’re going to be using your glassware for.


Are you planning on working with large volumes of liquid or opting for smaller experiments? Since glassware for distillation comes in a variety of sizes, it’s important to choose a size that can accommodate your needs or is versatile enough to be useful for a variety of applications.

The Size of Your Set

Especially if you’re just learning about the distillation process, buying a whole set at once can be an excellent way to learn which pieces are the most useful to you and which are less so. On the other hand, more experienced distillers will have a better idea of which pieces to focus on.

Making the Right Choice for Your Lab Needs

Ultimately, choosing the right glassware for distillation comes down to your specific needs. If you only need a few pieces, and you can afford it, going with borosilicate glass will prove to be most versatile for various applications. However, if you are only focusing on simple experiments, or student applications, choosing less expensive alternatives can be a good way to save money without sacrificing much quality.

Find quality laboratory equipment, including solvent distillation apparatuses and horseshoe clamps, for all your needs at At-Mar Glass. We pride ourselves on friendly service, timely delivery, and a quality product. Get in touch for a one-on-one consultation today.