BioPharm Vapor Compression Distillation

Vapor Compression Distillation

Aqua-Chem’s PR Biopharma Series Vapor Compression Distillers produce consistent, reliable, high-purity Water for Injection (WFI) for parenteral solutions, cell culture growth, vaccines and other critical applications.

Our standard validation package assists you in meeting your IQ, OQ, and PQ protocols.

FLOW RATE RANGES: 4.4 gpm up to 66 gpm

CAPACITY: 300 gph up to 9000 gph

SYSTEMS: 4 Standard BioPharm units, but custom units available.


  • COMPRESSORS: Low-speed, direct drive compressors are offered on all units 2,500 gph and above. High-speed compressors on smaller units use high-speed journal bearings for maximum life.
  • EVAPORATOR: The evaporator features a horizontal design using the Spray-Film® process. It has a straight tube or U-tube configuration depending on size, a tube bundle life of 25-30 years—and no large gaskets requiring routine maintenance.
  • HEAT SOURCE: The vapor compression process uses its own compressed steam as its primary heat source, resulting in vastly improved efficiency.
  • HOT OR COLD DISTILLATE: The stills can be designed to produce hot (180° F) distillate, cold (90° F) distillate or both. Output can range 300-9,000 USGPH.
  • SANITARY COMPONENTS: Stills are manufactured using sanitary valves, instruments, pumps and piping. Heat exchangers have double tube sheets.
  • AUTOMATION: Stills are designed to operate automatically; stopping and starting based on level signals from distillate tanks. A programmable logic controller (PLC) and human machine interface (HMI) are standard on distillers.
  • VARIABLE OUTPUT: Our stills can include variable speed to allow turndown to around 60 percent of design flow, allowing the still to match tank drawdown while reducing stops and starts.
  • DEAERATOR: A 316L SST deaerator removes carbon dioxide, oxygen and other noncondensable gases from the feedwater or distillate.
  • MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION: Standard materials are 316L stainless steel, product contact surfaces are 25 RA, and evaporator tubes are bright annealed. Material certifications are provided for traceability and electropolish is available. The evaporator and deaerator are insulated with fiberglass and covered with polished SS cladding.

VC Distillation Process Flow Diagram


  • Spray-Film® vapor compression units produce consistent, reliable, high-purity Water for Injection (WFI) for parenteral solutions, cell culture growth, vaccines and other critical applications.
  • Patented Spray-Film evaporator design provides improved wetting of the tube bundle and reduced scaling. This means less downtime for cleaning and reduced blowdown for less water waste.
  • Spray-Film design includes built-in on-line cleaning for removing scale and re-passivating, reducing maintenance costs and increasing operating life.
  • Provides improved safety and ease of maintenance to extend operating life. All major components are accessible from floor level, with the compressor and pumps located at the edge of the skid for easy serviceability.
  • Higher capacity distillers (2,500 to 9,000 U.S. gph) use low-speed compressors (< 6,000 rpm) for greatly increased reliability and longer life. Cuts energy requirements in half compared to multi-effect distillers. Energy savings can be up to 5x using cold distillate.
  • Proven technology assures superior TOC and endotoxin removal with minimal pretreatment.


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