Laboratory Enterprises Manufacturing Reactive distillation is a process where the chemical reactor is also the still. Separation of the product from the reaction mixture does not need a separate distillation step, which saves energy (for heating) and materials.
This technique is especially useful for equilibrium-limited reactions such as esterification and ester hydrolysis reactions. Conversion can be increased far beyond what is expected by the equilibrium due to the continuous removal of reaction products from the reactive zone. This helps reduce capital and investment costs and may be important for sustainable development due to a lower consumption of resources.