Still Magic

Does copper make a difference to the distillation process ?

By October 18, 2018 One Comment

In short yes!

Most people’s first introduction to distilling is at high school, or a tertiary institution using glassware.  Glass is inert and unreactive to most fluids. Glass provides visibility but not a lot else. Any reactivity that takes place within the glass container is solely between the molecules themselves. Even then, the materials require some affinity for one another, otherwise there would be no chemistry whatsoever.

Copper can conduct heat at about double the rate of aluminium and around ten times that of steel. This makes copper the best material to deal with water / alcohol mixtures and heat, the cornerstones of any distilling operation. As an aside, scientific research suggests that copper is also highly antibacterial. Copper has antimicrobial properties that can stop bacteria, viruses and algae dead in their tracks. Various copper compounds are used in industrial applications as catalysts; items that speed up reactions and reduce processing times. So not only is copper a good heat conductor – key for any distillation process – it presents opportunities for additional interactions, however minor, to take place during the distillation process.

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