The evaporation and subsequent collection of a liquid by condensation as a means of purification: the distillation of water. The extraction of the volatile components of a mixture by the condensation and collection of the vapors that are produced as the mixture is heated: petroleum distillation.

The application of distillation can roughly be divided in four groups: Laboratory scale, Industrial distillation, distillation of herbs for perfumery and medicinal, and Food processing.