Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Maceration and Percolation

Main Difference

The main difference between Maceration and Percolation is that Maceration refers to the soaking, whereas Percolation refers to the filtration or seepage.

Maceration vs. Percolation

The main target of the maceration process is to soften the substance. The main target of the percolation process is to filter the substance. The process of maceration is a time taken long process. The process of percolation is a fast process and takes less time. Maceration is not regulated by the action of gravity. However, percolation is regulated by the action of gravity. The maceration process doesn’t require any skilled operator. The percolation process requires a skilled operator.

The process of maceration is used to make the drugs saturated. The process of percolation is used for the extraction of remaining constituents from the drug by downward displacement of the solution. The process of maceration is applicable in chime during the preparation of tinctures; it is also noted during the skin maceration etc. The process of percolation is applicable during the removal of pollutes, drainage of water through the soil, etc. The maceration process is reliable for cheap and less vigorous drugs. Percolation process is reliable for expensive and formidable drugs.


In the case of maceration, special attention doesn’t require but only prolonged attention for certain substances that are less soluble. In the case of special percolation, observation should be needed throughout the process and on the size of the particle. The main goal of maceration is to make the food or other substances softer. The main goal of percolation is to extract the substances and make it pollution-free. Maceration is a comparatively simple process. Percolation takes benefit from other biological processes and gravity techniques.

Comparison Chart

The extraction method by softening the substance is maceration.The brewing method to filtrate is percolation.
It is the extraction from the liquid by softening the substance.To extract a particular impure substance.
Time Taken
Long processShort process
Doesn’t requireRequires
Liquid with wastePure liquid with no waste
Need further purificationNo need for further purification
Breakdown of foodBrewing coffee

What is Maceration?

The process of softening anything by soaking and seeping is known as maceration. Maceration helps in the dehydration of food substances. It is also useful in making wines ant to give flavors of the ingredients. It also plays a vital role in other biological and chemical processes. The process of maceration is also applicable to the preservation of food that is in a solid and packed form. Biological maceration and chemical maceration, all these methods are related to making the substance soften.

While macerating the fruits, some ingredients such as sugar, lime, and other spices are also added during squashing or sprinkling. We can also make different dishes by using the process of maceration. The maceration process has the ability to soak the substance form the substance and, in return, make it soft. For instance, skin maceration, which is also known as pruning, and the other is the breakdown of food in the stomach during digestion, is the best example of maceration. Due to continuous contact with moisture for a long time period, skin becomes soft, and we can also say that skin maceration.


Likewise, breakdown of food in semi-digested food by mixing with gastric juice to converted it to chyme. Chyme is very acidic and further mixed with HCL from the digestive juice. The maceration process is also used in the pedagogy of specimens or skeletons. The maceration process is also used in the preparation of tinctures either by the fresh or dry herbs soaked in alcohol in a closed jar and kept in a cool or dark place.

What is Percolation?

The process of water seepage through soil or filtration of liquid through a porous sheet is known as percolation. As well as rainwater seeps to the underground is also done with the help of the percolation process. During rainfall, water seeps into the s all spaces or pores of the rock, mountains, or the soil by following the gravitational pull with the help of percolation. That’s why it is said that percolation helps to replenish underground aquifers. The method of percolation is mainly used in fluid extraction. Somehow, percolation is also said as a kind of sterilization technique.

Brewing liquids like preparation of coffee and filtration of disinfectants are two main applications of percolation. Filtration of disinfectants is done by using sheath of small pores through which sterilization of fluid is done. Furthermore, by percolation effects of microorganisms are also regulated in many products such as food and pharmaceuticals. To purify the water percolation process is also utilized. When dry crushed herbs are put into a funnel with alcohol, alcohol runs slowly in it and exhibit percolation.

The process of percolation is normally carried out when the polluted materials are filled on basins. Basins of bioreactors have the capacity to fill about 750 tons of soil. On the surface of the soil, polluted water is spread, which is then drain out through the basins. Preparation of tinctures and brewing of liquid like coffee is the best example of percolation. In percolation, the liquid passes through the filter preventing the microbes from entering the filtrate.

Key Differences

  1. Maceration refers to steeping, whereas percolation refers to the filtrating.
  2. Maceration doesn’t follow any rule of gravity; on the other hand, percolation follows gravity.
  3. Maceration is a time-consuming method; conversely, percolation is a less time-consuming method.
  4. Maceration doesn’t require any special types of equipment to perform the process; on the flip side, percolation requires special types of equipment to run the process.
  5. To do the process of maceration proficient mechanism isn’t required; on the other hand, to do the percolation experiences mechanist id requires.
  6. Maceration is dealing with the soaking substances, although percolation is dealing with the drained liquid.
  7. Maceration requires further more purification as compared to the percolation, which doesn’t require any further extraction.
  8. Maceration is a slow process compared to percolation, which is a fast process.
  9. Maceration results in a liquid with waste, which demands further extraction. However, percolation results in the final desired substance.
  10. Maceration is suitable for cheap substances; on the other side, percolation is suitable for expensive substances.


It is concluded that maceration is a softened method to extract a substance from the liquid, and percolation is a brewing method to the filtrate.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss