The design consists of a retort having a series of joined closed superheated sections each having a heavier gas delivery port therefrom leading to an outlet pipe in combination with a condenser, means above and on said sections comprising a series of hoppers in communication with a common feed hopper for carbonaceous materials to be distilled. An air tight cover for said feed hopper and intermediate rotatable valve control are provided. Means are provided for said carbonaceous material between said hoppers and said sections and adjacent means having lighter gas ports to a pipe also in communication with said condenser. A series of exit hoppers are located below such sections and means for feeding preheated gas through the exit hoppers to the material to be distilled are provided. A rotatable valve control means associated with the exit hoppers for discharging spent carbonaceous materials to separate water sealed outlets to a tank located below the apparatus.