Mammoth Memory

Fractional distillation part 1

Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixed solution by vaporising and condensing when the liquids have boiling points only a fraction apart (in distillation terms this is usually considered to be a difference of 40°C or less).

Fractional distillation is the separation of liquids with different boiling points ethanol's boiling point is 78⁰C where water boils at 100⁰C
Ethanol boils at 78°C and water boils at 100°C. Their boiling points are only a small fraction apart.

 

Example

As ethanol and water boiling points are close together they both evaporate, but the evaporated elements reach a condenser where water condenses on the glass it is released through taps leaving only the ethanol which turns into a liquid and gathers in a collecting flask

As their boiling points are so close, both ethanol and water are boiled off. The liquid with the higher boiling point (water) condenses on the glass inside the column and runs back into the still, and the other condenses on the run out to the flask in the condenser. The fractionating column allows this to happen.

 

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