Distillation: Separating a Liquid Mixture and Its Components

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Distillation, one of the most significant method for separating a liquid mixture and its components, is a process that relies on differences by the ease of vaporization of the components. The purpose of this process is either the separation of a mixture of volatile components from nonvolatile materials is carried out by a simple distillation in which the material is placed to distill and heated, the vapor from the substance is removed and condensed. In this activity, we tend to separate ethanol with water. Simple distillation is employed in this process.

Keywords: Distillation, Simple distillation, vaporization, volatile and nonvolatile materials


Dissolved materials in a liquid may make it

and its vapor passes through a condenser

unsuitable for a particular purpose. Water and

where it condenses and back into its liquid state.

other liquids may be separated from such

Though simple distillation an be applied to a

impurities by the process of distillation. In

mixtures of volatile components, the separation

purifying a liquid, distillation takes advantage of

between the components have the same or

the fact that the addition of heat to a liquid

close boiling point levels. To get the greater

speeds up its rate of evaporation which is a

separations in such components, fractional

endothermic change. Cooling a vapor favors its

distillation is involved. In this procedure, the

condensation which is an exothermic change. In

vapor produced is brought into a contact with a

simple distillation, the liquid mixture is heated on

portion of the condensate in a countercurrent or

a apparatus wherein the most volatile

stepwise countercurrent system. The separation

component vaporizes at the lowest temperature

obtainable by such a system is much greater

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than that of a simple distillation, it depends on


the relative volatility, the effectiveness of the
transfer between the phases,and the ratio of the
liquid to the vapor in the column.

In the process of simple distillation which we had
conducted, ethanol is the one which bolis first. It
evaporates and condensed through the used of


condenser and transfers into a distilling flask. On
the table provide below, the boling point of
ethanol and water are shown.

In a simple distillation process, the impure water
is boiled in a distilling flask and it vaporizes and
passes into the condenser. The apparatus
shown below is used for a simple distillation

Set-up for simple distillation

To distill a water with a 20ml ethanol, place a
solvents in a 250 ml distilling flask. Place the
distilling flask on the set-up which is assembled
and heat the sample. As the boiling starts, take
note and record the temperature including when
did it started to boil and the temperature where it
turns to vapor.

Source: Gorden, Arnold J.; Ford Richard A. The Chemist's
Companion: A Handbook of Practical Data Techniques and
References. 1972; John Wiley and Sons (New York); pp. 24-30.

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Normal boiling point of ethanol and water
©2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The technique of distillation makes use of

Answer to guide questions:

differences in boiling points. Distillation
separates the components of a mixture by
vaporizing one or more of the components.It can
be used to removed water (which boils at 100
degrees celsius in pure state) from salt (which
boils at ahigher temperature). Distillation is also
good for desalination of the sea water.

1. Laws that are applicable to distillation is
the raoult’s law which states that the
partial pressure of a component a in an
ideal solution at a given temperature is
equal to the vapor pressure of the pure
a multiplied by the mole fraction of A
(Na) in...
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