Fractional Distillation

Topics: Distillation, Water, Evaporation Pages: 4 (1139 words) Published: September 25, 2012
Fractional Distillation of an Ethanol- water Mixture

The purpose of this experiment is to understand the process of distilling a solution. Thesolution of 50/50 ethanol-water was used in the experiment. Using fractional distillationapparatus ethanol-water mixture was separated. The fractional use of copper sponge wasused in distillation process which created the heat exchange area between the vapor of ethanol and liquid water. The fractional distillation process yield 9.5 ml of ethanol incollecting flask, thus the hypothesis was accepted.The purpose of this experiment is to understand the process of distilling asolution. Distillation deals with a mixture, a solution composed of two or more elements,that when boiled, will cause each element to vaporized at different temperatures

.Distillation is only effective if there is a significant difference between the boiling of the
two elements. Every element had a unique boiling point specific to the amount of bondsand structure of that element.With that said, in this distillation lab the solution used was 50/50 ethanol-water.The normal boiling point of ethanol is 78°C while the normal boiling point of water is100 °C. Theoretically, as the solution heated in a distillation apparatus, the temperature begins to rise. The ethanol in 50/50 ethanol-water solution would initially vaporize due toits lower boiling point if compared to water. This separates the ethanol from the water inthis solution, channeling the vapors through the condenser. There, the vapor condensesinto a liquid and collects into a collecting flask. In this specific solution, 50 percent of thesolution leaves the heated flask to the collecting flask. Theoretically, at the end of theexperiment, the collecting flask collects 50 percent of the originally volume. This type of distillation is known as simple distillation 1

.Fractional distillation is more effective form of distillation because it moreaccurately separates the ethanol from the...
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