Fractional Distillation

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Fractional Distillation of GSM Blue

Pamela Trix Lanaja, Jonathan M. Librojo, Shaun Therence Mabunay and Carissa Mae Magdaleno 3Bio3, Department of Biology,College of Science, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Abstract
G.S.M. Blue is composed primarily of water, sugar cane alcohol with essences of juniper berries and other botanicals with traces of impurities and flavourings and it has 32.5 percent alcohol by volume (65 proof). The experiment aimed to separate its components, alcohol and water, and to determine its percent concentration of ethanol by using the Fractional distillation method. A certain volume (25 mL) of G.S.M. Blue was placed on the distillation set-up and was heated constantly. A certain volume (1.o mL) of distillate was collected in every test tube until the temperature reached close to 95-97 oC. The volume of distillate collected by the end of the distillation was 14.0mL at 95 oC, giving a percent alcohol of 71.43% and 4.0% loss.

Introduction
In general, beverages may be simply defined as any drink which can relieve thirst, nourish the body, stimulate the appetite or increase the amount of body fluids. These may be classified as Alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Alcoholic beverages have made an inescapable presence in our culture for centuries either for its hygienic, medical, or recreational purposes. Alcoholic beverages are liquids produced from the alcoholic fermentation of fruits or grains [1]. The sample used in the experiment, G.S.M. BLUE, is a 65 proof, sugar cane alcohol with essences of juniper berries and other botanicals. Its smooth, sweet taste gives drinkers a “light-on-the-chest” feeling without hangover.

Distillation is the separation of a liquid mixture into its components on the basis of difference in boiling points. The liquid is changed into a vapour by boiling. The vapour is pure as other substances are left behind. The vapour is then cooled. It condenses to a pure liquid which is called the distillate. In the experiment, fractional distillation was used for the separation of the components of the G.S.M. Blue. In fractional distillation, a distilling column allows the vapour arising from the distillation pot to be repeatedly recondensed and revapourized. After a number of these recondensation/ revapourization steps, the lower boiling component will be relatively free of any higher boiling components. This allows for a more thorough separation of the liquids. This method of distillation is employed during the Oil Refining process.

In this experiment, the group should be able to achieve the following objectives: (1) to separate and calculate in percentage the alcohol content of a commercial alcoholic beverage (G.S.M. Blue) by distillation process, and (2) to compare the efficiency of simple and fractional distillation techniques.

Results and Discussion
In the experiment, quick-fit apparatus was used. The components of quick-fit apparatus are (1) distilling flask, where the sample is placed, (2) still head(distilling head), it holds the thermometer to allow the temperature of vapours to be monitored during the distillation, (3) condenser, a tube surrounded by a water jacket to cool and condense vapours, (4) thermometer, measures the temperature, (5) receiver adapter, connects the condenser and receiver, (6) test tubes, where the distillate is placed.[2 & 3]. Refer to Fig.1.

Figure 1. Quick-fit apparatus
Fractional Distillation

In a Distilling flask contains the sample and 3 pieces of boiling chips. The boiling stones are small, irregularly shaped stones added to liquids to make them boil more smoothly. They provide nucleation sites so the liquid boils easily without becoming superheated. The heating of the flask should be slowly rotated. When the solution boils, a ring of condensate rising up the still head can be observed. If heating is too rapid and the condensate is pushed too rapidly, equilibrium between liquid and vapour will not...
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