Separation of the Components of Vodka Using Fractional Distillation

Topics: Distillation, Vacuum distillation, Theoretical plate Pages: 4 (952 words) Published: September 3, 2010
Separation of the Components of Vodka using Fractional Distillation

Fractional distillation, also known as rectification or fractionation, is common in industrial usage, not only for simple mixtures of two components (such as alcohol and water in fermentation products, or oxygen and nitrogen in liquid air) but also for highly complex mixtures such as those found in coal tar and petroleum. The purpose of fractional distillation is to separate a mixture of two miscible liquids (liquids that mix in all proportions, in this case water and ethanol) with different boiling points. This process is used to concentrate alcoholic beverages and the one used in this experiment is vodka. As this experiment is to separate water from ethanol in the vodka sample, distillation process was done. However, since the group encountered difficulties and errors in preparing the set-up, the results obtained were partial; leaving the experiment itself unsuccessful. However, the results that should have been acquired showed the difference of boiling point of ethanol and water leading them to complete separation through the distillation process.

I. Introduction

Distillation is the conversion by heat of a solid or liquid substance into vapor and the subsequent condensation of this. When distillation is conducted at the atmospheric pressure, it is called ordinary distillation; if in a partial vacuum, vacuum distillation. The object of distillation is either to test the purity of an individual substance by the determination of its boiling-point, or to separate a mixture of substances boiling at different temperatures into its constituents -- Fractional Distillation. [1] Since vacuum distillation and steam distillation is much more complicated than simple and fractional distillation, the latter distillation processes was made in this experiment. Also, between simple and fractional distillation, fractional distillation is more efficient. In fractional distillation the process of...

References: [1] Gattermann, L. (1909). The Practical Methods of Organic Chemistry. Macmillan Company. London
[2]Barrow, G.(1996). Physical Chemistry 6th edition. Mc Graw Hill Companies. U.S.A.
[3]Alberty, R., Silbey, R. (1997). Physical Chemistry 2nd edition. John Wiley and Sons Inc. U.S.A.
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