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Fractional Distillation Essay

  • Submitted by: ehtesham
  • on December 18, 2011
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,062 words

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Below is an essay on "Fractional Distillation" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Fractional distillation
[edit] Laboratory setup
Fractional distillation in a laboratory makes use of common laboratory glassware and apparatuses, typically including a Bunsen burner, a round-bottomed flask and a condenser, as well as the single-purpose fractionating column.
[edit] Apparatus

Fractional distillation apparatus using a Liebig condenser. A conical flask is used as a receiving flask. Here the distillation head and fractionating column are combined in one piece.[1]
  * heat source, such as a hot plate with a bath, and ideally with a magnetic stirrer.
  * distilling flask, typically a round-bottom flask
  * receiving flask, often also a round-bottom flask
  * fractionating column
  * distillation head
  * thermometer and adapter if needed
  * condenser, such as a Liebig condenser, Graham condenser or Allihn condenser
  * vacuum adapter (not used in image to the right)
  * boiling chips, also known as anti-bumping granules
  * Standard laboratory glassware with ground glass joints, e.g. quickfit apparatus.
[edit] Discussion
As an example, consider the distillation of a mixture of water and ethanol. Ethanol boils at 78.4 °C while water boils at 100 °C. So, by heating the mixture, the most volatile component will concentrate to a greater degree in the vapor leaving the liquid. Some mixtures form azeotropes, where the mixture boils at a lower temperature than either component. In this example, a mixture of 96% ethanol and 4% water boils at 78.2 °C, being more volatile than pure ethanol. For this reason, ethanol cannot be completely purified by direct fractional distillation of ethanol-water mixtures.
The apparatus is assembled as in the diagram. (The diagram represents a batch apparatus, as opposed to a continuous apparatus.) The mixture is put into the round bottomed flask along with a few anti-bumping granules (or a Teflon coated magnetic stirrer bar if using magnetic stirring), and the fractionating column is fitted into the...

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