Lab Observation Essay

1524 WordsOct 10, 20127 Pages
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA | Simple and Fractional Distillation of a Binary Mixture | TA: Kristin Costelow | | | Introduction Distillation is one of the eldest and even now most common method for both the refinement and the identification of organic liquids. It is a method used to separate chemicals from a mixture by the variance in how easily they vaporize. As the mixture is heated, the temperature rises until it reaches the temperature of the lowest boiling substance in the mixture, whereas the other components of the mixture, remain in their original phase in the mixture. The ensuing hot vapor passes into a condenser and is transformed to the liquid, which is then collected in a receiver flask. The other workings of the mixture remain in their original phase until the maximum volatile substance has boiled off in which then does the temperature of the gas phase rises again until it reaches the boiling point of a second element in the mixture (Hagen). The boiling point of a substance which is determined by distillation is a valuable physical property for the categorization of pure compounds. At any given temperature a liquid is in equilibrium with its vapor. This equilibrium is pronounced by the vapor pressure of the liquid (Hagen). The vapor pressure is the pressure that the molecules at the surface of the liquid exert against the external pressure, which is usually the atmospheric pressure (Hagen). It does not increase linearly but in fact increases exponentially with temperature. When the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the necessary pressure, the liquid boils. The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature when the vapor pressure equals the applied pressure. The boiling point of a liquid is in essence a measure of its explosive nature (Forni). The successful application of distillation methods are contingent on the variance in

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