Separation techniques

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Separation Techniques

  • Simple distillation
    • Can be used to separate two miscible liquids (i.e. water and ethanol)
    • Liquids must have 2 different boiling points
    • Separates a pure liquid from a mixture of liquids
    • Commonly used to separate water and ethanol
      • Ethanol begins to boil first and travels up the neck of the glass
      • Cold water is running through the condenser
      • Water in the condenser cools down the ethanol
      • Ethanol drips into the beaker


  • Fractional distillation
    • Used to separate 2 miscible liquids
    • Liquids must have different boiling points
    • Produces a purer sample than simple distillation
    • Commonly used to separate water and ethanol
      • Mixture is in a container
      • Heated so the first (i.e. ethanol) with the lowest boiling point evaporates
      • Vapour travels up the fractionating column, which has beads, so any of liquid number 2 (i.e. water) that has evaporated will condense again due to the fact that the beads are at the boiling temperature of the first liquid
      • Vapour continues through the condenser, where it condenses because of the cooling water
      • It drips into a beaker where it is collected


  • Funnel
    • Used to separate two imiscible liquids…


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