7King Science

The process of Distillation

Distillation is a very complicated process of separating two liquids/one liquid and one/many solid/s from one another.

The process is expressed by first boiling a solution with either the solute or solvent having a lower boiling temperature. The solution is placed in a container where it is boiled to the solute/solvents boiling point. The boiled solute/solvent will be placed through a piece of equipment called a condenser, which, true to its name, condenses the gas of the solute/solvent, which is then slowly dripped into a beaker and tested.

The steps involved

The last text box was more of a gloss over, but, if your home is fully decked out with a science lab and awesome kit, then read this process!

1) Follow a diagram. Mostly, if I try and describe it, it ends up badly, but I'll attempt it. A flask (preferably a round flask) should be filled with the solution should be held in a bosshead and clamp with a thermometer not touching the glass but in the clamp should be in the solution/suspension. A condenser should be connected to the flask, with cold water pumping in and out. At the end, there should be a container of some sort to catch the distillate.

2) With that all sorted, make sure the boiling points of the chemicals in the solvent are very far apart to make sure of the solution as a whole doesn't evaporate.

3) Keeping the temperature right, boil of the excess and make sure to drip it all into the container. This will be around 90% pure.

OK, next thing coming up.

What is the end product?

The end of the line results in a small beaker full of some liquid. This will not be the best if you don't know what to do with it. This liquid is called a distillate, and it is simply a pure version of one of the chemicals in the solution.

Why do we do it?

Now, I know what you're thinking. Why would anyone buy about $400 worth of equipment to just separate liquid from liquid? Well, apart from the obvious "Because my house is a lab and I accidentally spilled ethanol in my water" and "It's fun", there are other reasons. The liquid is mostly water, as it is usually the most useful liquid that people use. Huge desalination plants extract salt from seawater to provide huge amounts of water to many companies. Sometimes it is used to extract rare liquids or solids from large amounts of a common liquid. And it is also used to separate crude oil from different chemicals, such as petrol. So all in all, very useful.

Distillation VS Solar Distillation

Distillation is the separation technique used to separate a liquid from another thing using heat. Solar Distillation is the separation technique used to separate a liquid from another thing using solar heat. So what's the difference?

The main difference is that the water in solar distillation does not need to reach boiling point. It slowly evaporate, and it may take hours or days to complete. Distillation, on the other hand, can take as little as minutes or seconds. That is the main difference.

Thank you for reading this Flyer!!!!!!