Distillation Lab

Improved Essays
In this lab, two methods of distillation (simple and fractional) were utilized to separate a mixture of volatile compounds (cyclohexane and toluene).
As a first observation of the results and data generated, looking specifically at the simple and fractional distillation curves, it seemed that the fractional curve obtained was not as expected. In fact, it was not very different from the simple distillation curve, having a gradual positive slope. This means that there was actually not a big difference in efficiency of both distillation methods, while in reality, the fractional distillation is believed to give better results. In theory, the fractional distillation curve should have a very sharp slope in the middle, which indicates good separation of the two liquids. This is explained by the fact that the initial temperature remains relatively constant until all of the more volatile compound is collected.
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The vapors generated in the pot rise up the fractionating column and encounter cooler surfaces, upon which they condense. The condensed liquid is then reheated by rising hot vapors and revaporizes. This process of condensation and revaporization may occur again and again as the vapors rise up the column. If the condensation-revaporization is repeated a sufficient number of times, the vapors of the more volatile compound reach the top of the fractionating column in a pure form. As these vapors move into the condenser, the compound condenses and is collected as a liquid. When no fractionating column is used, mixtures of the distilled compounds are incompletely separated. This inefficiency is indicated by a very gradual increase in the temperature measure during the distillation. Samples collected at temperatures between the boiling points of the two compounds will consist of mixtures of the two

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