Separation Of Toluene And Cyclohexane

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Fractional distillation is a common method for separating components of a mixture by utilizing their boiling points to aid in the separation. As a mixture is heated, the component with the lower boiling point in the mixture vaporize, while the higher boiling point component will remain in solution. These vapors will rise to a cooler area where they will condense and this liquid will then be collected; this is known as the distillate. Eventually, the lower boiling component will boil off, and the higher boiling point component will begin to travel up into the condenser as the temperature reaches the boiling point of the second component. As the second distillate is collected, it will mostly contain the higher-boiling component. The purpose of this experiment was to utilize fractional distillation to separate an equimolar mixture of cyclohexane and toluene. The success of this …show more content…
This separation resulted in a HETP value of 8.114cm. Given the large HETP value, with normal value in the range of 3-7cm, this particular column was not very successful in separating toluene and cyclohexane. This could be seen by the low number of theoretical plates, 0.912. A theoretical plate is one cycle of evaporation and condensation in a distillation. In general, having more theoretical plates results in better separation of the components given that there are more vaporization-condensation cycles, thus providing purer distillate. In this still, the lower number of theoretical plates could have resulted from not allowing the vapors to travel slowly up the column. With a rapid distillation, the vapors traveling up the column will reach the condenser faster and have a higher probability of containing other materials, resulting in a less pure condensed

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