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7.21: Simple Distillation

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     Distillation apparatus parts: Thermometer adapter, 3-way adapter, distilling flask, heating mantle, condenser, water in/out, vacuum adapter, receiving flask
    Figure 7.9: Simple distillation apparatus.
    Table 7.19: Procedural summary for simple distillation.

    Assembly tips

    Fill the distilling flask with sample 1/3-1/2 full. Always use an extension clamp on the distilling flask.

    Add a few boiling stones or stir bar to the flask.

    Position the thermometer bulb just below the arm of the three-way adapter, where vapors turn toward the condenser.

    Wet condenser hoses with water before attaching.

    Connect the condenser hoses such that water flows uphill: bring water from the faucet into the lower arm, and drain out the upper arm.

    Be sure all of the connections are secure (especially between the distilling flask and 3-way adapter: potential of fire!).

    Begin distillation

    Turn on the condenser water.

    Apply the heat source to the distilling flask.

    Collect distillate at a rate of 1 drop per second.

    Record the temperature where liquid is actively distilling and thermometer bulb is immersed.

    Record the pressure.

    Cease distillation

    Stop the distillation when the temperature changes dramatically or if the distilling flask is nearly empty (never distill to dryness!).

    Lower and remove the heat source, but keep water circulating until the flask is just warm to the touch.

    This page titled 7.21: Simple Distillation is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lisa Nichols via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.