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7.22: Fractional Distillation

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     Fractional Distillation parts: Thermometer adapter, 3-way adapter, fractional column, distilling flask, condenser, water in/out, vacuum adapter, receiving flask
    Figure 7.10: Fractional distillation apparatus.
    Table 7.20: Procedural summary for fractional distillation.

    Most comments for a simple distillation apply to fractional distillation as well.

    The distilling pot will need to be heated more vigorously than with a simple distillation, as there is a greater distance for the vapors to travel before reaching the condenser.

    Commonly the column will need to be insulated to maintain heat: wrap the column (and three-way adapter if desired) in glass wool followed by an outer layer of aluminum foil. Droplets of liquid should be seen in the fractional column, but there should never be a large pool of liquid (flooding). If the column floods, allow the liquid to drain back into the distilling flask and heat at a gentler rate.

    This page titled 7.22: Fractional 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.