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Simple and Fractional Distillation


Adolfo, Angela Nicole G.*, Alcaraz, Frances Jillian F.
Aliman, Stephanie T., Astor, Jashmin D.
Bauzon, Franchesca D., Cabral, Danica Rose G.
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Santo Tomas

ABSTRACT
Distillation is one of the oldest and still most common methods for both the
purification and the identification of organic liquids. It is a physical process used to
separate chemicals from a mixture by the difference in how easily they vaporize. The
experiment used the Simple Distillation Method to separate the components of 30 mL
alcohol (vodka) and water. The distillate was collected with the aid of a calibrated test
tube (0.5 mL) until it reaches the temperature of 99 C. Also, the first, second and last
distillate were used for testing the presence of alcohol. Throughout the process, there is a
directly proportional relationship between the volume and temperature of the distillate. In
the flammability test, the first and second distillate shows the presence of alcohol while
the last one is not flammable at all. With the records obtained, a graph between the
volume and temperature of distillate was plotted and the percentage of alcohol and
percentage loss were also computed. Thus, simple distillation is not a so much complex
process of extraction and purifying liquids. Heating and vaporization are just the 2 major
process used to separate the components of alcohol (vodka) and water.

Distillation is used to separate the


INTRODUCTION

component substances from a liquid


mixture by selective condensation and

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evaporation. It is a process of purifying

consists essentially of three parts: a flask

compounds by means of separating

equipped with a thermometer and with an

more volatile substance from non-volatile

outlet tube from which the vapor is

or less volatile substance. There are two

emitted; a condenser that consists of two

types of distillation, namely simple and

tubes of placed one within the other and

fractional.

is

so arranged that the smaller (in which the

essentially the same as simple distillation

vapor is condensed) is held in a stream of

except that a fractionating column is

coolant in the larger; and a vessel in which

placed between the boiling flask and the

the condensed vapor is collected.

Fractional

distillation

condenser. The fractionating column is


usually filled with glass or plastic beads.

These instruments were tightly


secured to prevent breakage of the
apparatuses. First, in the distilling flask

In the experiment, the simple

containing pieces of boiling stones, a

distillation was used to separate the

30mL of vodka was added. The flask was

components substances of the vodka. The

heated with an alcohol lamp constantly.

following

Ideally, the substance with the lowest

are

the

objectives

to

be

achieved by the group:

boiling

point

vaporizes

first

the

temperature remaining constant until that


1.) To be able to separate the components

substance has completely distilled. The

of the alcoholic beverage (vodka) by

vapor is led into the condenser where, on

distillation.

being cooled, it reverts to the liquid

2.) To set up a distillation curve.

(condenses) and runs off into a calibrated

3.) To calculate the percent ethanol

test tube that serves as a receiving vessel.

present in the vodka.

The one obtained is called as the distillate

4.) To compare the simple and fractional

and those substances having a higher

distillation process efficiency in terms of

boiling point remain in the flask and

separating mixtures of liquid.

constitute the residue.

METHODOLOGY

After which, the temperature of


the first drop in every test tube was

A simple distillation apparatus

recorded until it reached the temperature

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of 99 C. The first, second and last
distillate were used to test its flammability
in a watch glass. The distilling flask was
cooled and the volume of the residue was
recorded. The volume and the temperature

19
20
21
22
23
24

9.5
10.0
10.5
11.0
11.5
12.0

96
96
97
98
98
99

then was plotted in a graph and the


percentage of alcohol present in the
distillates

were

computed.

On

the

Table 1 shows that as the volume

contrary, the percentage loss was also

of distillate increases, the temperature also

computed.

increase until it reaches the temperature of


99 C. It shows that the volume and
temperature are directly proportional.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Table 2. Flammability of Distillate
Table 1. Volume and Temperature
of Distillate
TEST

VOLUM

TEMPERATUR

TUBE

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

(mL)
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
5.5
6.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0

(C)
83
84
84
84
84
85
87
88
88
89
90
91
92
92
93
94
95
95

Distillate
First
Second
Last

Flame Test
+
+
-

Table 2 shows that a positive


result in the flame test indicates the
presence of alcohol and a negative result
indicates that there is no alcohol. In the
first and second distillate, a blue with
orange tip flames was produced while the
last distillate did not produce any flame. It
shows that as the distillation continues,
the amount of alcohol decreases.

Figure 1. Simple Distillation Setup


Figure 1 shows the setup where
the distillation was held. Since there is no
fractionating column present, it is only
just a Simple Distillation setup.

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showing that there they are directly
Figure 2. Graph of Temperature and

proportional with each other. When the

Volume of Distillate

vapor pressure of the liquid equals the


applied pressure, the liquid boils. Thus,

Figure 2 shows that as the

the boiling point of a liquid is the

mixture is heated, the temperature rises

temperature at which the vapor pressure

until it reaches the temperature of the

equals the applied pressure. The normal

lowest boiling substance in the mixture.

boiling point of a liquid is the temperature

The resultant hot vapor passes into a

at which the vapor pressure of a liquid

condenser and is converted to the liquid,

equals atmospheric pressure

which is then collected in a receiver flask.

(1 atm). The boiling point of a liquid is a

The other components of the mixture

measure of its volatility and its purity.

remain in their original phase until the

CALCULATIONS

most volatile substance has all boiled off.


Only then does the temperature of the gas

%v/v alcohol = Vf - Vi x 100


Vs

phase rises again until it reaches the


boiling point of a second component in the

= 12.0 - 0 x 100

mixture, and so on.

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This is the underlying principle


behind

distillation.

At

any

given

temperature a liquid is in equilibrium with


its vapor. This equilibrium is described by

= 40 % alcohol
%loss = Vs - (Vd + Vr) x 100
Vs

the vapor pressure of the liquid. The vapor


pressure is the pressure that the molecules

= 30 - (12.0 + 12.0) x 100

at the surface of the liquid exert against

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the external pressure, which is usually the


atmospheric pressure. The vapor pressure

= 20 % loss

is a very sensitive function of temperature.


It does not increase linearly but in fact
increases exponentially with temperature,

CONCLUSION

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In the experiment, it was fairly
observed the fact that the process of

REFERENCES

distillation of simple and fractional are not

Helmenstine, A. (2016). Understand the


principles of distillation. About
education, 1-5. Retrieved from
http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/bldi
tillation.htm

much

different

except

for

the

augmentation of the apparatus of the


fractional distillation. It is known as the
fractionating column that is usually filled
with glass or plastic beads. These beads
improve the separation between the
liquids being distilled. The reason that
fractional

distillation

gives

better

separation between the liquids is because


the glass beads in the fractionating column
provide "theoretical plates" on which the
refluxing

liquid

can

condense,

re-

evaporate, and condense again, essentially


distilling the compound over and over.
Other than that, simple distillation is a
simple process of extraction and purifying
liquids by heating and vaporization of the
components of alcohol (vodka) and water.
Thus, based on the experiment, as the
temperature increases, the presence of
alcohol decreases and also making the
mixture not flammable.
DOCUMENTATION

Natural Ingredient Resource Center.


(2015, May). Boiling points and
distillation. Retrieved from
http://naturalingredient.org/wp/wpcon
tent/uploads/Distillation.pdf
Winkle, M. v. (1967). Mass Transfer
Processes.
In
M. v.
Cinkle,
Distillation. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Yoder, C. (2016). Distillation. Wired
chemist. Retrieved from
http://www.wiredchemist.com/chemist
ry/instructional/laboratorytutorials/dis
tillation

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