Simple And Fractional Distillation Lab Report

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Objective The objective of the experiment was to separate a mixture of water and methanol through simple and fractional distillation, two similar processes, and comparing the distillation graphs of both processes. Procedure Part A- Simple Distillation of a Water-Methanol Mixture • A mixture of methanol and water was prepared by adding 5 mL of water with 5 mL of methanol into a round bottom flask, it was noted that the mixture had a slight whitish tint. After setting the flask to the side, a simple distillation setup was constructed inside the fume hood, an illustration of the construction can be seen in Figure 1.A, and the flask containing the mixture was attached where indicated by Figure 1.A. After attaching the flask, a heating mantle…show more content…
Once the mixture continued to boil but no more distillate was collected in the graduated cylinder, the heating mantle was turned off and the construction was allowed to cool. The methanol distilled into the graduated cylinder was disposed of in the non-halogenated container, and the remaining mixture in the flask was disposed of in the aqueous waste container. All pieces were allowed to cool and then cleaned in order to prepare for the next part of the lab. Finally, a graph was constructed in order to show the relationship between the temperature and the amount of distillate collected (Graph 1.A). Notes: The junctions of all glassware were applied grease in order to create a proper seal in order to not lose any vapor or distillate. Also noted should be the proper attachment of the rubber tubes on the condenser; in flow of water on the bottom entry and out flow of water on the top entry of the condenser. Finally, it should be noted that the thermometer was placed so that the groove of the thermometer was at about the altitude of the y junction, in order to accurately record the temperature at which the methanol…show more content…
When compared to the results of experiment A, the results of fractional distillation are relatively better than the results of simple distillation, as evidenced by the temperature range of 58.0-65.0 °C, which actually contains methanol’s boiling point (64.7 °C1) albeit just barely. What this means is that it can be said with some security that the distillate collected at the end of the distillation was pure methanol, and the percent yield is therefore quite favorable comparing it to the amount lost or mixed in Part A. However, there is still a margin of error that could’ve been avoided if some factors were changed. When compared to Part A, it can be seen that properly cleaning and drying your equipment can really affect results, however the packing could’ve been left less packed into the column, so as to save time and avoid the curious change and depression in temperature observed. Regarding this curios depression in temperature, this effect was most likely caused by the draft of air the setup was exposed to as the mixture boiled, this could’ve been easily avoided if we had access to aluminum foil, which has proven to deter this type of effect from the enviornment2. A note that was made about the distillation process was that many parts of the setup had to be moved due to spillage from the rubber hoses attached to the condenser, and this movement

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