Fractional distillation apparatus

Fractional distillation apparatus

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fractional distillation. Fractional distillation using a Liebig condenser (diagonal, centre) to separate a liquid into its component parts. Each component of the liquid has a different boiling point. The heating mantle (bottom left) heats the mixture in the bulb flask. By altering the temperature of the flask to match the boiling point of one of the components, that liquid can be boiled off and will rise up the fractionating column (vertical, left) as a gas. It enters the condenser where cold water circulating in an outer chamber cools the gas, causing it to condense and run into the bulb flask (right) where it is collected. The glass beads in the column cause the other components, which have lower boiling points, to condense before they reach the top.

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