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Da Vinci's furnace. Engraving of the furnace designed by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Used for distillation, the furnace has two stills (at upper left and upper right) upon it. The glass stills were designed to separate volatile components out of solutions by heating them. Highly volatile components would evaporate and not condense until they were in the tubes coming from the stills' caps. As the tubes faced downwards, the fluid would trickle out and could be collected. Components with a low volatility would condense in the neck of the stills and flow back into the original solution. Da Vinci's designs remained obscure until the 19th century.
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