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Mercury distillation


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Mercury distillation. Distillation apparatus being used to purify liquid mercury by boiling it and recondensing it. The mercury is placed in a distillation flask (centre) and heated using a heating mantle (bottom). This distillation was carried out under a vacuum, which lowered the boiling point of the mercury from 356 degrees Celsius to around 263 degrees Celsius. The resulting vapour passes up through an adapter (top) and into an air condenser (upper right). The mercury condenses and flows downwards and collects in a receiving flask (not seen, off screen to right), leaving impurities behind in the flask. The boiling seen here is too vigorous for a clean distillation, and the heat was reduced and adjustments made to establish steadier boiling.

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