Monday, June 28, 2010

Fractional Distillation Essay

Essay on Fractional Distillation

In this experiment there were many conclusions that could have been drawn from the data collected. When I first obtained the unknown alcohol it appeared to be a clear liquid. After the distillation was performed the amount that was left in the flask had turned into a pinkish color indicating that there was impurity, probably due to the addition of the boiling chips in the beginning of the experiment. After the first drop of distillate had been collected the temperature tended to fluctuate slightly throughout the distillation process.

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The average temperature was around 88ДaC indicating that it might be 1-propanol +water. The fluctuations in the temperature could have been caused by several reasons. One could include the fact that 1-propanol is not a pure alcohol, since it contains water which might make this solution have various boiling points. Another point could be a source of error where I lowered the hot plate to see how much distillate I had left to distill. By doing this it decreased the temperature dramatically since the flask was away from the heat source for a brief period of time. As well it was difficult trying to find a proper temperature setting on the hot plate to gain a constant distillation temperature. I tended to find myself turning the temperature higher when it appeared low and lowering the temperature at certain high points. Another source of error included the amount of distillate I had left in the flask. I did not distill all of the liquid; I left some of it in the flask so that it would not let the flask boil dry and crack. My final amount distilled was 3.7 ml, which was about 74% amount recovered. The volume per drop was about 0.0336ml throughout the distillation period. My graph has 2 plateau's one at 10 to 20 drops and one at 55 to 70 drops. I also have 4 maximas and 2 minimas.


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