Distillation

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Diagram of simple distillation set-up without a fractionating column often used by chemists. Shown in use.
1. heat source (a Bunsen burner here)
2. distilling flask (a round bottom flask)
3. distilling head
4. thermometer
5. condenser
6. cooling water in
7. cooling water out
8. receiving flask collecting dripping distillate

Distillation is a chemical process where two or more liquids with different boiling points can be separated from each other. The liquids are heated until one of them boils and evaporates (turns to a gas). The vapor is then fed into a condenser, which cools the vapour and condenses it back to a liquid. What remains in the original container is called the residue. A fractionating column can be used to improve the separation. Distillation can be used for making dirty water cleaner. Fractional distillation can be used to purify crude oil so that it can become useful and can be used for various things.

The vaporized and condensed component is called distillate and the other component as the residue.

This has been used for a long time, to distill alcohol, pond water, and certain brands of coffee, and produce distilled beverages. Distillation is a commonly used operation in oil industry, where it is used to separate various fuels and raw materials from crude oil.

Illegally distilled alcoholic drinks are called moonshine.[1]

Distillation can be done anywhere, whether it's in a house or a laboratory, but in most countries it is illegal to distil alcohol without a license.

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