What Is Distillation? Definition and Use

Question: What Is Distillation?
When it comes to separating mixtures, distillation is one of the most effective ways to do the job. This is because different components have different boiling point and distillation can change their phase when the mixture is heated. When the liquid mixture is heated, components that reach their boiling point will be forced into the gas phase. The gas will be collected and condensed into pure liquid phase again. To enhance the purity, double distillation is used to improve the purity.

Generally, the term distillation is most widely used for liquids, but the reverse process is used to separate the gases, because when temperature or pressure changes, gases will liquefy components. Of course, different gases have different liquefaction points.

Distillation is widely used in many commercial fields. It can be used to produce alcohol, distilled water, gasoline, kerosene, xylene, as well as may other types of liquids. Distillation also has many types, such as simple distillation, double distillation, fractional distillation, and destructive distillation.

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