Fractional distillation of crude oil. Fractional distillation separates a liquid into its component parts. Each component of crude oil has a different boiling point. The crude oil is heated in a bulb flask. By altering the temperature of the flask to match the boiling point of one of the components, that liquid can be boiled off and will rise up the fractionating column (vertical, left) as a gas. It enters the condenser (diagonal) where cold water circulating in an outer chamber cools the gas, causing it to condense and run into the conical flask (right) where it is collected. The glass beads in the column cause the other components, which have lower boiling points, to condense before they reach the top.
September 15th, 2018
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