11.3A. Introduction

The separation process known as distillation is a method for separating the various components of a liquid solution which depends upon the distribution of these components between a vapor phase and a liquid phase. All components are present in both phases. The vapor phase is created from the liquid phase by vaporization at the boiling point.

The basic requirement for the separation of components by distillation is that the composition of the vapor be different from the composition of the liquid with which it is in equilibrium at the boiling point of the liquid. Distillation is concerned with solutions where all components are appreciably volatile, such as ammonia–water or ethanol–water solutions, ...

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