Distillation of Alcoholic Beverages Essay
Distillation of Alcoholic Beverages
Distillation is the process where compounds are purified by separating the more volatile substance from non-volatile or less volatile substance. An example of this is the differences in boiling point. Boiling point is the temperature when the vapor pressure of a liquid-phased compound equals with the pressure exerted on it. This external pressure is usually atmospheric pressure. As the temperature of the liquid increase, the vapor pressure will also increase.
And if this case will happen, the vapor pressure will equal to the atmospheric pressure that will cause boiling. Since different compounds have different boiling points, the components often separate from a mixture when the mixture is subjected to distillation.  Also, boiling points can be determined by the process of distillation. In distillation, vapor and liquid compositions are both interest. The compositions of the vapor and liquid are governed by Raoult’s and Dalton’s Laws; provided the vapor and solutions are both Ideal.
Raoult’s law states that the vapor pressure of an ideal solution is dependent on the vapor pressure of each chemical component and the mole fraction of the component present in the solution.  While Dalton’s Law states that the total pressure exerted by a gaseous mixture is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of each individual component in a gas mixture.  At any temperature, some molecules of a liquid possess enough kinetic energy to escape into the vapor phase (evaporation) and some of the molecules in the vapor phase return to the liquid (condensation).
Equilibrium is set up, with molecules going back and forth between liquid and vapor. At higher temperatures, more molecules possess enough kinetic energy to escape, which results in a greater number of molecules being present in the vapor phase. There are two types of distillation according to separation, the simple and fractional. Fractional distillation is used when the boiling points of chemicals in a mixture are close to each-other, while simple distillation is generally used when the boiling points are significantly different.
In simple distillation, evaporation of a volatile liquid from a solution of non-volatile substances takes place. The water will condense the vapor through the water condenser that will be collected in the receiver. There are cases when the distillate would contain a majority of one liquid but would still contain a little of the second. In order to separate this, another distillation must take place. This repeated distillation is the principle behind fractional distillation wherein it redistills automatically. Automatic redistillation takes place on the apparatus called fractionating column.
The vapor produced by the boiling mixture will rise up in the column and will condense when it reaches a certain point. Then it will turn into vapor again and will rise a little bit further up the column. The liquid will be completely purified after the vapor rise all the way to column and will condense in the condenser. In this experiment, the group aims to: (1) separate the alcohol content of the alcoholic beverage, (2) calculate for its percentage ethanol present, (3) and compare the efficiency of simple distillation and fractional distillation.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 February 2017
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