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fractional distillation

noun, Chemistry
the separation of volatile components of different boiling points in a mixture by the gradual increase of temperature and the separate collection of each component.
Origin of fractional distillation
1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fractional distillation
  • The second way would simple or fractional distillation.
  • From an exhaustible source in our atmosphere, nitrogen gas can be obtained by liquefaction and fractional distillation.
  • fractional distillation units are generally more expensive to operate and are generally better suited to larger volumes.
  • Petroleum distillates are mixtures of hydrocarbons which are obtained by fractional distillation of crude oil.
  • Refined petroleum products are derived from crude oils through processes such as catalytic cracking and fractional distillation.
  • The boiling point is given as a wide range, typical of a material that undergoes fractional distillation as it boils.
  • Germanium can be separated from other metals by fractional distillation of its volatile tetrachloride.
  • It is obtained by liquefaction of air and separated from the other gases by fractional distillation.
  • Removal of ethylene glycol by this method eliminated the need for tedious fractional distillation.
  • Ordinarily, the products are collected by fractional distillation and solvent extraction of the residuum.
British Dictionary definitions for fractional distillation

fractional distillation

the process of separating the constituents of a liquid mixture by heating it and condensing separately the components according to their different boiling points
a distillation in which the vapour is brought into contact with a countercurrent of condensed liquid to increase the purity of the final products
Sometimes shortened to distillation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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fractional distillation in Science
fractional distillation  
A process by which a chemical compound is separated into components by distillation. In fractional distillation the compound is heated and, as each of its constituent components comes to a boil, its vapors are separated and cooled, so it can be removed in its pure form. Fractional distillation is used to refine petroleum. See also distillation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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