fractional-distillation

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:
1855–60

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World English Dictionary
fractional distillation
 
n
1.  the process of separating the constituents of a liquid mixture by heating it and condensing separately the components according to their different boiling points
2.  a distillation in which the vapour is brought into contact with a countercurrent of condensed liquid to increase the purity of the final products

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
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