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Distillation (5 Favorites)

LAB in Observations, Separating Mixtures, Physical Change. Last updated July 13, 2017.


Summary

In this lab, students complete a simple distillation lab separating water from cinnamon and food coloring.

Grade Level

High school

Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

  •  explain the process of distillation.
  • use their understanding of the distillation process to explain how to separate other mixtures.
  • determine whether or not a mixture is homogeneous or heterogeneous.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Separating mixtures
  • Physical change
  • Observations

Time

Teacher Preparation: 30 minutes

Lesson: 30 minutes

Materials

For each group:

  • 400-mL beaker
  • 50-mL beaker
  • Large rubber stopper
  • Large watch glass
  • Cinnamon
  • Food coloring
  • Hot plate
  • Ice
  • Crucible tongs
  • Safety goggles

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when working with chemicals in a laboratory setting.
  • Always use appropriate safety equipment when working with hot glassware.

Teacher Notes

  • Before beginning this lab, review the concepts of homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures and distillation.
  • Remind the students to watch their small beaker closely to ensure that it does not boil over.

For the Student

Distillation Laboratory

Lesson

Purpose
To use a distillation process to separate components of a mixture.

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when working with chemicals in a laboratory setting.
  • Always use appropriate safety equipment when working with hot glassware.

Materials

  • 400-mL beaker
  • 50-mL beaker
  • Large rubber stopper
  • Large watch glass
  • Water
  • Cinnamon
  • Food coloring
  • Hot plate
  • Ice
  • Crucible tongs

Procedure

1. Obtain a large watch glass and a rubber stopper.

2. Place the large stopper in the bottom of a 400-mL beaker, with the wide end down. Add 50 mL. of distilled water to the beaker. The water level should be slightly below the top of the stopper. (see the diagram)

3. Remove the stopper from the water. Add two drops of food coloring to the water.

4. Stir approximately 0.10 g of cinnamon powder into the beaker.

5. Place the beaker on the hot plate.

6. Place the stopper back in position in the middle of the bottom of the 400-mL beaker. Carefully place a clean, dry 50-mL beaker on top of the stopper.

File
  1. Place a large, clean, dry watch glass over the top of the 400-mL beaker.
  2. Place a few small pieces of ice in the watch glass on top of the beaker.
  3. Heat to boiling with the hot plate, then reduce the heat so that the contents of the beaker begin simmering. Continue simmering until the 50-mL beaker inside is about ¼ full of liquid. If you overheat, the solution will boil over into the small beaker. You don’t want this to happen.
  4. Turn off the hot plate. Carefully remove the watch glass with your crucible tongs. Use the same tongs to carefully remove the small 50-mL beaker. Closely observe the liquid in the 50-ml beaker.
  5. Clean up and put away all equipment, and clean up your lab station.

Results/Observations

Describe all changes that occurred to the mixture during this experiment.

Analysis

  1. Using a textbook or other resource, define the term “distillation”.
  2. Define the term “mixture”.
  3. Describe whether the original mixture prepared in this lab was heterogeneous or homogenous. Explain your answer.
  4. Describe how the distillation apparatus used in the lab worked. (Explain what was occurring during the process.)
  5. Describe the appearance of the liquid collected in the small beaker.
  6. What do you think was in the liquid in the small beaker? Explain your answer.
  7. Describe how you might go about separating a mixture of salt, water, iron filings, and saw dust into four separate containers.

Conclusion

Explain what occurred during the lab. What did the distillation process do to the mixture, and how did this work?

Did the experiment work as planned? Why or why not? What changes could be made to improve the procedure or results?