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Name: Kyra Mari Dominique E.

Aldaba
Locker Number: 7C
Experiment Title: Simple Distillation of Unknown Liquid Date: May 3, 2016
Data and Results:
Table 1. Observations from the simple distillation of unknown liquid
CHARACTERISTICS
RESULTS
INITIAL APPEARANCE
yellowish clear liquid with little acidic, little
alcoholic smell
FINAL APPEARANCE
clear liquid with alcoholic smell
INITIAL VOLUME (mL)
20
FINAL VOLUME (mL)
6.8
70 - 77
BOILING POINT (C):
IDENTIFICATION OF THE
Ethyl acetate
UNKNOWN:
As shown from the table, the initial appearance of the unknown liquid is yellowish clear
with a traceable amount of acid and alchohol smell. The alcohol smell in the final appearance
of the unknown liquid reminds me of white wine and the acidic smell is no longer present.
From the initial volume, around 6.8 mL remained. Reasons for the loss are evaporation
through the joints of the set-up, and some remained on the transfer vessels.
The graph below showed the temperature range of the unknown liquid until it dries out all
the 7 mL distillate. Based on this the identification of the unknown may only be among
ethanol, ethyl acetate, and methyl ethyl ketone. Among the three, the closest boiling point is
ethyl acetate.

Boiling Point Determination


78
76
74
Temperature(C)

Volume distillate (mL) vs.


Temperature (C)

72
70
68
66
1

Volume distillate (mL)

1 | May 3, 2016

Discussions:
Simple distillation is an effective way of determining two unknown liquid with boiling
point difference of 25C. In the experiment, the unknown liquid obtained has been mixed
with another unknown liquid. During the distillation, the forerun was set aside and used as a
wash for the round bottom flask. The error committed here would be the inability to change
the receiving flask quickly as the unknown liquid was boiled pretty faster than expected. This
resulted to a very limited distillate.
When the distillate was dried to determine the boiling point range, the gas was cut-off and
the set-up had sat for quite some time. This may have affected the amount remained. Another
error was committed during this time, the boiling chips were forgotten to be added in the
round bottom flask. Some of the liquid evaporated through the joints of the set-up. The final
distillate obtained was colorless and have an alcoholic smell.
Below is the table describing the possible identification of the unknown liquid. Based on
the unknown liquids choices, the boiling point of ethyl acetate is close to the unknown liquid
given and the characteristics are almost the same for ethanol. Since the boiling point range
seems to be insufficient due to the little amount of distillate, it is possible that the
identification of the unknown liquid as ethyl acetate may be incorrect. It was also still
possible that the distillate obtained may still be impure.
Table 2. Characteristics and boiling points of choices for identification of unknown
liquid
UNKNOWN LIQUID
BOILING POINT (C)
CHARACTERISTICS
IDENTIFICATION
Ethanol
78.5
mild to strong wine-like
ethereal smell colorless
liquid
Methyl ethyl ketone
79.6
acetone-like sweetish
smell colorless liquid
Heptane
98.4
gasoline-like smell clear
liquid
Ethyl acetate
77
Winelike burning taste
with slight fruity ethereal
smell colorless liquid
Hexane
68
slight gasoline-like smell
colorless liquid

2 | May 3, 2016

Post-lab Questions:
1. When does a liquid boil at temperatures above and below their expected boiling points?
2. Why isnt the boiling point of the second fraction in the first part of the experiment used to
determine the boiling point of the liquid?
3. Would you expect 100% recovery in this experiment? Explain.
4. What do you expect to find in the receiving flask after distillation? How about in the round
bottom flask?
5. Based on the physical properties of the unknown, what is the identity of the unknown
liquid?
6. Is it possible to separate a mixture of n-hexane (bp: 68.7C) and isohexane (2methylpentane) (bp: 60.3C) using the setup used in this experiment? Explain.
Answers:
1. If a liquid boils above its boiling point, it means its pressure is greater than 1 atmosphere.
If a liquid boils below its boiling point, it means its pressure is lower than 1 atmosphere. The
boiling may also be due to the intermolecular forces between the two liquid. It is possible that
a relatively strong intermolecular force will have boiling point relatively high and if its
relatively weak, the boiling point will be relatively low.
2. It isnt used because this still may be impure and the boiling point range that will be
obtained will be erroneous from the actual unknown liquid.
3. I dont expect a 100% recovery in this experiment because there are many possible reasons
for losing the desired substance like being evaporated through the joints of the equipments,
not all are transferred from the original source to the round flask or sample vial, and some left
inside the condenser.
4. The liquid on the receiving flask is the unknown liquid with lower boiling point while the
liquid on the round bottom flask is the unknown liquid with higher boiling point.
5. Based on the physical properties alone, it is hard to pinpoint the exact identity of the
unknown. The unknown liquid has alcoholic smell like white wine and a little bit acidic on
the side. Among the choices given, it can be ethyl acetate or methyl ethyl ketone. I exclude
ethyl alcohol because it does not smell like one. My final answer is ethyl acetate because
methyl ethyl ketone have a different odor according to its MSDS as being acetone like, strong
sweetish smell.
6. No, it isnt possible to separate hexane and isohexane because their boiling points are very
close to each other and has only around 8.4C difference. Simple distillation is only effective
for two liquids with 25C difference between their boiling points.

3 | May 3, 2016

References:
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unknown;
cited
2016
May
2].
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from:
https://www.chem.purdue.edu/gchelp/liquids/boil.html
Anonymous. ScienceLab.com-Material Safety Data Sheet: Ethyl acetate [Internet]. Texas:
Sciencelab.com, Inc. [updated 2013 May 21; cited 2016 May 1]. Available from:
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927165
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http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923955
Anonymous. ScienceLab.com-Material Safety Data Sheet: Heptane [Internet]. Texas:
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http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927187
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http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927358
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2016
[cited
2016
May
2]
Available
from:
http://www.chem.umass.edu/~samal/269/distill.pdf
Anonymous. Chem 213- Laboratory in Organic Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University
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chemistry.bd.psu.edu/halmi/chem213distillf09.pdf
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Yanza, E.R.S. Survey of Organic Chemistry Laboratory Manual. Quezon City: Office
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Zubrick, JW. The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual: A Students Guide to Techniques. 2nd
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4 | May 3, 2016