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To separate the components of a mixture using the following techniques:

Separating funnel
Simple distillation
Fractional distillation

The Theory

How is a homogeneous mixture different from a heterogeneous mixture?

Most materials in our surroundings are mixtures of two or more components. Mixtures are either
homogeneous or heterogeneous. Homogeneous mixtures are uniform in composition, but heterogeneous
mixtures are not uniform in composition.

Air is a homogeneous mixture and oil in water is a heterogeneous mixture. Homogeneous and
heterogeneous mixtures can be separated into their components by several physical methods. The choice
of separation techniques is based on the type of mixture and difference in the chemical properties of the
constituents of a mixture.

What are types of separation techniques?

Various types of separation processes are:

Simple distillation
Fractional distillation
Separating funnel
Magnetic separation

Lets discuss some of the separation techniques

Using a separating funnel:

A separating funnel is used for the separation of components of a mixture between two immiscible liquid
phases. One phase is the aqueous phase and the other phase is an organic solvent. This separation is
based on the differences in the densities of the liquids. The liquid having more density forms the lower layer
and the liquid having less density forms the upper layer.


To separate a mixture of oil and water.

To separate a mixture of kerosene oil and water.

Chromatography is a separation technique used to separate the different components in a liquid mixture. It
was introduced by a Russian Scientist Michael Tswett. Chromatography involves the sample being
dissolved in a particular solvent called mobile phase. The mobile phase may be a gas or liquid. The
mobile phase is then passed through another phase called stationary phase. The stationary phase may be
a solid packed in a glass plate or a piece of chromatography paper.

The various components of the mixture travel at different speeds, causing them to separate. There are
different types of chromatographic techniques such as column chromatography, TLC, paper
chromatography, and gas chromatography.

Paper chromatography is one of the important chromatographic methods. Paper chromatography uses
paper as the stationary phase and a liquid solvent as the mobile phase. In paper chromatography, the
sample is placed on a spot on the paper and the paper is carefully dipped into a solvent. The solvent rises
up the paper due to capillary action and the components of the mixture rise up at different rates and thus
are separated from one another.