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A student carried out a simple distillastion on a compound known to boil at 124 C and reported an observed boiling point of 116-117 C. Gas chromatographic analysis of the product showed that the compound was pure, and a calibration of the thermometer indicated that it was accurate. What procedural error might the student have made in setting up the distallation apparatus?

could this be that the tubing wasn't set up right. some of the liquid left the system?

  • chem -

    The only thing I can think of is that the thermometer was not correctly placed in the neck of the distillation flask. If the bulb of the thermometer was placed above the distilling flask side arm, the temperature at that location probably is less than the boiling point.

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