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If im trying to separate alcohol from water by distillation, is it possible if I heat the mixture to 100degreeC so water reaches its boiling point? I mean, is this method only workable if I distill the alcohol which has a lower boiling point first? What happens to alcohol beyond its boiling point?

  • chemistry -

    You can't separate a mixture of ethanol and water. The two form an azeotrope that has a lower boiling point than either ethanol or water (approximately 4% water/96% ethanol) and that is what distills. Depending upon the starting mixture you can get pure water or pure alcohol until the concn becomes 96/4 and the rest of the pot comes over at that concn.

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