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Explain about azeotropic distillation.

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The mixture of liquids that cannot be separated by fractional distillation can be purified by azeotropic distillation. The mixture are called azeotropes. These azeotropes are constant boiling mixture which distill as a single component at a fixed temperature for example ethanol and water in the ratio of 95.87: 4.13.

In this method, the presence of a third component C6H6 , CCl4 , ether, glycol glycerol which act as dehydrating agent depress the partial pressure of one component of azeotropic mixture and raises the boiling point of that component and thus the other component will distil over. Substance like C6H6, CCl4 have low b.pt. and reduce the partial vapour pressure of alcohol more than that of water while substance like glycerol and glycol have high boiling point and reduce the partial vapour pressure of water more than that of alcohol.

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