On the Nature of Azeotropes

[caption id="attachment_4850" align="alignright" width="440"] Russian Vodka Still[/caption] Definition: azeotropes are a specific mixture of compounds that boil together as if they were a single substance, at constant temperature. Individual Boiling Points In most instances, liquids boil as pure substances at a specific temperature. It is this property that allows boiling (as a physical property) to be used as a means of separation. For instance, an ester may be produced by reacting an organic acid and an alcohol. The resultant ester may usually be separated by boiling from excess alcohol or excess acid. Yet, Occasionally In some instances, however, as for example in the case of ethyl alcohol and water, there may be a mixture that distills over, instead of a pure substance. Thus a “mixture” of approximately 95.6% alcohol and…
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