Simple Distillation VS Fractional Distillation

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_John
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We carried out an experiment. A tin of beer was taken, some of it was distilled using simple distillation and some was distilled using fractional distillation. We then used a series of calculations to calculate the value the % of ethanol in the tin. We then compared the value on the tin to our calculated value. Which method, simple distillation or fractional distillation would you expect to give a reading closer to the value on the tin and why?

Thanks for your help!
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by _John)
We carried out an experiment. A tin of beer was taken, some of it was distilled using simple distillation and some was distilled using fractional distillation. We then used a series of calculations to calculate the value the % of ethanol in the tin. We then compared the value on the tin to our calculated value. Which method, simple distillation or fractional distillation would you expect to give a reading closer to the value on the tin and why?

Thanks for your help!
Think about what the difference between fractional and simple distillation. Remember that beer is not simple made out of ethanol and water, but has many other constituent liquids, some of which have boiling points below that of ethanol.
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_John
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Think about what the difference between fractional and simple distillation. Remember that beer is not simple made out of ethanol and water, but has many other constituent liquids, some of which have boiling points below that of ethanol.
So you would expect fractional distillation to give a more accurate % of ethanol? I don't think I understand fully, why simple distillation can only separate two mixtures and fractional distillation can separate many mixtures. In the experiment we did we used packing beads in the fractioning column for the fractional distillation, I don't understand why that would stop the constituent liquids distilling into the collecting beaker. Basically what i'm trying to ask is why do the packing beads in the fractioning column change whats collected in the collecting beaker in fractional distillation compared to whats collected in the simple distillation?

Thanks for your help!
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charco
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(Original post by _John)
We carried out an experiment. A tin of beer was taken, some of it was distilled using simple distillation and some was distilled using fractional distillation. We then used a series of calculations to calculate the value the % of ethanol in the tin. We then compared the value on the tin to our calculated value. Which method, simple distillation or fractional distillation would you expect to give a reading closer to the value on the tin and why?

Thanks for your help!
Hey, you've done the experiment.. what did you find?
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