The goal of this project is to separate pure water from fruit juice using a
simple stovetop distillation apparatus.
This project uses the technique of distillation. Distillation is when
you boil a liquid, and then capture the vapor that escapes from the liquid and
cool it. The cooled vapor condenses back into liquid. The condensed liquid is
called the distillate. Do you think this process changes the liquid?
What if the liquid you boil has substances dissolved in it? For example, what
if you started with a solution of sugar water? If you boiled the sugar water,
you know from experience that there would be steam rising up from the pot on the
stove. If you condensed that steam back into liquid, do you think the condensed
liquid (the distillate) would contain sugar or not?
In this project, you will learn how to build a simple stove top distillation
apparatus with stuff that you probably have in your kitchen right now. All you
need is a deep pot with a sloping lid, a coffee cup, a bowl, some ice, and a
stove. Of course, you'll also need a liquid to distill. Colored fruit juice will
work fine, or you could make a solution of sugar water. Add food coloring to it
if you like. The Experimental Procedure section, below, shows you how to put it
all together to find out what happens.
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background
To do this project, you should do research that enables you to understand
the following terms and concepts:
- Boiling point
- Phases of matter:
- What happens to solute molecules when the solvent evaporates or boils?
- How will the distillate compare to the original juice for: