Theory:

Simple distillation method is used to extract a liquid from a solution i.e separating the solvent that dissolves substances from a solute - the substance that had dissolved.
Principle: The objective of the distillation process is to obtain the pure form of liquid from the solution. Distillation is the combination process of evaporation and condensation.
 Evaporation + Condensation = Distillation
shutterstock1607802430.jpg
Simple distillation setup
Simple distillation works well when the substances to be separated have entirely different boiling points, such as salt and water. Water (Boiling point \(100\ °C\)) and propanone (boiling point \(60\ °C\)), but it is an overly simplistic process for separating a mixture of liquids, particularly when the boiling points of the constituents are near.
Function:
  • The solution is heated to vaporise the liquid. The water is used to cool the liquid's hot steam; then, it is condensed into pure liquid. 
  • Initially, we heat the solution to vaporise the liquid. To cool it down the hot stream of the liquid, we use water. Then, it condensed into pure liquid.
Example:
Let us see how we can separate the solution of acetone and water.

Step 1: Fill a distillation flask halfway with the mixture.

Step 2: Set up the apparatus as show in the figure.

Step 3: Slowly heat the mixture, keeping an eye on the thermometer.

Step 4: Acetone evaporates, condenses in the condenser, and is deposited at the condenser outlet.
 
shutterstock1657517269.jpg
Simple distillation

Observation: In the distillation flask, water is left behind.
 
shutterstock_510364915.jpg

Result: The boiling point of acetone is \(56°C\), and water is \(100°C\). Therefore, acetone evaporates faster compared to water when heated. Thus, finally, the mixture of acetone and water is separated with the help of simple distillation.
Application:
  • There is a piece of evidence that humans were using the distillation process since \(3000\) BC (approximately). This process is used to make a distilled water.
  • Few countries use the distillation process to convert seawater into drinking water
  • This process also used to refine the crude oil and to purify the alcohol, and more.
Advantages of simple distillation over fractional distillation:
  • This process is faster compared to fractional distillation.
  • It requires less energy input.
  • The apparatus is simpler and cost-effective.
Simple distillation