the separation of volatile components of different boiling points in a mixture by the gradual increase of temperature and the separate collection of each component.
Origin of fractional distillation
First recorded in 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for fractional distillation
the process of separating the constituents of a liquid mixture by heating it and condensing separately the components according to their different boiling points
a distillation in which the vapour is brought into contact with a countercurrent of condensed liquid to increase the purity of the final products
Sometimes shortened to: distillation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Science definitions for fractional distillation
A process by which a chemical compound is separated into components by distillation. In fractional distillation the compound is heated and, as each of its constituent components comes to a boil, its vapors are separated and cooled, so it can be removed in its pure form. Fractional distillation is used to refine petroleum. See also distillation.
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