Fractional Distillation: Separate a liquid mixture into its fractions Virtual Lab

Learn how to separate a mixture of liquids into its pure components through fractional distillation. Partner with our lab assistant Dr. One to learn how to use a fractionating column and set up a successful distillation!

  • University / College
taylors_university
essex_university
ottawa_university
arizona_university

Labster is used by 1000s of amazing schools and universities

Learn more

About This Simulation

How do we separate homogeneous mixtures of liquids with similar boiling points? In this simulation, you will learn how to turn a mix of toluene and cyclohexane into its pure components through fractional distillation. Together with Dr. One, you will overcome the limitations of a simple distillation apparatus by adding a fractionating column.

Go beyond simple distillation

When the components of a homogeneous liquid mixture have similar boiling points, you cannot separate them entirely by simple distillation. You will, therefore, use a secret weapon: a fractionating column! When vapors move up through this column, they go through multiple cycles of evaporation and condensation. With each cycle, the vapors get increasingly rich in one component, which means that you can collect a pure product at the end of the apparatus.

Separate the mixture with fractional distillation

You will follow the mixture on its journey through the fractional distillation apparatus. You can choose to explore and learn about every part: from the distilling flask at the start, the fractionating column and condenser, to the receiving flask at the end.

Use the Lever rule to optimize the process

To visualize the journey of the mixture through the apparatus, you will use boiling point vs. composition diagrams. While these diagrams are powerful on their own, you will learn how to extract additional information from them by using the Lever rule. Are you able to predict the purity and amount of the escaping vapors? And have we chosen the appropriate procedural parameters for a successful distillation?

Explore Fractional Distillation: Separate a liquid mixture into its fractions Virtual Lab Simulation

Lab view
Distillation process
Boiling point vs Composition
Boiling point vs Composition 2

How do virtual labs work?

Engage students in science through interactive learning scenarios. Simulate experiments, train lab techniques, and teach theory through visual experiences that enhance long-term learning outcomes.

  • 250+ Web-based simulations that can be played on laptops and tablets without installing any software

  • Teacher dashboard to automate grading and track student progress

  • Embedded quizzes to help students master science content

  • Library of learning resources, lab reports, videos, theory pages, graphics and more

Get started now!
You can explore and assign simulations to your students right away.

  • Access to over 250 Labster simulations for free.
  • Exclusive educator access to all of Labster Course Manager content.
  • 30 days for free, no credit card needed.
  • Invite your students to play simulations and get their feedback.
course manager

Integrate with your LMS

Labster integrates with all major LMS (Learning Management Systems) so that educators can use their gradebooks to track students’ performance data and students can keep a record of their work. Labster is compatible with Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Google Classroom, Schoology, Sakai, and Brightspace / D2L. It’s also possible to use Labster without an LMS.

Learn more
lms-blackboard-logo
lms-clever-logo
lms-canvas-logo
lms-moodle-logo
lms-google-logo
lms-sakai-logo
lms-brightspace-logo
lms-classlink-logo
lms-schoology-logo