In a distillation apparatus, why is the receiving flask emersed in a cold water bath?

I have an Ochem lab quiz tomorrow and think this could be a question...i can not find the answer anywhere but I am sure it is simple. Thanks for your help!

Update:

right..immersed thanks..

that makes a lot of sense

3 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The word you're looking for is "immersed".

    I think it's because, when you go to all the trouble to distill a liquid, you want the distillate to stay as pure as possible. Distilling alcohol from water, for instance, relies on heating the wash to a temperature between the boiling points of alcohol and water. Most of what evaporates is alcohol, and it's then chilled to condense it on the other end. But, it's still above room temperature, and alcohol evaporates more easily than water (just like it boils at a lower temp). So if you chill the receiving flask, that minimizes loss of the distillate.

  • 1 decade ago

    If the material you are distilling has a fairly low boiling point, keeping the receiver cool will reduce loss of the distillate by evaporation. Cooling the receiver is even more important if you are doing vacuum distillation, or using a rotary evaporator.

  • 1 decade ago

    To keep the temperature constant.

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