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Safety precautions to be taken in fractional distillation of petroleum

  1. Jul 25, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    My textbook states that one of the safety precautions to be taken in the fractional distillation of petroleum(in school laboratory) is using a small flame to heat the rocksil(rocksil is soaked with petroleum),and avoil using stationary flame for heating.
    Can anyone explain?


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    I guess the reason of using a small flame is to avoid the breaking of test tube(test tube is used to hold the rocksil)?But I have no idea on why shouldn't we use a stationary flame for heating.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2012 #2
    I have attached a diagram.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  4. Jul 27, 2012 #3

    chemisttree

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    You have a flammable distillate and small apparatus. What might happen if you heat too strongly?
     
  5. Jul 28, 2012 #4
    So it will burn?
     
  6. Jul 28, 2012 #5

    chemisttree

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    Only if something bad happens. Think 'strong heat vs. gentle heat' in this small apparatus.
     
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