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Distillation Process The apparatus for a simple distillation is shown at left. The liquid mixture is placed in a flask called the distillation flask (or the pot) that is fitted with a distillation head. Attached to the distillation head is a condenser (a glass tube with a jacket around it through which cold water circulates) that leads to a receiver where the distillate is collected. The liquid in the distillation flask is heated until it reaches its boiling point. The hot vapors above the boiling liquid rise through the distillation head and enter the condenser. When the vapor enters the condenser, whose walls are cooled by the jacket of cold water, it cools and condenses back to a liquid called the distillate or condensate. The pure distillate flows through the condenser and is collected in the receiver; any nonvolatile components in the original liquid remain behind in the pot. During the distillation of a pure liquid (or a mixture that contains a nonvolatile component), the vapor and the liquid are at equilibrium. Since the composition of the vapor phase and the volatile liquid phase remains constant throughout the distillation, the temperature of the vapor will also remain constant. A thermometer placed in the vapor above a boiling liquid measures the boiling point of the liquid being distilled. Receiver Water out Water in Boiling Chips Distilling flask Still head Thermometer Opening to air Condenser