Distillation is the process to separate a liquid into its separate components. These components differ in their boiling points. Distillation is based on the fact that the vapour of a boiling mixture will be richer in the components that have lower boiling points.

Therefore, when this vapour is cooled and condensed, the "condensate" will contain more volatile (quickly condensing) components. At the same time, the original mixture will contain more of the less volatile material.

Distillation columns are designed to achieve this separation efficiently.
Distillation is the most common separation technique. It consumes enormous amounts of energy, both in terms of cooling and heating requirements.

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