So recently I was performing an esterification reaction of oils like peanut oil or any neutral oil where I got some products which are only possible to filter using fractional distillation. I already have a setup for simple distillation and I even have condensers like Liebig, Allihn and Graham. Still, unfortunately, prior to this reaction I haven't purchased a Vigreux column and since the cost of the Vigreux column is a bit out of budget. Is there any safe alternative for doing fractional distillation without the Vigreux column or is it worth purchasing Vigreux column for fractional distillation?

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    $\begingroup$ "which are only possible to filter using fractional distillation" is a contradiction. Either you filter, to separate solids from liquids, or you distill, which is a separation of liquids by different boiling points. Second, too little information about the product (perhaps it solidifies over time/can crystallize out) or scale (if the reaction is large enough, one may pack a column with beads of glass, though the dead volume is much larger than the one of a Vigreux column). Third fractional in fractional distillation is about the receiver, not the column on top of the round bottom flask. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Feb 9, 2023 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ So fractional is more about how you proceed in gently heating the mixture to separate in first place. Depending on scale, and difference of the boiling points of the liquids to separate at a given pressure, a distillation may be performed well enough without a column at all, too. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Feb 9, 2023 at 17:47


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