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I am aware that there are better ways to purify acetic acid out of a water-acid mixture than these, but which one out of distillation (using heat) and fractional freezing (using cold) would gain a higher concentration of acetic acid?

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  • $\begingroup$ With the correct equipment and technique distillation of the vinegar will produce glacial acetic acid however things can seem easier in theory than in practice. Freeze precipitation and centrifuge may also produce glacial acetic acid from vinegar but again this might not be so easy without access to the right equipment. $\endgroup$ – Technetium May 9 '16 at 6:26
  • $\begingroup$ Related: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/2506/… $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin May 9 '16 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Ivan Neretin , the link suggest the acid be approximately 72% for fractional crystallisation . The household vinegar wouldnt be anywhere near this concentration? $\endgroup$ – Technetium May 9 '16 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ That's just an approximation intended to explain how eutectics work. But anyway, typical household vinegar is of course less concentrated than needed for fractional freezing. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin May 9 '16 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ I think that would be an awfully overcomplicated and expensive method (and dangerous too, in case of beryllium). Also, it probably wouldn't work anyway. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin May 9 '16 at 13:10
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There is no acetic acid/water azeotrope, so distillation can produce glacial (pure) acetic acid.

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    $\begingroup$ Freezing can do the same, once you've got a mixture more enriched with acid than eutectics. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin May 9 '16 at 8:57

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