I read from a source that aniline and water can be separated by steam distillation. But isn't this senseless as steam distillation will simply add more water and make separation more difficult?


Can't we just distill the aniline off?

The boiling point of aniline is around 180 °C. Remember that water boils at 100 °C.

Do water and aniline mix?

Yes, but the solubility of aniline in water is rather low (around $\pu{30 g/l}$).

What's the advantage of the steam distillation?

Aniline and water form an azeotrope with a boiling point around 98 °C.

  • $\begingroup$ Can't we just distll the water off? $\endgroup$ – Aaron John Sabu Mar 28 '17 at 17:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AaronJohnSabu No, because the boiling point of the azeotrope is lower than that of water. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 28 '17 at 18:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.