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?


1 Answer 1


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? $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2017 at 17:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AaronJohnSabu No, because the boiling point of the azeotrope is lower than that of water. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2017 at 18:13

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