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Distilling Water
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Recall: Boiling point is the temperature at which a liquid boils and vaporizes.

Credit: Saltanat ebli
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sterile_distilled_water_02.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Pure distilled water [Figure1]

Have you ever taken a glance at bottle of drinking water and noticed the words “distilled water”? Chances are the water that you were looking at originally came from the ocean, but was distilled in order to make it drinkable! The purpose of distillation is to remove impurities from water. To do this sea water-- or other types of impure water-- is boiled. Because water has a lower boiling point than the salt and other impurities dissolved in it, the steam boiled off in the distilling process will be pure water. The steam is then collected and condensed into liquid water. This water can then be consumed or used in experimentation.

Creative Applications

1. What is the boiling point of pure water?

2. Why does seawater have a higher boiling point than pure water?

3. The boiling point of NaCl is 1413 degrees Celsius. Why would heating seawater at a temperature of 1450 degrees Celsius not be desirable in distilling water?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Saltanat ebli; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sterile_distilled_water_02.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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