A method used to separate individual liquids from a mixture of liquids.

When the mixture is gradually heated, substances boil and leave the mixture in the gas state. Each one is then cooled and condensed back to its liquid state. The method relies on the different liquids having different boiling points. The substance with the lowest boiling point leaves first and the one with the highest boiling point leaves last. Each individual component is called a “fraction” because it is just a part of the original mixture.

Fractional distillation is commonly used to separate crude oil into fractions such as petrol (gasoline) and diesel oil.

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