Difference Between Distillation and Extraction

Main Difference

The main difference between distillation and extraction is that distillation purifies the substance that is in a liquid mixture, whereas extraction purifies the substance that is either in a liquid or solid phase.

Distillation vs. Extraction

Distillation is the method of purifying a liquid by the process of heating and cooling, whereas extraction is the procedure of extracting something, particularly using force and effort. Distillation practices the difference in a mixture between boiling points of chemical components, while extraction practices the different solubilities of some substances in two different phases. As a measure of the point of separation, distillation uses the relative volatility; on the other hand, as a measure of the degree of separation, extraction uses the selective solubility. Distillation is done only for liquid phase mixtures; on the contrary, extraction is done for solid-phase mixtures and liquid phase mixtures. The apparatus used in distillation is a distillation apparatus, while extraction is done by using a separatory funnel. Distillation method is used in chemical and petroleum industry, in the fractional distillation of crude oil production; conversely, extraction is used to isolate organic compounds such as aniline, phenol and nitrated aromatic compounds from water and essential oils, flavors, and pharmaceuticals.

Comparison Chart

DistillationExtraction
Distillation is the method of purifying a liquid by the process of heating and cooling.Extraction is the procedure of extracting something, particularly using force and effort.
Technique
Practices the difference in a mixture between boiling points of chemical componentsPractices the different solubilities of some components in two phases
Degrees of Separation
Uses the relative volatilityUses the selective solubility
Phases
Done only for liquid phase mixturesDone for solid-phase mixtures and liquid phase mixtures
Apparatus
Distillation apparatusSeparatory funnel
Uses
They are used in the chemical and petroleum industry, in the fractional distillation of crude oil production.They are used to isolate organic compounds such as aniline, phenol, and nitrated aromatic compounds from water and essential oils, flavors, and pharmaceuticals.

What is Distillation?

Distillation is the method of purifying a liquid by the process of heating and cooling. This method practices the difference in a mixture between boiling points of chemical components. In a gaseous mixture, gases can also be distilled in gaseous mixture by liquefying the gases. This distillation method better works for liquid mixtures having components containing significantly different boiling points. As different substances have different boiling points, therefore when the liquid mixture is heated, different substances present in that mixture changed into different gases at different temperatures. As we cool down the temperature, different components can be collected that are condensed at different temperatures. The procedure of distillation is followed by heating the liquid mixture, and then the evaporated substance goes through the plastic tube. At the end of the plastic tube, the condensing is completed by passing cool water in the outer walls of the plastic tube. After that, condensation of gases occurs in the tube wall, transferring the heat of the gases to the cool water. As a result, the water becomes warm. The substance which is then condensed is collected at the end of the tube. Distillation method is used in the chemical and petroleum industry, in the fractional distillation of crude oil production.

Types

  • Simple Distillation: Used to distinct two liquid substances having a significant difference in their boiling points.
  • Fractional Distillation: Used to separate fractions of hydrocarbon in crude oil
  • Steam Distillation: Used to isolate heat-sensitive substances
  • Vacuum Distillation: Used to separate substances having very high boiling points

What is Extraction?

Extraction is the procedure of extracting something, particularly using force and effort. Extraction is done for solid-phase separation and liquid-liquid separation. The concept used in this extraction is the distribution of a material in two different phases. Extraction is done by using the apparatus ‘separatory funnel.’ Two phases like an aqueous solvent and an organic solvent are used in liquid-liquid extraction method. First, the aqueous liquid mixture is added that is going to be separated. Then the extracting apparatus Separatory funnel is filled with an organic phase and an aqueous phase. The funnel is then carefully shaken several times and then allowed to stand for a few minutes with the cover of the funnel opened. Then collect the two layers in two different containers. The separation must be done several times to get accurate results. At the end of the procedure, the required substance is in the organic phase. Then we can evaporate or use another technique to obtain the pure substance from this organic phase. Extraction is used to isolate organic compounds such as aniline, phenol, and nitrated aromatic compounds from water and essential oils, flavors, and pharmaceuticals.

Types

  • Solid-liquid Extraction: It involves extrication a substance from a solid using a solvent.
  • Liquid-liquid Extraction: It involves separating a substance from a liquid using a solvent.

Key Differences

  1. Distillation is the method of purifying a liquid by the process of heating and cooling, whereas extraction is the procedure of extracting something, particularly using force and effort.
  2. Distillation practices the difference in a mixture between boiling points of chemical components, while extraction practices the different solubilities of some substances in two different phases.
  3. As a measure of the point of separation, distillation uses the relative volatility; on the other hand, as a measure of the degree of separation, extraction uses the selective solubility.
  4. Distillation is done only for liquid phase mixtures; on the contrary, extraction is done for solid-phase mixtures and liquid phase mixtures.
  5. The apparatus used in distillation is a distillation apparatus, while extraction is done by using a separatory funnel.
  6. Distillation method is used in chemical and petroleum industry, in the fractional distillation of crude oil production; conversely, extraction is used to isolate organic compounds such as aniline, phenol and nitrated aromatic compounds from water and essential oils, and pharmaceuticals.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that distillation purifies the substance that is in a liquid mixture, whereas extraction purifies the substance that is either in a liquid or solid phase.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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