Separation Techniques

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Separation techniques are an important part of chemistry. However, their importance is not just limited to chemistry; they are also used in our daily lives. Separation techniques are methods used to separate and/or purify mixtures. There are many kinds of separation techniques that are used in our day to day life, such as filtration, Centrifuging, Decanting, fractional distillation and sieving. Each of these methods has their own specific uses in our daily lives which make our chores much easier to carry out.

Filtration is one of the most commonly used separation technique in a household. This method uses a funnel outlined by a sieve called the filter to separate the solid “residue” from the liquid “filtrate.” Filtration is useful
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Decanting also takes up a lot of time and hence it may become a hassle. Sieving requires a sieve that is strong enough and has the right sized holes, however not all particles are able to be separated by just one type of sieve hence it may become a problem. However, the greatest problems that arise are those related to fractional distillation. One of the problems is oil spillage. Crude oil’s separation is done near seas and water bodies, if the distillation is improper or if the apparatus breaks in the process, the oil will spill into the bodies and make them toxic.

However, science and technology have played a major role in addressing this issue by finding preventive and safer methods to perform the fractional distillation of crude oil. One method is that of secondary containment. The oil is not only stored in one place, but in several secondary containers as well to prevent the release of too much toxic substances. Another method is that of double-hulling, which is lining the inside of the apparatus with another layer so as to prevent easy breakage of the apparatus, hence reducing chances for heavy oil spillage.

An individual as well as the industry can also play parts in dealing with drawbacks of the separation techniques. As an individual, we can spread awareness to these shortcomings so that someone may try to find a solution t o the issues. The industry can make more eco friendly products (e.g.
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