Question
Tue August 23, 2011 By: Aditi Sharma

How is a seperating funnel different from a regular one?

Expert Reply
Wed August 24, 2011

A separating funnel (also called a separation funnel) is a piece of laboratory equipment made mostly of glass and is used to separate two liquids that usually are very hard to separate, for example, Oil and Water.If two liquids do not mix, they form two separate layers and are known as immiscible liquids (e.g. oil/water). This is illustrated in the diagram on the left, where the lower grey liquid will be denser than the upper layer of the yellow liquid and shows how you can separate these two liquids using a separating funnel. A mixture of oil and water is put into a separating funnel and then shaken and then left until it becomes stable again. The liquid with higher density, in this case water goes to the bottom of the separating funnel (because it is heavier than oil).When this is done, the bottom of the Separating funnel is opened and the water flows out, leaving only the oil left.

 

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