Fractionating Column Condensers are used to cool vapour and convert it back to a liquid. The liquid is either returned to the mother liquor or collected in a receiver. A variety of styles are available, the main principle being to increase the surface area of glass to aid more efficient condensation. Some are specified for particular proceedures.
The liebig condenser is the basic option, and is used for normal distillation and reflux. The Allihn and Graham condenser are used when there is a larger volume of vapour to be condensed. The Davies condenser, or double condenser is used with sovents with a low boiling point such as ether. The Thorpe condenser is used when only a small volume of vapour is being produced, but a high capture rate is required.
Finally the fractionating columns are used to separate two or more liquids with different boiling points: in practice separation rates are usually only partial with these simple glass condensers.
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