Separatory Funnel Extraction

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A separatory funnel is often used to remove a compound from a mixture (called phase 1) by mixing it with a different solvent (called phase 2) that is immiscible (will not mix) with phase 1. The partition coefficient of the compound is the solubility of the compound in phase 2 divided by the solubility of the compound in phase 1. Thus a phase 2 that has the greatest partition coefficient will be chosen to extract the compound. The best way to extract a compound from a mixture is to use either a phase 2 for which the compound is very soluble (seen by increasing the partition coefficient) or a greater volume of phase 2 compared to phase 1.


A large number of extractions with smaller volumes is more efficient then a single extraction with a large phase 2 volume, as you can see in the bar graph tab as the number of extractions is increased.


Contributed by: Alla Ahmad (June 2016)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



To learn more about separatory funnels, see [1].


[1] University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Extraction." (Jun 17, 2016)

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