National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology, acknowledging the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge.
It aims to encourage an interest in science among the general public, particularly younger people.
To do our part, Xavier High School’s Year 11 Chemistry class conducted an experiment to separate ethanol – the alcohol in alcoholic drinks – from water.
The mixture is heated in a flask. Ethanol has a lower boiling point than water so it evaporates first. The ethanol vapour is then cooled and condensed inside the condenser to form a pure liquid. The thermometer shows the boiling point of the pure ethanol liquid. When all the ethanol has evaporated from the solution, the temperature rises and the water evaporates.