New Word of the Week

by Janie Jones

Azeotrope:

A mixture of two, or sometimes more, liquids which, due to boiling points, cannot achieve 100% separation during distillation. 

For example, we learned about this in our last chem lab yesterday in distilling, as our Chem teacher so quaintly put, Moonshine.

I only achieved 1 mL of “Moonshine,” more scientifically known as ethanol, I hear my other classmates got between 1 mL and 2 mLs.  However, we’re not graded on quantity as much as whether or not we managed to achieve a relatively “pure” substance.  As azeotropic mixtures cannot be completely separated during distillation, the best you can hope for is 95% pure.  My sample was between 90 and 95%.

Anyway, that’s was my last chem lab of the semester.  Huzzah!  Unfortunately Chem Teacher gives cumulative finals.  It is a great feeling to be done with labs for the semester, but still the task of studying for the final is looming, and I really want to ace this final.  Have I mentioned I’m just two points from an A in the class?  So, over the next few days I’ll be studying my pa-tootie off.

And, peppering my conversations with my new word for the week.  Azeotrope.  Now you too can all sound way geeky-cool using that word in your every day conversation.  Just don’t confuse your azeotropes with your asymptotes.

 

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