fractional distillation WORD ORIGIN noun Chemistry. the separation of volatile components of different boiling points in a mixture by the gradual increase of temperature and the separate collection of each component.
Origin of fractional distillation First recorded in 1855–60 Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 British Dictionary definitions for fractional distillation fractional distillation noun the process of separating the constituents of a liquid mixture by heating it and condensing separately the components according to their different boiling points a distillation in which the vapour is brought into contact with a countercurrent of condensed liquid to increase the purity of the final products Sometimes shortened to: distillation Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 fractional distillation in Science fractional distillation A process by which a chemical compound is separated into components by distillation. In fractional distillation the compound is heated and, as each of its constituent components comes to a boil, its vapors are separated and cooled, so it can be removed in its pure form. Fractional distillation is used to refine petroleum. See also distillation. The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.