Distillation of Wood Lab
Purpose: To see what happens when you heat wood splints in a test
tube without burning them.
15 wood splints
4 large test tubes
2 400 ml beakers
2 pieces of glass tubing bent at 90 degrees
2 test tube stoppers with no holes
2-holed test tube stopper
single holed test tube stopper
1 meter rubber tubing
stand for test tube
Caution: Be careful around an open flame. Do not point the
propane tank or test tubes at anybody.
Fill one of the test tubes with the splints. If they are too long,
use scissors to shorten them. Close tube with single holed stopper.
Use stand to hold vertically.
Fill beaker with cold water.
Place 2-holed stopper in a test tube. Insert a piece of glass tubing
in each hole. Insert the other end of one of the pieces of tubing
in hole of single holed stopper.
Place test tube with the 2-holed stopper in beaker of cold water.
Light propane tank and heat test tube strongly. CAUTION: Be careful
when working with a flame. Do not point flame at anyone.
Light wood splint and test if gas from wood is flammable. Turn off
Attach rubber tube to end of glass tube that gas one open end.
Fill bucket with water.
Place other end of rubber tube in beaker. Place beaker underwater
in bucket and let it fill. Place upside down in bucket.
When beaker is filled with gas disconnect rubber tube and relight gas from
test tube and keep burning as long as possible.
What happens when you first heat the wood splints? It forms a gas
Will the gas burn? Yes
Does heating the gas produce one or more liquids? Yes, it forms two
1. Is there one liquid or more than one?
2. Is the liquid in the right hand test tube the same as that in
the left hand one?
3. What happens if you mix everything together?
4. Could you predict just by looking at and handling the wood, that
all these gases and liquids can be obtained from it?
5. Can you get the wood back by mixing the mateial you have collected?
6. Were these substances there all the time, or were they formed
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