The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Fractional Distillation

In this worksheet, students will explore fractional distillation. Plastics, petrol, diesel, tar - the world would be a very different place without them. These are just a few of the chemicals produced from crude oil which needs fractional distillation to separate them.

'Fractional Distillation' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Pure and Impure Substances

Curriculum subtopic:   Separating Mixtures

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Fractional distillation can be used to separate a mixture of compounds with different boiling points such as crude oil or air. 

 

Air is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and some other gases. The composition of air is shown in the pie chart below.

 

Pie chart of gases of the air

 

To separate this mixture the air must be cooled to -200 oC, which turns it into a liquid. It is then warmed up slowly and each of the liquids boil off at a different temperature and can be collected and removed. 

 

Distillation of liquid air

 

Fractional distillation can also be used to separate crude oil into the many compounds that it is made up of. This is very important as crude oil contains some very useful compounds such as petrol and diesel. The products of fractional distillation are shown in the diagram below:

 

Fractional distillation of crude oil

 

Use this activity to find out more about this method of separating mixtures of liquids.

Which of the following is the process used to produce petrol from crude oil?

filtration

fractional distillation

evaporation

Which gas is the main component of air?

nitrogen

oxygen

carbon dioxide

Distillation of air can be used to separate the gases in air. The air must first be turned into a liquid. What temperature is air cooled to before distillation takes place?

 

-2°C

-20°C

-200°C

Which of the following is produced from the distillation of crude oil? Tick three boxes.

petrol

gas

coal

diesel oil

glass

Which of the following is produced from the distillation of air? Tick two boxes.

oxygen

water

hydrogen

nitrogen

chlorine

Match each of the substances to the raw material that they can be produced from. 

Column A

Column B

aviation fuel
air
petrol
crude oil
oxygen
crude oil
nitrogen
crude oil
lubricating oil
crude oil
plastics
air

Which of the products from fractional distillation is not used as a fuel?

natural gas

petrol

residue

List the fractions produced from crude oil in order of increasing boiling points

 Highest Boiling PointLowest Boiling point
Residue
Natural Gas
  • Question 1

Which of the following is the process used to produce petrol from crude oil?

CORRECT ANSWER
fractional distillation
EDDIE SAYS
Fractional distillation separates crude oil into fractions that can be used to produce many products.
  • Question 2

Which gas is the main component of air?

CORRECT ANSWER
nitrogen
EDDIE SAYS
The air we breathe contains about 80% nitrogen gas.
  • Question 3

Distillation of air can be used to separate the gases in air. The air must first be turned into a liquid. What temperature is air cooled to before distillation takes place?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
-200°C
EDDIE SAYS
The air is cooled to -200°C before being slowed warmed and the different components collected as they turn into a gas. That's because at -200°C all the various components of air are liquids, all mixed together, since that temperature is lower than their boiling points.
  • Question 4

Which of the following is produced from the distillation of crude oil? Tick three boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
petrol
gas
diesel oil
EDDIE SAYS
The distillation of crude oil can be used to produce many products.
  • Question 5

Which of the following is produced from the distillation of air? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
oxygen
nitrogen
EDDIE SAYS
Air is made of mostly nitrogen and oxygen and so these gases are produced when the air is separated.
  • Question 6

Match each of the substances to the raw material that they can be produced from. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

aviation fuel
crude oil
petrol
crude oil
oxygen
air
nitrogen
air
lubricating oil
crude oil
plastics
crude oil
EDDIE SAYS
Crude oil is used to produce lots of products but the distillation of air is used to produced nitrogen and oxygen only.
  • Question 7

Which of the products from fractional distillation is not used as a fuel?

CORRECT ANSWER
residue
EDDIE SAYS
The residue fraction is combined with small stones to create tar for our roads and pavements. Most of the fractions produced from crude oil are burned as fuels.
  • Question 8

List the fractions produced from crude oil in order of increasing boiling points

CORRECT ANSWER
 Highest Boiling PointLowest Boiling point
Residue
Natural Gas
EDDIE SAYS
Residue has a high boiling point and is collected as a liquid rather than a gas from fractional distillation.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.