What Are Some Processes Used to Separate the Components of a Mixture?

Some processes used to separate the components of mixtures are distillation, filtration, evaporation, chromatography and extraction. All of these processes rely on differences in the physical properties of the components to accomplish the separation.

Filtration separates soluble solids from insoluble. The soluble solid is dissolved in water, and the mixture is filtered. The insoluble solid is left behind. Evaporation recovers the soluble solid.

Extraction uses polar and nonpolar solvents to separate components based on their polarities. The two solvents layer rather than mix, like oil and water. Polar components stay in the nonpolar solvent. Nonpolar components remain in the nonpolar solvent. The solids are reclaimed by separating the two layers of solvent and evaporating.

Distillation separates liquids based on their boiling points.

Chromatography separates substances based on their polarities or their sizes.