Why Is It Not Recommended to Distill a Solution to Dryness?

It is not recommended to distill a solution to dryness because the residue left in the distillation flask can cause an ignition or an explosion. A similar consequence can occur if joints of the apparatus are not tightly secured.

Safety precautions are important when carrying out both simple and fractional distillations, as the individuals carrying out the experiment and those in surrounding areas can be harmed. To start with, distillation experiments should be carried out in spacious and well-ventilated areas. Where there is a free flow of air, there is less room for harmful vapors to accumulate.

Fire-fighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers, should be within reach when carrying out distillation experiments. This is an important precaution, especially when working with flammable liquids such as ethanol. Safely collect the distillate and do not smoke to minimize the risk of fire hazards.

While carrying out a distillation experiment, it is advised that the temperature be monitored constantly, so that the liquids do not boil uncontrollably. Where the source of heat is electrical, it is recommended that a circuit breaker be installed on the electrical line. Also, closed systems should never be heated because the glass can explode due to increasing pressure.