A mixture of two liquids that has a constant boiling point and composition throughout distillation.
- Ethyl acetate and ethanol form azeotropes - liquids whose boiling point, and hence composition, does not change as vapour escapes on boiling.
- An azeotrope is a mixture with a constant boiling point that cannot be separated by distillation.
- The industrial use of azeotropes to distill or purify mixtures of liquids is one of the more important aspects in any distillation process.
- Example sentences
- Azeotropes or azeotropic mixtures occur for a number of important chemical compounds but perhaps the most important is the ethanol-water mixture.
- Acetaldehyde, acetic acid, ethyl acetate and the fusel oils all tend to form azeotropic mixtures with the water and ethanol of the wine.
- To prevent fraud, chemists measure the moisture content of the spice using azeotropic distillation to detect the possible addition of water, which can be added in an attempt to increase an oil's perceived value.
Early 20th century: from a-1 'without' + Greek zein 'to boil' + tropos 'turning'.
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