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WikiProject Chemistry (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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theoretical bias[edit]

this is a pretty good article explaining the theory and modes of reflux. it seems as though it could benefit with a few examples of the reflux typs. what do others think? Anlace 20:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Please elucidate what you mean by "examples of reflux typs". Did you mean types? What sort of examples ... in the text of the article or in images or photos or what? - mbeychok 21:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi. not necessarily images or photos, but rather more specific examples (in the text) of solvents and chemical reactions or more specificity of applications. for example one area that comes to mind is the use of reflux to study metal decomposition in the presence of various solvents. much of the history of this research goes back to the 1960s. the research i am most aware of features aluminum reaction in the presence of trichloroethylene. research progress was at a standstill until refluxing was used to accelerate the time scale and allow study of many different solvents and additives. this research was quite important in the development of stabilizers for TCE and other commercial solvents. Anlace 03:22, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that a few brief examples of the use of reflux in reaction chemistry might be useful ... as long as the use of reflux in industrial and laboratory distillations doesn't get overwhelmed by too much content on reaction chemistry. The alternative might be to have a completely separate article on the use of reflux to supply energy to chemical reactions. Unfortunately, I've seen too many articles get involved in heated confrontations when they start trying to cover too many techniques or technologies in one article.
Anlace, changing the subject entirely ... why are you reluctant to use capital letters to start sentences ?? :) Regards, - mbeychok 07:00, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
cause i can type faster and have more time for substance in articles :). so far avoiding using caps in talk pages has saved me approx 45 minutes of my life. enough time to write a small article.[citation needed] regards Anlace 17:39, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Reason for reverting spelling changes by[edit]

Wikipedia policy regarding words that have alternative spellings is that the spelling used in the earliest chronological introduction of such words in an article shall be used in that article from then on.

The originator of this article used U.S. English spellings rather than British English spellings when choosing to use the words "vapor" and "flavor" in creating this article. That means that U.S. English spellings are always to be retained in this article. It does not mean that either spelling is "right" or "wrong". It simply means that it is Wikipedia policy. - mbeychok 14:22, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Water Connections[edit]

Why is the "Water In" line always below the "Water Out" line? I've never really understood this. (talk) 01:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Putting the water in at the bottom (and out at the top) allows the whole condenser to completely fill with water, and thus gives a more efficient cooling surface. If you add the water from the top, then the water can simply gush out the bottom without necessarily filling the whole condenser. This may even force the user to use a rapid flow of water which is not necessary with a bottom filling method. There may be an extra advantage in that the coolest water contacts the vapour phase first. I've also had it suggested that having the water in at the bottom allows the water to be disconnected from the condenser more efficiently (i.e. the condenser empties more readily) when reflux is over, however, I'm not convinced this makes any odds, and in any event, it seems a trivial reason for insisting on such a filling method. -- Quantockgoblin (talk) 23:09, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the water inlet always be at the part of the column that is coldest? Thus achieving better cooling efficiency, the vapor will condense somewhat at the bottom but what doesn't condense will continue traveling upward through a warmer area of the condenser, this isn't good practice. In a reflux setup the condensers cold water should actually come in at the top therefore the warmer water is at the bottom and the coldest part of the condenser is at the top. There was an error in the image on this page that conveys the opposite the misconception here is that in a distillation apparatus the jacket is indeed filled bottom to top, however in reflux it should be filled top to bottom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:28, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Reflux in beverage distillation: Reference to Applejack[edit]

I removed this sentence as it seemed to contradict the previous one. Reflux stills prevent fusels in the distillate, so are not useful for products like Applejack.

I also removed the statement that higher MW means higher BP, this is not necessarily true: EtOH has a higher MW but lower BP than water. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bryanjjones (talkcontribs) 16:33, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


This should really be a disambig linking to all the subpages. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


The formatting of this article seems somewhat messy, as a new user I am somewhat unsure as to how this should be rectified. Images Seem somewhat ill-placed or overly large

--Wahmae (talk) 14:15, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

More in-line reference citations should be provided to have at least one for each section and preferably one for each paragraph.Thewellman (talk) 18:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
The formatting has been cleaned up. mbeychok (talk) 18:12, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the edit by on Oct, 24, 2012: Reflux is an important variable in the distillation process[edit]

The ratio of the reflux rate to the feed rate (or to the overhead distillate rate) controls the degree of separation between a distillation column's overhead and bottom products. Increasing the reflux ratio acts to increase the degree of separation ... and decreasing the reflux ratio acts to decrease the degree of separation. In that respect, the amount of reflux is a very important and integral part of the distillation process. It therefore correct to state that it is a "distillation technique". The same holds true for many (if not most) laboratory distillations as well.

It is naive of to say that "reflux is not a distillation technique because the vapors condense back into the flask instead of distilling out of it". The use of the word "flask" indicates that is talking about laboratory distillations. In the industrial world, the degree of separation in all of the dozens of distillation columns in a petroleum refinery or a petrochemical plant are controlled by controlling the reflux ratio. It is simply incorrect to state that reflux is not a distillation technique.

I know that reflux has other meanings as well (for example: Gastroesophageal reflux disease) and that is why there is a link to Reflux (disambiguation) at the top of the article.

For the rationale provided herein, I removed the edit by and he has since reverted my removal. I am again removing the edit by and ask that he/she cease and desist reverting my removal. mbeychok (talk) 05:01, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Reflux as a Distillation Technique[edit]

The fact that reflux is used as a component of distillation does not make it a distillation technique. That would be like saying driving your car is a "crashing technique." One can reflux without distilling anything, just as one can drive without crashing. Reflux is often used in both academia and industry wherein no distillation occurs, as detailed in the article itself. Is it being used as a distillation technique in these cases? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 28 October 2012 (UTC), I don't hide behind my IP numbers and I am not afraid of disclosing my name My name is Milton Beychok and my user name is mbeychok. I am a retired chemical engineer who spent about 50 years in the petroleum and petrochemical industry. I have designed about 200 full-scale industrial distillation columns. When I say that reflux is a distillation technique, I know whereof I speak.
You are completely wrong and your analogy about driving a car being a crashing technique is a silly, childish debating technique. I will not debate any further with you ... not because you are correct, but because its a waste of time trying to reason with you. You represent all that is wrong about Wikipedia where anonymous, unregistered users can mess up good articles at will.
For the record, let it be known that in the space of less than an hour (43 minutes to be exact) you reverted my correction of your erroneous edit ... then 10 minutes later, you reverted yourself and went back to my corrected version ... then 33 minutes later you once again reverted yourself and went back to your erroneous wording. You seem to have had trouble convincing yourself as to what you believe. No wonder you prefer to be anonymous. mbeychok (talk) 06:12, 28 October 2012 (UTC)