Worksheet: Fractional Distillation of Air

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the properties of gases in air and describing their separation by low-temperature fractional distillation.

Q1:

Which component of air has the highest bond energy?

  • ACarbon dioxide
  • BOxygen
  • CWater
  • DNitrogen
  • EArgon

Q2:

Which of the following is a common application of both nitrogen and argon?

  • ASterilization of drinking water
  • BReactants in the Haber process
  • CPreservation of foods
  • DManufacture of cleaning products
  • EManufacture of margarine

Q3:

List the five most abundant components of air in order of increasing molecular mass.

  • ANitrogen < oxygen < water < carbon dioxide < argon
  • BWater < oxygen < nitrogen < carbon dioxide < argon
  • CNitrogen < oxygen < argon < water < carbon dioxide
  • DOxygen < nitrogen < carbon dioxide < argon < water
  • EWater < nitrogen < oxygen < argon < carbon dioxide

Q4:

How many of the five most abundant components of air do not form liquids when cooled at 1 atm pressure?

Q5:

All of the components of air form a liquid or a solid when cooled below a critical boiling or sublimation temperature. Which of the five most abundant components of air forms the densest material when cooled to its critical temperature at 1 atm pressure?

  • AOxygen
  • BNitrogen
  • CCarbon dioxide
  • DWater
  • EArgon

Q6:

Why is the fractional distillation of air described as a physical process?

  • AThe process requires an input of energy.
  • BThe process is reversible.
  • CNo chemical bonds are broken or formed during the process.
  • DThe number of molecules does not change during the process.
  • EThe process involves changes in temperature, a physical variable.

Q7:

To within which range of temperatures must air be cooled before it enters the fractionating column?

  • A 2 0 0 to 195C
  • B 1 9 0 to 185C
  • C 2 1 0 to 200C
  • D 1 9 5 to 190C
  • E 2 0 5 to 200C

Q8:

When air is distilled to obtain pure nitrogen, which components undergo changes of state and which changes of state are observed?

  • ANitrogen sublimes
  • BNitrogen boils
  • COxygen boils
  • DBoth nitrogen and oxygen sublime
  • EBoth nitrogen and oxygen boil

Q9:

At 1 atm pressure, what is the boiling point of oxygen to the nearest C?

Q10:

Which of the following is a common application of oxygen gas?

  • AManufacture of margarine
  • BSterilization of drinking water
  • CPreservation of foods
  • DAs a reactant in the Haber process
  • EManufacture of steel

Q11:

Why might a second fractional distillation be necessary when separating air into its pure components?

  • ATo separate gaseous oxygen from liquid argon
  • BTo separate gaseous nitrogen from liquid argon
  • CTo separate gaseous nitrogen from liquid oxygen
  • DTo separate gaseous oxygen from liquid nitrogen
  • ETo separate gaseous argon from liquid oxygen

Q12:

Which component of air is the most hazardous when pure?

  • AOxygen
  • BArgon
  • CNitrogen
  • DWater
  • ECarbon dioxide

Q13:

Which component of air is the least reactive?

  • AArgon
  • BOxygen
  • CNitrogen
  • DCarbon dioxide
  • EWater

Q14:

Which of the following is a common application of both oxygen and chlorine?

  • AThe sterilization of drinking water
  • BThe manufacture of margarine
  • CReactants in the contact process
  • DThe manufacture of cleaning products
  • EThe manufacture of steel

Q15:

Which synthetic product generates the highest demand for nitrogen as a reactant when manufactured?

  • APlastics
  • BFuels
  • CExplosives
  • DFertilizers
  • EMedicines

Q16:

At 1 atm pressure, what is the boiling point of argon to the nearest °C?

Q17:

The first step in the production of pure nitrogen is to cool air so that the components undergo changes of state. Water is the first component to condense as air is cooled. List the other components of air in the order that they condense or freeze as the temperature decreases.

  • AArgon, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide
  • BArgon, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen
  • CNitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, oxygen
  • DCarbon dioxide, argon, oxygen, nitrogen
  • ECarbon dioxide, oxygen, argon, nitrogen

Q18:

At 1 atm pressure, what is the boiling point of nitrogen to the nearest C?

Q19:

The components of air can be separated in a fractionating column, as shown.

Fraction A is collected at the top of the column. Which range of temperatures must be maintained at the top of the column?

  • A 2 0 0 1 9 5 t o C
  • B 1 9 5 1 9 0 t o C
  • C 2 0 5 2 0 0 t o C
  • D 1 8 5 1 8 0 t o C
  • E 1 9 0 1 8 5 t o C

Fraction B is collected at the bottom of the column. Which range of temperatures must be maintained at the bottom of the column?

  • A 2 0 0 1 9 5 t o C
  • B 2 0 5 2 0 0 t o C
  • C 1 9 5 1 9 0 t o C
  • D 1 9 0 1 8 5 t o C
  • E 1 8 5 1 8 0 t o C

Identify the major component of fraction A.

  • AGaseous nitrogen
  • BLiquid nitrogen
  • CLiquid oxygen
  • DGaseous argon
  • EGaseous oxygen

Identify the major component of fraction B.

  • AGaseous oxygen
  • BGaseous argon
  • CGaseous nitrogen
  • DLiquid nitrogen
  • ELiquid oxygen

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