# What is fractional distillation?

Chemists typically use fractional distillation to separate and purify volatile components. What is done on a very small scale in the laboratory, would be done on the macro scale in an oil refinery. Here a fractionating column would separate crude into its various components. The separation is by boiling point. Typically, 40-60""^@, 60-80""^@, 90-110""^@ (and higher) boiling point fractions are available.