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Distillation is a widely used method for separating mixtures based on differences in the conditions required to change the phase of components of the mixture. At its core, distillation involves the selective boiling and subsequent condensation of a component in a liquid mixture. It is a physical separation process, not a chemical reaction.

The process relies on the principle that different substances will boil at different temperatures. In a typical distillation, a liquid is heated to create vapor. This vapor, which contains the substance with the lower boiling point, is then recondensed into a liquid by cooling and collected separately. For instance, in the field of energy commodities, distillation is crucial for refining crude oil into its various components, each with different boiling points, such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and various forms of petrochemicals.

There are several types of distillation techniques, including simple distillation (suitable for separating a liquid from solid impurities), fractional distillation (for separating a mixture into its component parts, or fractions), and vacuum distillation (which is used when the boiling point of the substances is high at atmospheric pressure, and lowering the pressure allows for a lower boiling temperature).

To learn more about distillation and its applications, particularly in the context of energy commodities, you can refer to the following resources:

1. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
A government organization providing independent statistics and analyses, the EIA has a wealth of information on energy, including the use of distillation in refining crude oil into various products.

2. American Chemical Society (ACS)
As a leading scientific society, the ACS provides educational materials and resources on chemical processes, including distillation. The ACS also publishes numerous scholarly articles which explore the applications and advancements within the field of chemical engineering.

Please note that web addresses can change over time, and while these were active at the time of writing, they may become outdated in the future.

This A.I.-generated glossary is intended to provide a convenient means to understand terminology used on this website in the context of physical commodities trading. Some terms may have alternative and/or expanded definitions that may not be relevant here and thus not included. Sources provided are for reference and not intended to be an endorsement of the broader content on that website. Suggestions, questions, or corrections can be provided in the comment box on definition pages.