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PreLab 2

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Purpose of the Boiling Chip
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A boiling chip is a tiny, unevenly shaped piece of substance added to liquid to make them boil more calmly. Boiling chips provide nucleation sites for bubbles. Boiling chips provide continuous gentle streams of small bubbles instead of occasional big ones. Big bubbles can produce strong and sudden "bumps" that might affect the contents of whatever you are boiling.
Distillation is a method that can be used to purify volatile liquids either by separating them from nonvolatile liquids or from other volatile substances. The boiling point of a liquid decreases with decrease in pressure. If distillation were performed on the top of a mountain, the boiling point would be reduced, which would speed up the distillation process in general because the solution will boil more easily.
If a mixture is distilled rapidly, it is heated more rapidly and more intensely. The system is not allowed the chance to differentiate the two compounds in this way. With intense heat, both components will vaporize rapidly, and since such intense heat is being applied to the system, the higher boiling compound will not condense again as readily as it would during a slow distillation. The components that distill rapidly distill almost at the same time.