Separation Methods: The Separating Funnel

In this technique, two liquids that do not dissolve very well in each other (immiscible liquids) can be separated from the concept of unequal density. A mixture of oil and water, for example, can be separated by this technique.

It works like this:

The two liquids in the mixture have different densities, making the denser liquid settle at the base of the container. In this setup, a funnel with a tap at the spout is placed inside a beaker. The mixture is poured into the funnel and allowed to settle. Soon, the denser water settles at the base, with the oil on top of it. The tap is opened to allow the water to pass and closed as soon as the oil reached the spout.