Methods of Separation - Solvent Extraction (Using a Separating Funnel Method)




To separate mixture of two immiscible liquids - Separating funnel.

Aim: To separate kerosene oil from water using a separating funnel.

Requirements: Kerosene, separating funnel, stand, water.

Principle: In the case of immiscible liquids, heavier liquid settle at the bottom, and the lighter liquid floats on the top. In separating funnel, immiscible liquids form separate layers after some time which can be filtered out one by one.


  • Pour the mixture of kerosene oil and water into a separating funnel.
  • Let it stand undisturbed for some time so that separate layers of oil and water are formed.
  • Open the stopcock of the separating funnel and pour out the lower layer of water carefully.
  • Close the stopcock of the separating funnel as the oil reaches the  stop-cock.

Observation: A layer of kerosene is formed above that of water.

Inference/ Result: Water, being heavier will sink at the bottom and the opening of the stopcock will release it from the separating funnel.


  • To separate a mixture of oil and water.
  • In the extraction of iron from its ore, the lighter slag is removed from the top by this method to leave the molten iron at the bottom in the furnace.
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