20 Examples of Liquid Decanting

The Decantation Is defined as the physical process of separation of liquids or solids, using the difference of densities between the substances that make up a heterogeneous mixture.

This means that the substance within the mixture has a lower density, it will be located on the top of the substance that has a higher density.

Examples of decantation

The decanting process is commonly used in different industries and laboratories. Usually, it is confused with the sedimentation process, where the solid residues within a solution settle with the help of gravity and time (Z., 2016).

It is important to consider that for the decanting to take place correctly, the mixture to be decant must be allowed to stand.

This is done with the aim that the substances that make up the mixture can be divided in a visible way according to their densities.

In this way, it will be possible to carry out the separation of the same using a separating funnel (Tutorvista, 2017).

On the other hand, it should also be noted that decantation can only take place when heterogeneous mixtures consist of solids with liquids or liquids with liquids (Anne Marie Helmenstine, 2017).

Featured examples of decantation

1 - Separation of waste water

During the process of filtering and cleaning the water, a decantation process is carried out where the dirty water is separated from the clean ones.

This is possible because dirty waters are denser than clean ones because of the amount of substances they carry in them.

Thus, the first step of filtration of the wastewater generally is the decantation (Examples, 2017).

2 - Extraction of sediment from wine

When a long-ripened wine is to be served, sommeliers and experts recommend decanting the liqueur before serving it.

This is done in order to remove any residue or sediment that may be present inside the bottle. The process of decantation in the wine also to oxygenate it.

3 - Separation of glycerine and biodiesel

Glycerin is a byproduct of fuels derived from animal or vegetable oils and fats, such as biodiesel.

In order for biodiesel to be used in the pure state, it is necessary to decant it from the glycerin derived from it. This process is simple, since the biodiesel (of lower density) will always rest on the glycerin.

4 - Separation of water and oil

One of the most common examples of decantation is the separation of water and oil. Usually we use this method to separate lipids that are suspended on the surface of the water. This process is usually carried out using a settling funnel (Byju's, 2016).

5 - Manufacture of vinegar

During the process of manufacturing and refining vinegar from vegetable material, it is usual to use the decanting process to remove the heavier fats derived from the raw material.

6 - Water purification process

In the food industry, water is subjected to a rigorous staging process. During this process solid wastes are removed from the liquid.

It is thus that small fragments of clay and materials that are suspended in the surface of the water are eliminated.

In this way, food producers ensure that their products are not affected by waste.

7 - Pozol production

Pozol is a Mexican beverage derived from yeast from corn and cacao. During its processing, the yeast is separated from the solid residues present in it.

This is done in order to obtain the free drink of other substances.

8 - Extraction of petroleum

In the process of extracting Petroleum From sea sources, the decanting process is commonly used.

This occurs when the hydrocarbon is mixed with sea water and must be decanted. Oil is denser than water, so once it is separated from it, it is stored. As the surplus water returns to the ocean.

9 - Preparation of juices

When preparing fiber-rich fruit juices, it is common to see that the solid material descends to the bottom of the container, while the liquid is suspended at the top.

Usually, the decanting process is used to separate the juice from the fruit from its fiber.

10 - Making Sauces

In the process of preparation of food the decanting is popularly used to make sauces.

In this way it is possible to extract undesired liquids and fats from the mixture being cooked.

11 - Milk cream

Thanks to a natural process, the cream is separated from the rest of the components of the milk. The cream is a yellowish substance high in fat content.

The separation of such liquid is so visible that it can be removed manually from the rest of the milk.

12 - Volcanic eruption

The ashes of a volcanic eruption are very light, therefore it tends to remain suspended in the air for a time after a volcanic eruption.

Thanks to the effect of gravity and with the passage of time, the ashes will settle and leave the air clean again.

13 - Oil refining

There are different types of hydrocarbons that are derived from the petroleum refining process. Some of these derivatives may be in the liquid or gaseous state, allowing them to be easily decanted from one another.

Generally, the lighter by-products are extracted and the denser compounds are those that continue to advance through the oil refining process.

14 - Product to be shaken prior to use

Many products on its label indicate"shake before using". This means that the mixture inside is heterogeneous and that its components are visibly separated before being stirred.

For this reason, when you want to use the product it is necessary to shake it so that the components are mixed again.

15 - Contamination of water with mercury

One of the biggest problems related to illegal mining is the dumping of mercury into hydrographic sources such as rivers and lakes.

In these cases, decanting is important, as it helps to separate that element from the water.

Other examples

Other examples of settling include the following:

- Mix of water and soil.

- Mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

- Mix of sand and water.

- Vinaigrette for salads.

- Mixed liquor for the production of cocktails.


  1. Anne Marie Helmenstine. (April 6, 2017). Co . Retrieved from"Decantation Definition and Examples: thoughtco.com"
  2. Byju's. (June 18, 2016). ByJu's . Obtained from Separation By Decantation And Loading: byjus.com
  3. Examples, E. d. (2017). Examples . Obtained from 15 Examples of Decanting: Examples.
  4. (2017). Tutor . Obtained from Separation of the Constituents of Mixtures: tutorvista.com
  5. , E. (March 5, 2016). Socratic . Retrieved from"What mixtures can be separated by decantation?: socratic.org.

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