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Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixture into its component parts or fractions. This is the process of separation of chemical compounds due to difference in their boiling point. The mixture is heated to a temperature at which one or more fractions (component parts) will vaporize. It is a special type of distillation.

Air is a homogeneous mixture of 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases such as helium, krypton, nitrogen dioxide etc.

Consider three gases oxygen, nitrogen and argon whose boiling points are -183, -196, -186 degree celsius, they are to be separated from air using fractional distillation.

Air is compressed by increasing the pressure and then cooled by decreasing the temperature in order to get liquid air. This liquid air is allowed to warm-up slowly in a fractional distillation column, where gases get separated at different heights depending upon their boiling points. As the height of tower increases the temperature increases.

Statement: The temperature is ____ at the base of the fractional distillation column.