Separating Mixtures BACK TO Their Components | Experiment


To independent these mixtures it was appropriate to understand the physical and chemical substance structures of all substances situated within the mixture. After separating these mixtures predicated on their physical and chemical properties; it was then appropriate to compare their experimental people in comparison to their actual public. Once separating these mixtures and contrasting their public it was important to record any discrepancies which might have been witnessed throughout the test.

Background Information

The mix was made up of the following chemicals;

  • 5. 5g sand
  • 2. 4g flat iron fillings
  • 25ml methylated spirits
  • 13g of NaCl
  • 0. 6 g of sodium sulfhate
  • 13ml of hexane

The goal of this experiment was to split up a mixture back to its original components based on the mixtures physical and chemical type components.

A mixture is when several substances are merged by forceful means, such as pouring substances into a pot. The molecules of the mixed substances then combine with the others to set-up the forms of alternatives, suspensions and colloids. These mixtures can be grouped as homogenous or heterogeneous solutions. A heterogeneous mixture contains unevenly sent out liquids, gases and particles. The sand, flat iron, and hexane are immiscible chemicals when mixed in the concoction, therefore many unevenly sent out particles and liquids are present in the blend, thus categorizing the mixture as a heterogeneous.

Mixtures usually do not consist of chemical bonding between the substances, thus allowing the mixture to be segregated using simple ways of filtration. As the mix contains sand, flat iron, hexane and methylated spirits basic purification can be applied based on each substances chemical and physical properties. However as NaCl and Na2S04 do experience chemical substance reactions with this inflatable water within the mixture; this creates a barrier for any type of filtration. Hence, it is appropriate to investigate the substance and physical properties of every NaCl and Na2SO4, and find an appropriate solution to draw out both miscible chemicals from the combination.

Therefore it is applicable to note that substances are separated predicated on their chemical and physical properties. Therefore inspecting the physical and chemical substance properties of every component located in the concoction, appropriate separation techniques can be recognized.

The most clear separable substance situated in the mixture is Hexane. Hexane is petrol, used for most requirements of life, such as food preparation. As observed in figure 1, hexane has the chemical method C6 H14 and it only has hydrogen and carbon atoms, thus putting the solvent in to the group of an alkane (hydrocarbon). Hexane's substance structure would depend on its alkane properties; its hydrogen's are exclusively linked by one bonds to carbon, this is also known as a covalent molecule. As the electrons are being shared this creates similar costs for the hydrogen's and carbon atoms. As both atoms electrons have similar negative charges they repel each-other and develop a non-polar substance. As non-polar substances are immiscible in drinking water, hexane won't mix in drinking water as it's a non-polar molecule. Instead of mixing in drinking water, hexane with a light denseness of 0. 654g/ml will sit on the surface of the water as drinking water has a bulkier density of approximately. 995g/ml.

In contrast to hexane, water is a polar molecule. The two oxygen's bound to the main one hydrogen produce a 'V' condition with the hydrogen atoms. As seen in number 2 it is recognizable that when hydrogen atoms connection with air, the hydrogen emits one of these electrons to form a covalent relationship. Because of hydrogen's electrons being attracted to the positive electron oxygen, the two hydrogen's become slightly positively priced, and the air then becomes negatively incurred. (www. ozh2o. com, 2003). The dissociation of the positive and negative charges produces a polar molecule.

Due to the above mentioned physical and chemical substance properties of hexane and water, the most efficient way of separating hexane from the concoction, will be the use of decanting. And in addition using a parting funnel.

Decanting is the procedure of carefully pouring a lower density liquid off the top of another, such as hexane and normal water. It is poured into another beaker and then segregated again using the parting funnel.

A separation funnel is utilized to little by little and carefully stop by drop split the bulkier in density product (normal water).

Another compound that is present in the combination that is also miscible in drinking water is sand. Sand also known as silicon dioxide has a chemical formulae of Si02 and has a tetrahedral substance structure, as seen in figure 3. Shape 3 plainly shows the four oxygen's adjoining the central atom Si which creates a triangular designed structure; hence the reason silicon dioxide can be classified as a tetrahedral crystal. Out of all the silica crystallines, normally only two out of the four oxygen's of the Si04 are shared with others, providing the formulation Si02 (publication reference). Because of sand writing pairs of electrons between its atom it includes having an comprehensive covalent chemical relationship. Its intensive covalent chemical substance bonding creates a solid bonding with the elements air and Si, thus meaning the chemical formulation Si02 is a strong element. As sand has a hard quartz amount it is insoluble with drinking water, therefore separating sand from the concoction filtration can be utilized as it separates the liquids from the hard solutions. Another solution which has a hard like number and is insoluble to water that is in the mixture is iron fillings.

Iron fillings are comprised of flat iron or Fe. Iron fillings are a type of ferromagnetic material which is often easily drawn to a magnet. The electrons orbiting the flat iron atom resemble an ongoing, thus this results in a little magnetism to each individual electron; this is amplified by the content spinning of the electrons. This then means the small pieces of iron can convert to a little bar magnetic whenever a magnetic field is at area of these, thus irons contrary ends attract to the contrary ends of your magnet. For example the north end of flat iron would be drawn to the southern end of the magnet. As iron is also a compound that is insoluble in water the method purification will be most reliable to separate the flat iron from the concoction.

As iron has already been categorized as a ferromagnetic steel, this means its website already consist of a high degree of magnetization. However as observed in number 4, when getting into connection with a magnetic field, the area become arbitrarily orientated. Also when flat iron comes into exposure to a more humble magnetic field the domain may become aligned in the direction of the pressure.

As both sand and flat iron fillings are insoluble in drinking water, they'll sink to underneath of the blend devoid of a chemical effect with every other chemicals. This sediment at the bottom of the blend can be separated first using filtration as the sand and flat iron will be stuck in the funnel paper. However to split up the sand from the flat iron, utilizing a magnet will be appropriate as irons domain name will be attracted to the contrary end of the magnet, as seen earlier in body 4.

As observed in figure 5 purification is the use of your funnel, funnel paper and a beaker. The beaker is used to get the mixtures liquids and the funnel paper used to avoid and absorb any fine sediment, regarding the experiment iron and sand. Once the concoction is poured through the funnel newspaper the sand and flat iron will be kept on the funnel paper and the mix will be segregated from the flat iron and sand in the beaker.

It will then be appropriate to employ a magnet to separate the iron from the sand. However as the sand & iron will be moist, leaving the blended solution of sand and iron to dried up will be appropriate. Magnetic separation consists of utilizing a magnetic to get the ferromagnetic material iron. As seen in amount 6, once appealing to the iron from the sand, the iron will be on the magnet and incredibly hard to split up from the magnet. Thus using happy wrap over the magnet the glad-wrap will be easily taken off the magnet as it is nonmagnetic and the iron fillings would be easily poured onto a watch glass.

Once extrapolating the clear and simple substances from the concoction, it is then appropriate to split up the methylated spirits. Methylated spirits also called ethanol is a alcoholic beverages which includes a certain percent of methanol added to it to make a poisons drinking substance.

Methylated spirits is a polar molecule, its hydrogen's, carbons and oxygen's all distribute positively and negatively charges, thus developing a polar molecule. As Methylated spirits is polar it is miscible in water. Therefore as it is miscible in water the group will see filtering and decanting not an option to separate the methylated spirits from water. Thus the group will use fractional distillation. Nonetheless it is appropriate to clarify why methylated spirits have a lesser boiling point that Number 7 water and this is all about the chemical composition of methylated spirits and normal water (H20).

Methylated spirits experience a a reaction to form a hydrogen connection. As hydrogen bonds form between Hydrogen's and an extremely electronegative atom specifically, 0, F and N, methylated spirits get into this category. Methylated spirits contain a hydrogen and a highly electronegative oxygen atom, thus the reaction of hydrogen bonding will arise, this sometimes appears in figure 8.

Despite drinking water is polar and also miscible in methylated spirits (metho) it generally does not have the same chemical structure as will methylated spirits. Water has an inferior composition and can consistently form hydrogen bonds thus enhancing its molecular strength as metho does not continue creating hydrogen bonds. This is shown in amount 9.

Both number 8 and 9 show the difference between the hydrogen bonding of both metho and H20, it is evident that water involves very strong intermolecular pushes as it is consistently forming, however metho has less opportunity for hydrogen bonding, thus its formation in structure is weaker. Therefore it is noticeable that the metho will need less energy to deconstruct its substance structure in comparison to water as it'll need more energy to breakdown its strong hydrogen bonding. Therefore based on this information it'll be efficient to make use of fractional distillation as methylated spirits will be evaporated and be gathered as the dilute.

Fractional distillation is the technique of separating mixtures to their original specific components predicated on boiling the chemical that is wanting to be found boiling point. Therefore a thermometer is employed to signify the what the heat of the blend is boiling at and when it visits the boiling point of the substance wanting to be extrapolated, the gas then goes up into a condenser and the condenser then condenses the gas back to a liquid, slowly dripping the liquid back into its original form. As methylated spirits has a lesser boiling point (70-80 degrees)than drinking water (100 degrees) it will be appropriate to utilize the fractional distillation method to find the amount of methylated spirits in the concoction.

Two substances which were left in the mix were both sodium sulfate and sodium chloride. Both these salts are soluble in water due to their chemical constructions.

Sodium chloride established fact as a halite (rock salt), sodium which can be found in the oceans which is more chemically known as an ionic compound. As seen in number 11, its chemical substance structure is quite strong as it includes an ionic bonding.

The lattice framework of the ionic bonding between your two substances creates a very strong chemical structure. In return this identifies why sodium has such a high boiling point of 1413 degrees as the substance framework needs stacks of energy to break down the composition.

Sodium sulfate with the formula Na2SO, has an extremely similer composition as sodium chloride. At its solid form sodium sulfate forms a white crystal also known as a salt. Its ionic composition very likewise to sodium chloride defines the reason why it also offers a high boiling point of (. . . . . ). Both sodium sulfate and sodium chloride are soluble in drinking water.

As H20 water is a polar molecule, quite simply consists of uneven circulation of charges, the negatively priced oxygen the end of this is drawn to the positive sodium ion in the sodium. As seen in body 12 the response shows the oxygen extracts the lattice structure of in this case sodium chloride, however also sodium sulfate. Therefore placing more water molecules surrounding the sodium, enabling it to de-solve. (Wiki answers. com, yr unknown).

NaCl(s) + H2O ---> Na+(aq) +Cl-(aq) + H2O

Therefore no separation technique can be applied to either sodium sulfhate or sodium chloride as they are both salts and dissolve in drinking water. As they both are miscible in drinking water and impossible to decant, filtrate, evaporate or use fractional distillation. Creating one of the answers to form a insoluble mixture would be highly afflicted and would then have the ability to filtrate out.

To divide the NaCl & Na2SO4 from the combination, it was obvious to employ a ionic substance that reacted with an opposite charge, such as +cation appeals to -anion. Therefore Barium Chloride chemical substance formula BaCl has two different ionic charges Ba2+ and Cl-. Both of these ions are attracted to their reverse charges when coming into connection with them. This can be seen in the formula below.

When adding BaCl to the combination the following effect will happen.

BaCl2 + Na2SO4 ------ BaSo4 + 2Na+ CL-

The solution above symbolizes the result of Barium and sulfate creating a good, whereas the Na and Cl are still left by themselves as spectators as they do not undergo a effect.

This then creates a insoluble solution that can be filtrated out using the essential filtration method, as mentioned before regarding sand and iron.

Therefore studying the chemical and physical the different parts of each material that is present in the mixture, it was visible to what parting would be applicable to each chemical; this can be observed in the flow graph below. It was then hypothesized that predicated on these physical and chemical substance properties, each element would be extrapolated supplying a 5% error range for just about any flaws made throughout the test.

Flow chart

This flow graph signifies what method for each and every chemical was used to separate it from the blend.


  • Evaporating disk
  • Separation funnel
  • Filtration funnel
  • Filter paper
  • Boss clamp and Retort stand
  • Measuring cylinder
  • 5 Beakers
  • 0. 6g of Sodium Sulphate (Na2SO4)
  • Atomic weight scales
  • 13ml of Veg Oil
  • Spatula
  • Barium Chloride (BaCl2)
  • 1. 3g of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
  • Glad Wrap
  • Electronic home heating mantle
  • 5 distillation-tube clips
  • Round bottom flask
  • Condensing tube
  • Thermometer
  • Stand
  • Glass Rod
  • Distillation tube
  • 5. 5g of Sand (SiO2)
  • 2. 4g of Iron fillings (Fe)
  • Water (H2O)
  • 25ml of Methylated Spirits
  • Magnet


The mix was poured into a beaker by using a stirring rod for further precision, separating the hexane from the blend.

The hexane was then put into a separation funnel with the mix beaker under the faucet, to retrieve any droplets of normal water which were still in the hexane. Thus the hexane was completely segregated from the mixture.

Filtration equipment was set up correctly ready for use.

Sand & iron was poured through the filter paper (*2)

Beaker retrieved all the liquid, thus separating the flat iron and sand.

Sand & iron placed on watch wine glass and left night to dried; enabling parting.

Magnet protected in glad-wrap appropriately segregated iron from sand.

Both Sand & iron were put on separate watch eyeglasses.

Fractional distillation equipment setup appropriately.

Heat box turned on to boil the methylated spirits.

Thermometer used to signify the boiling point of methylated spirits.

Methylated spirits boiled and evaporated.

Methylated spirits experienced condenser; gas underwent a physical change back to the liquid (methylated spirit).

Methylated spirits segregated from concoction and located in beaker.

Using calculations the amount of BaCl that was had a need to respond with Na2So4 was found

Using a power weighing machine a precise value of Barium was then added to the mixture filled with NaCl and Na2S04.

BaSo4 became insoluble in the mixture, thus setting up the purification equipment was needed.

Filtration create for separation

BaS04 segregated using filtration with two funnel documents and a funnel.

BaS04 placed on a watch cup for drying.

NaCl and normal water was still left in the mix, thus the utilization of evaporating was used.

Electric heating unit, a round lower part conical flask, condenser and tubes were set up to evaporate this from the NaCl.

Water was positioned into a separate beaker and then positioned in the air drying area to evaporate any extra water, leaving an accurate solution of NaCl.


This prolonged experimental investigation driven whether a chemical can be segregated effectively predicated on its substance and physical components, allowing 5% to complete as a precise result. Therefore studying the ends up with desk into graphs will be most efficient to display the data.

Graph 1 compares actual mass to the experimental mass of only gram solutions. It is visible to note that the mixtures regardless of the outliers barium sulfate and sodium sulfate are within an error range of 5-10%. One of the most accurate end result was the iron fillings; 99. 17% of the iron fillings were extrapolated from the mix. The 2nd most effective extrapolated data was the sodium chloride with 96% extrapolated. Sand was also quite successfully extrapolated however only 89. 45% was separated from the blend. The two extreme outliers performed however have a significant effect on the hypotheses. As barium sulfate & sodium sulfate experienced only 50% separated from the mix.

Analyzing graph 2 it is suitable to claim that the methods that were used to extrapolate methylated spirits and hexane may not have been best suited as there is in both hexane and methylated spirits 1 ml absent (4%). However not surprisingly diminutive difference it is acknowledgeable to claim that the techniques do are 96% of both hexane and methylated spirits was extrapolated from the blend. Which means hypothesis was proven accurate as there is a 4% error. However it is recommended that if the experiment was to be achieved again different methods of separation may apply to both hexane and methylated spirits.

It is therefore appropriate to suggest that the hypothesis was proven wrong as the sand, barium sulfate and sodium sulfate all got greater than a 5% error range. Many variable may have caused the inaccurate results of all substances, as it must be significant not one compound was completely extrapolated to 100%. Discovering the right amount of every substance was vitally important as after that it proven that mixtures can be separated based on their physical and chemical properties. The erroneous results create room for debate into what may have triggered the different consequence. One major variable may be the utilization of equipment.

Hexane was separated using decanting with a stirring pole and by hand pouring the olive oil into another box, however there was 1ml of hexane missing the reason why to why may been thought as not enough treatment when titrating or possibly the complete techniques was incorrect itself.

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