Essay about Separating Homogeneous Mixtures

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Introduction A heterogeneous mixture is not uniform throughout. Therefore, separate components of a heterogeneous mixture can be separated by using differences in the components’ physical properties. In this laboratory experiment, I attempted to experimentally verify that the components of a heterogeneous mixture containing salt, sand, and benzoic acid can be separated using the separate components’ solubility properties (ability to dissolve in water). Because it is known that organic compounds (such as benzoic acid) are very soluble in organic solvents, a hexane: ethanol mixture was used to dissolve the acid. Also, because it is known that sodium chloride dissolves in water, water was used to dissolve the NaCl. Along with separating the…show more content…
My calculations and data supported that solubility properties of certain elements could be used to separate a heterogeneous mixture. In this laboratory experiment, the benzoic acid was separated using a hexane: ethanol mixture, while the salt was separated using water. The sand was the resulting component that was left over. Since benzoic acid, salt, and sand’s solubility properties differ, they could be separated using those differences. In this lab, I experimentally calculated the percent recovery of benzoic acid to be 83.3%. All of the benzoic acid was not recovered because benzoic acid is slightly soluble in a mixture of hexane: ethanol at 0°C. Also, a slight amount of the benzoic acid was still left in the test tube with the salt and sand. When wafting the solution of supposedly just salt and sand, I could smell benzoic acid. This is how I knew that there was still a slight amount of benzoic acid left in the mixture of salt and sand. The experimentally calculated percent recovery of salt was 127.7%. The percent recovery of salt was most likely higher than 100% because the substance had not fully dried. There was still water left in the salt, so it had
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