Separation Lab

Have you ever had to separate a mixture? I’ve had to do this recently. Sometimes it can be easy. Other times, not so much.

On our first attempt, it didn’t go so well. The mixture we received was made of sugar, salt, sand, and boiling stones. We started with removing the boiling stones, which was the most obvious in our mixture. Then, after weighing and recording that data, we moved on to separating the sand from the salt and the sugar. We decided to boil the salt and sugar out. However, while we were boiling the mixture, the beaker got to hot and broke causing our results to become inconclusive.

During the second attempt, we had to separate water, black sand, iron, and salt. After retrieving a magnet, we pulled the iron out of the water. After struggling to pull the iron off of the magnet, we put the iron filings aside and moved on to divide the black sand and the water. We put a filter into a funnel and set it over another beaker. Then, we poured the mixture into the funnel a little bit at a time until the first beaker was empty. When all the water had drained, we weighed the black sand and measured the amount of water that was left. Finally, we boiled the water and was left with the salt.

For the second lab we had a low precent error on everything. What is precent error though? Precent error is the precent in which you were off on your measurements. The goal is to be as close to the theoretical amount as possible. To figure out precent of error, use this equation: theoretical amount – actual amount/ theoretical amount X 100. In our results, our lowest precent of error was with the water. The water had a 0% error and was 100ml in total. The sand had a 19.5% error. We had 6.84 grams of sand when there was actually 8.5 grams. Salt had a 3% error. We came up with 9.6 grams of salt when the actual amount was 10 grams. Finally we had a 2% error when we did the iron. We had 4.9 grams of iron when there was supposed to be 5 grams.

As long as you have a low precent of error and know how to separate your mixture, you should have a fun time doing this lab. To make it more difficult mix more than two mixtures together and see if you can still separate it. Have fun!


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