Three Piece Seperation

         Most of the matter we encounter in everyday life consists of mixtures of different substances.  Mixtures are combinations of two or more substances in which each substance retains its own properties. Mixtures are characterized by two fundamental properties that each of the substances in the mixture retains its chemical identity and mixtures are separable into these components by physical means.
         If one of the substances in a mixture is preponderant that is, if its amount far exceeds the amounts of the other substances in the mixture then we usually call this mixture an impure substance and speak of the other substances in the mixture as impurities.
         Although there are numerous physical properties that can be used to identify a particular substance, we will be concerned in this experiment merely with the separation of the components and not with their identification. The methods we will use for the separation depend on differences in physical properties.
         The mixture that you will separate contains three components: NaCl, NH4Cl, and SiO2. Their separation will be accomplished by heating the mixture to sublime the NH4Cl, extracting the NaCl with water, and finally drying the remaining SiO2.

Lab picture:

Pre-Lab Questions (recycled paper, to be seen and graded on the way into lab)
1. Suggest a way to determine whether a colorless liquid is pure water or a salt solution without tasting it.
2. Define the process of sublimation, decantation, and filtration.
3. How do decantation and filtration differ? Which should be faster?
4. A student found that her mixture was 13% NH4Cl, 18% NaCl, and 75% SiO2. Assuming her calculations are correct, what did she most likely do incorrectly in her experiment?

~MEO 11.13.09