Q:

How do you separate mixtures?

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Quick Answer

Several different methods can be used to separate mixtures, and the method chosen depends on the nature of the mixture to be separated. To separate a mixture of an insoluble substance from a liquid, you need a container with a hole in the bottom, filtration material such as charcoal or gravel, and a larger container to capture the liquid.

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Full Answer

  1. Identify the nature of the mixture

    Identify the nature of the substances in the mixture you wish to separate. If your mixture contains insoluble particles such as dirt in a liquid such as water, filtration must be used to separate the two.

  2. Gather the equipment

    For filtration, you need a container with a hole in the bottom, filtration material such as charcoal, gravel or sand and a larger container to catch the liquid that remains from the filtration process.

  3. Line the container with filtration material

    Layer the bottom of the container with a hole with your filtration material of choice. Charcoal, sand or gravel are all good choices for separating dirt from water. Place this container in the larger container.

  4. Pour the dirty water mixture into the container

    Pour the mixture of dirty water into the container with the filtration material. The filtration material catches the large particles of dirt and allows the water to seep through the hole into the larger container.

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