LESSON 28: Hold the Salt ESTIMATED TIME Setup: 10 minutes Procedure: Allow for observations over 4 hours.

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1 LESSON 28: Hold the Salt ESTIMATED TIME Setup: 10 minutes Procedure: Allow for observations over 4 hours. DESCRIPTION Apply the process of distillation to produce fresh, drinkable water from a saltwater solution. OBJECTIVE This lesson demonstrates the process of distillation and how it is used to separate substances in a solution. Students create a simple distillation device to remove pure water from a saltwater solution. The lesson can be simplified to address the states of matter and illustrate physical changes. CONTENT TOPICS Scientific inquiry; states of matter; physical changes (condensation, vaporization); mixtures (solutions); separation processes (distillation) If possible check the progress of the experiment every hour. Do not exceed 4 hours as mold may grow in the container. MATERIALS o Large bowl o Heavy glass cup (shorter than the bowl is deep) o Teaspoon o Clear plastic food wrap o Any coin o Clear cellophane tape o Blue food coloring o Water o Table salt o Ruler Always remember to use the appropriate safety equipment when conducting your experiment. Refer to the Safety First section in the Resource Guide on pages for more detailed information about safety in the classroom. Jump ahead to page 357 to view the Experimental Procedure. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS SUBJECT MATTER This lesson applies both Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices and Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts from A Framework for K 12 Science Education, established as a guide for the updated National Science Education Standards. In addition, this lesson covers the following Disciplinary Core Ideas from that framework: PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology (see Analysis & Conclusion) ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World (see Analysis & Conclusion) OBSERVATION & RESEARCH BACKGROUND Most of the things around us are mixtures air, bronze metal, lemonade, pizza, and more! Mixtures are made of two or more substances that are combined physically. A solution is a uniform mixture in which one or more substances (solutes) are dissolved into another substance (solvent). In this experiment, salt is dissolved in water to create a saltwater solution. However, salt water, like ocean water, is not drinkable water. Humans need fresh drinking water to survive. We can only last a couple of days without it, but not any type of water will do. Drinking salt water from the ocean can be dangerous. Although small amounts of salt water will not cause major problems, the human body acts to remove excess salt, specifically sodium, from the body. If a person drinks a glass of salt water, the body will work to get rid of the excess salt. Water will move out of every cell in an effort to dilute the salt and establish a balance You Be The LESSON Chemist 1: Activity Goofy Guides Putty page

2 LESSON 28: Hold the Salt in the body. However, cells need water, so the diffusion of water out of the cells leaves them dangerously dehydrated. In addition, kidneys and cells in the blood absorb more salt than they can handle, becoming overworked and shutting down. Likewise, other sources of water may be contaminated with other harmful substances. Therefore, finding ways to produce fresh drinking water is crucial to our survival. To separate unwanted chemical substances from water, scientists use different separation processes. A separation process is a means of separating any mixture of substances into two or more distinct products. A separation process uses the different properties of a mixture s parts to get them to separate. A commonly used separation process is called distillation. Distillation is a method of separating a liquid mixture based on the differences between the boiling points of the mixture s parts. During distillation, a liquid mixture is heated to the boiling point of one part. As a result, that part of the mixture vaporizes. The vaporized gas can be collected in a separate part of the distillation device and cooled. As the gas cools, it condenses into its pure liquid form. The purified liquid is called the distillate. In this experiment, a distillation process is used to collect fresh drinking water from the saltwater solution. Pure water has a much lower boiling point than salt. Therefore, when the salt water is heated, the water reaches its boiling point sooner and begins to vaporize, leaving the salt behind. The gas that vaporizes is water vapor, or more important, it is pure water vapor. To convert this pure water vapor back into a liquid, the vapor must be collected and condensed. Condensation is a change in state from a gas to a liquid. As the water vapor cools, it condenses back into liquid form. At this point, the liquid is now pure, drinkable water. FORMULAS & EQUATIONS The blue saltwater solution created in the experiment is comprised of water, table salt, and food coloring. The distillation process separates the water from the salt, food coloring, and any other substances that were contained in the solution. Tap water is a solution as well. It is a mixture of pure water, minerals, and other substances. The chemical formula for pure water is H2O. Ordinary table salt is made primarily of sodium chloride. The chemical formula for sodium chloride is NaCl. Most table salts are made of about 97 99% NaCl with the rest being small amounts of iodine and other ingredients. Distillation involves the physical changes of vaporization and condensation. During a physical change, the chemical makeup of the structure does not change. The water vapor and liquid water are both H2O, just in different physical states. CONNECT TO THE YOU BE THE CHEMIST CHALLENGE For additional background information, please review CEF s Challenge study materials online at Additional information on solutions can be found in the Chemicals by Volume Solutions section of CEF s Passport to Science Exploration: Chemistry Connections. Additional information on states of matter can be found in the Classification of Matter section of CEF s Passport to Science Exploration: The Core of Chemistry. Additional information on distillation can be found in the Laboratory Separations section of CEF s Passport to Science Exploration: Chemistry Concepts in Action. HYPOTHESIS uas the temperature of a saltwater solution rises and reaches the boiling point of water, pure water will vaporize, leaving the salt and other parts of the mixture behind. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 355

3 LESSON 28: Hold the Salt DIFFERENTIATION IN THE CLASSROOM LOWER GRADE LEVELS/BEGINNERS DESCRIPTION Use a saltwater solution to illustrate a separation process and discuss states of matter and physical changes. OBJECTIVE This lesson demonstrates a separation process and physical changes, particularly vaporization and condensation. OBSERVATION & RESEARCH Matter exists primarily as a solid, liquid, or gas on the earth. Solids have a definite volume and a definite shape. Examples of solids are chairs, glasses, and trees. Liquids have a definite volume but no definite shape. Examples of liquids are water and oil. Gases have no definite shape and no definite volume. Examples of gases are the oxygen we breathe and the helium that fills balloons. Matter can change from one state to another, generally as a result of a change in temperature. Melting is a change in state from a solid to a liquid. The opposite change is freezing. Freezing is a change in state from a liquid to a solid. A change in state from a liquid to a gas is known as vaporization, and a change in state from a gas to a liquid is known as condensation. Changes directly between the solid and gaseous states, without going through the liquid state first, are less common. Sublimation is a change in state from a solid directly to a gas. The opposite is deposition, when a gas changes directly into a solid. Changes between these states of matter are physical changes. A physical change is any change in a substance s form that does not change its chemical makeup. The chemical formula of the substance stays the same before and after the change. For example, tearing or cutting a piece of paper is an example of a physical change. The paper is in smaller pieces, but the chemical makeup of the paper has not changed. Likewise, ice, water, and water vapor are all H2O in different physical states. The chemical formula remains H2O regardless of whether it is in the solid, liquid, or gaseous state. In this experiment, pure water is separated from a solution, using vaporization and condensation. The sunlight causes the temperature of the solution to increase. When the temperature reaches the boiling point of water, the water will begin to vaporize. As the water vapor touches the cooler plastic wrap, it will condense into a liquid and roll down the wrap into the cup. Because water has a lower boiling point than the salt in the solution, it vaporizes sooner than the salt. As a result, the pure water is separated from the salt. A separation process is a means of separating any mixture of substances into two or more distinct products, in this case, salt and water. HIGHER GRADE LEVELS/ADVANCED STUDENTS Conduct the experiment as described on page 357, but spend more time on types of mixtures and solubility. Discuss the differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures. Use pictures to provide examples of these types of mixtures. Then, discuss solubility and why some substances dissolve in some solvents, but others do not. Another option is to explore the desalination of water. The process of obtaining fresh, drinkable water from a saltwater solution is called desalination, which literally means to take the salt out of water. Distillation is one method. Have the students research other methods of desalination. CONNECT TO THE YOU BE THE CHEMIST CHALLENGE For additional background information, please review CEF s Challenge study materials online at Additional information on states of matter, physical changes, and types of matter can be found in the Classification of Matter section of CEF s Passport to Science Exploration: The Core of Chemistry. Additional information on distillation and desalination can be found in the Laboratory Separations section of CEF s Passport to Science Exploration: Chemistry Concepts in Action. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 356

4 EXPERIMENTATION LESSON 28: Hold the Salt As the students perform the experiment, challenge them to identify the independent, dependent, and controlled variables, as well as whether there is a control setup for the experiment. (Hint: As the temperature changes, does the composition of the solution change?) Review the information in the Scientific Inquiry section on pages to discuss variables. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE 1. Pour tap water in a bowl to a depth of about 5 centimeters (2 inches). 2. Add 10 drops of blue food coloring and 2 3 teaspoons of salt to the water. Mix well until the salt is dissolved. 3. Place the heavy glass cup (with the opening facing up) in the center of the bowl, so it is surrounded by the blue saltwater solution. Make sure that the cup sits flat on the bottom of the bowl. 4. Put a loose covering of plastic food wrap over the top of the bowl. Tape the plastic wrap to the sides of the bowl so that air cannot get in or out. Make sure the plastic wrap is not pulled tightly across the top of the bowl. When moving the bowl, be sure that none of the blue saltwater solution splashes into the glass. If possible, check the bowl every hour for four hours. Do not leave the bowl in the sun for more than four hours because mold may eventually begin to grow in the water. DATA COLLECTION Have students record data in their science notebooks or on the following activity sheet. What is a mixture? What is a solution? What changes did you observe during the experiment? You can use the table in the activity sheet (or a similar one of your own) for students to record the initial height of the solution in the bowl and the final height of the solution in the bowl. 5. Place a coin on the outside of the plastic wrap directly over the center of the glass. Make sure that the weight of the coin makes the plastic wrap slant down toward the center of the glass. 6. Put the bowl on a flat surface outside or on a windowsill where it will get a lot of sunshine. 7. Leave the bowl in the sun for about four hours. (You can also use a heat lamp if you wish to conduct this experiment inside.) 8. After four hours, take off the plastic wrap and lift the glass out of the saltwater solution. Measure the height of the saltwater solution left in the bowl and compare to the original measurement. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 357

5 ANALYSIS & CONCLUSION LESSON 28: Hold the Salt Use the questions from the activity sheet or your own questions to discuss the experimental data. Ask students to determine whether they should accept or reject their hypotheses. Review the information in the Scientific Inquiry section on pages to discuss valid and invalid hypotheses. ASSESSMENT/GOALS Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to Apply a scientific inquiry process and perform an experiment. Describe the difference between salt water and freshwater and explain the dangers of drinking salt water. Compare and contrast mixtures and solutions. Explain and give examples of physical changes, specifically vaporization and condensation. Define a separation process and describe the process of distillation (see Differentiation in the Classroom). Define and give examples of the different states of matter (see Differentiation in the Classroom). Distinguish between various phase changes/changes between states of matter (see Differentiation in the Classroom). Fun Fact The water in swimming pools and the ocean appears to be blue. This color can only be seen in tremendous quantities of water. The water looks blue because of the reflection of light. MODIFICATIONS/EXTENSIONS Modifications and extensions provide alternate methods for performing the lesson or similar lessons. They also introduce ways to expand on the content topics presented and think beyond those topics. Use the following examples or have a discussion to generate other ideas as a class. Before the experiment, ask the students if they know how to make freshwater from salt water. Tell them that this can be done by using the sun, and then ask how they can make this happen. (You can even challenge them to come up with their own experimental setup.) After the bowl has been in the sun a while, ask the students to explain what they are observing. Have them describe (and record!) what they see during each stage of the experiment. Be sure that the students are able to observe each step of the distillation process. REAL-WORLD APPLICATIONS Evaporation and condensation are essential parts of the earth s water cycle. The water cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the earth. Through this process, the water passes through the gaseous, liquid, and sometimes even the solid states. COMMUNICATION Discuss the results as a class and review the activity sheet. Review the information in the Scientific Inquiry section on pages to discuss the importance of communication to scientific progress. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 358

6 OBSERVE & RESEARCH 1. Write down the materials you see. 2. How might these materials be used? 3. Define the following key terms. Then, provide an example of each by writing the example or drawing/pasting an image of the example. Term Definition Example (write or add image) Mixture Solution Separation process Distillation Vaporization Condensation 4. Consider what might happen to a saltwater solution when the temperature is increased and why. uwrite your hypothesis. You Be The Chemist Activity Guides page 359

7 PERFORM YOUR EXPERIMENT 1. Fill a bowl with tap water to a depth of about 5 centimeters (2 inches). 2. Add 10 drops of blue food coloring and 2 3 teaspoons of salt. Mix well until the salt is dissolved. 3. Place the heavy glass cup (opening up) in the center of the bowl so it is surrounded by the blue saltwater solution. Make sure that the glass sits flat on the bottom of the bowl. 4. Put plastic wrap loosely over the top of the bowl. Tape the plastic wrap to the sides of the bowl so that air cannot get in or out. Make sure the plastic wrap is not pulled tightly across the top of the bowl. 5. Place a coin on the outside of the plastic wrap directly over the center of the glass. Make sure that the weight of the coin makes the plastic wrap slant down toward the center of the glass. 6. Put the bowl on a flat surface outside or on a windowsill where it will get a lot of sunshine. 7. After four hours, take off the plastic wrap. Lift the glass out of the saltwater solution. Then, measure the height of the saltwater solution in the bowl. ANALYZE & CONCLUDE 1. What do you see forming on the plastic wrap? What is causing this to form? 2. What color is the water that collected in the cup? What does this tell you? 3. How do you think the water in the cup would taste? Why? (Never actually taste any substance in the lab.) You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 360

8 4. After a few hours, what is left in the bowl? Explain. 5. Measure the amount of liquid in the bowl, and record below. Remember to include units. Time Height of the Solution in the Bowl Start (0 hours) Finish ( hours) 6. Is your hypothesis valid? Why or why not? If not, what would be your next steps? You Be The Chemist Activity Guides page 361

9 SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE 1. Define the following key terms. Then, provide an example of each by writing the example or drawing/pasting an image of the example. Term Definition Example (write or add image) Solid Liquid Gas Melting Freezing Sublimation Deposition Physical change 2. How might the process of distillation be useful to people? You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 362

10 ANSWER KEY Below are suggested answers. Other answers may also be acceptable. OBSERVE & RESEARCH 1. Write down the materials you see. A large bowl, a glass cup, plastic wrap, a coin, tape, blue food coloring, salt, water 2. How might these materials be used? A large bowl may be used to hold a substance. A glass cup may be used for drinking. Plastic wrap may be used to cover and wrap leftover food. A coin may be used as money. Tape may be used to hold things together. Salt may be used in cooking. These materials may be used to construct a system to demonstrate vaporization and condensation. 3. Define the following key terms. Then, provide an example of each by writing the example or drawing/pasting an image of the example. Term Definition Example (write or add image) Mixture A physical combination of two or more substances that can be physically separated. Solution A homogeneous (uniform) mixture in which one or more substances (solutes) are dissolved in another substance (solvent). Separation process A process that divides a mixture into two or more distinct substances. Distillation A method of separating a liquid mixture based on the differences between the boiling points of the mixture s parts. Vaporization A physical change in which a substance changes states from a liquid to a gas. Condensation A physical change in which a substance changes states from a gas to a liquid. 4. Consider what might happen to a saltwater solution when the temperature is increased and why. uwrite your hypothesis. Pure water will evaporate (vaporize) from the blue saltwater solution because water has a lower boiling point than salt. If the water vapor touches a cool surface, it may condense as pure liquid water. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 363

11 ANSWER KEY Below are suggested answers. Other answers may also be acceptable. PERFORM YOUR EXPERIMENT 1. Fill a bowl with tap water to a depth of about 5 centimeters (2 inches). 2. Add 10 drops of blue food coloring and 2 3 teaspoons of salt. Mix well until the salt is dissolved. 3. Place the heavy glass cup (opening up) in the center of the bowl so it is surrounded by the blue saltwater solution. Make sure that the glass sits flat on the bottom of the bowl. 4. Put plastic wrap loosely over the top of the bowl. Tape the plastic wrap to the sides of the bowl so that air cannot get in or out. Make sure the plastic wrap is not pulled tightly across the top of the bowl. 5. Place a coin on the outside of the plastic wrap directly over the center of the glass. Make sure that the weight of the coin makes the plastic wrap slant down toward the center of the glass. 6. Put the bowl on a flat surface outside or on a windowsill where it will get a lot of sunshine. 7. After four hours, take off the plastic wrap. Lift the glass out of the saltwater solution. Then, measure the height of the saltwater solution in the bowl. ANALYZE & CONCLUDE 1. What do you see forming on the plastic wrap? What is causing this to form? Droplets of liquid are forming on the plastic wrap. The droplets are water droplets that have evaporated (vaporized) from the solution and condensed on the plastic wrap. 2. What color is the water that collected in the cup? What does that tell you? The water in the cup is clear, which indicates that the food coloring does not evaporate. Only pure water evaporates. 3. How do you think the water in the cup would taste? Why? (Never actually taste any substance in the lab.) The water in the cup will taste like freshwater because the process separated the salt from the water. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 364

12 ANSWER KEY Below are suggested answers. Other answers may also be acceptable. 4. After a few hours, what is left in the bowl? Explain. The salt and food coloring will be left in the bowl if all of the water evaporates. However, since only some water evaporates, a blue saltwater solution remains. The remaining solution is more concentrated than the original solution (has more solute and less solvent). 5. Measure the amount of liquid in the bowl, and record below. Remember to include units. Time Height of the Solution in the Bowl Start (0 hours) 5 centimeters (2 inches) Finish ( hours) Answers will vary 6. Is your hypothesis valid? Why or why not? If not, what would be your next steps? Answer 1: Valid because the data support my hypothesis. Answer 2: Invalid because the data do not support my hypothesis. I would reject my hypothesis and could form a new one, such as You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 365

13 ANSWER KEY Below are suggested answers. Other answers may also be acceptable. SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE BEGINNERS Have students complete this section if you used the beginners differentiation information, or challenge them to find the answers to these questions at home and discuss how these terms relate to the experiment in class the next day. 1. Define the following key terms. Then, provide an example of each by writing the example or drawing/pasting an image of the example. Term Definition Example (write or add image) Solid A state of matter characterized by a definite volume and a definite shape. Liquid A state of matter that has a definite volume but no definite shape; a liquid will take the shape of the container that holds it, filling the bottom first. Gas A state of matter that has no definite volume or shape; a gas will take the shape of the container that holds it, filling the entire container. Melting A physical change in which a substance changes states from a solid to a liquid. Freezing A physical change in which a substance changes states from a liquid to a solid. Sublimation A physical change in which a substance changes states from a solid to a gas. Deposition A physical change in which a substance changes states from a gas to a solid. Physical change A change that alters the form or appearance of a substance but does not change its chemical makeup or create a new substance. 2. How might the process of distillation be useful to people? A distillation process can be used to make clean, drinkable water for people in areas where freshwater is not readily available. You Be The Chemist Activity Guide page 366

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