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Lab report - Essay Example

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This is because aluminum is versatile and has many desirable properties: light weight, nontoxic, pleasing appearance, ability to take high polish, high electric and thermal…
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Download file to see previous pages Apart from primary aluminum obtained from bauxite, secondary aluminum and aluminum compounds are obtained through recycling. Recycling aluminum prevents depletion of aluminum ore reserves. Compared with primary production, production of secondary aluminum requires a lower amount of energy. (Davis, 1993)
One compound that can be obtained by chemical treatment of used aluminum is potash alum. Potash alum or common alum (potassium aluminum sulfate dodecahydrate, KAl(SO4)2.12H2O) is a double salt. The Al3+ ions in alum act as flocculating agent during water treatment and purification and also as a blood congealer in medicine. (Atkins & de Paula, 2006)
To investigate a possible method for recycling used aluminum cans, potash alum was prepared from a piece of aluminum can. Feasibility of the recycling process was studied by calculating the percentage yield.
Collecting and weighing aluminum. The aluminum beverage can was washed. A 5×8 cm piece of aluminum was cut from the can. Paint from the outer surface of the can and plastic from the inner surface of the can were scraped off. The aluminum piece was cut into small squares. The aluminum squares were weighed and 0.996 g of aluminum was placed in a 250 mL beaker.
Addition of potassium hydroxide. To the aluminum in the beaker, 50 mL of 1.4 M potassium hydroxide was added. The reaction mixture of aluminum and KOH was heated on a hot plate in the hood. Heating was stopped when the mixture turned grey.
Vacuum filtering. Vacuum filtration apparatus was set up. The hot solution was vacuum filtered. The beaker used was rinsed with distilled water (5 mL) and this solution was also vacuum filtered. The filtrate obtained was cooled in an ice-water bath for a few minutes.
Addition of sulfuric acid and crystallization of alum. To the cooled filtrate, 20 mL of 9.0 M sulfuric ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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