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Lab 4 - Caroline Ho Recrystallization of an Unknown Solid...

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Caroline Ho Recrystallization of an Unknown Solid and the Decolorization of Brown Sugar Purpose: In this lab, after establishing a solvent for recrystallization, an unknown solid is purified and identified using the concept of “like dissolves like.” In a separate experiment, color impurities are removed from brown sugar through the use of activated charcoal to explore the effects of intermolecular forces on adsorption. Discussion: The first step in a recrystallization is the selection of a suitable solvent. In an ideal solvent, the solid is virtually insoluble at room temperature but very soluble when the solvent is heated to its boiling point. For unknown #3, it was determined that the ideal solvent was water. The available solvents were 95% ethanol, acetone, hexane, and water. 95% ethanol and acetone were eliminated because they did not fulfill the requirements for a suitable solvent. The compound was initially insoluble in 95% ethanol, but eventually dissolved at 39°C, which is close to room temperature. Likewise, the compound also dissolved in acetone at room temperature. Hexane was also eliminated as the compound remained insoluble in very high temperatures.
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