Difference between revisions of "Chemical garden"

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
 
Line 3: Line 3:
  
 
==Preparation==
 
==Preparation==
A transition metal salt is added in the sodium silicate solution, resulting in the formation of a transition metal silicate, which grows upwards if the density of the fluid inside the resulting semi-permeable membrane is low, and downwards if the density is high.
+
First, prepare a solution of sodium silicate in a large flask, best with a perfectly flat bottom. Large crystals of a transition metal salt is added in the sodium silicate solution, resulting in the formation of a transition metal silicate, which grows upwards if the density of the fluid inside the resulting semi-permeable membrane is low, and downwards if the density is high. You can reuse the sodium silicate solution, but as it becomes more diluted, the resulting garden will be less impressive.<ref>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZWJCuJAYA</ref>
  
 
The resulting garden should not be shaken, since the "plants" are very delicate and will break. The life of garden can be extended by slowly adding water at a very slow rate, after the growth has ceased.
 
The resulting garden should not be shaken, since the "plants" are very delicate and will break. The life of garden can be extended by slowly adding water at a very slow rate, after the growth has ceased.

Latest revision as of 11:01, 30 November 2019

A chemical garden (or crystal garden) is a simple experiment in chemistry, usually performed by adding one or more metal salts, such as copper(II) sulfate, iron(II) chloride, cobalt(II) chloride, nickel(II) sulfate to an aqueous solution of sodium silicate or potassium silicate. This results in growth of "plant" like forms in minutes to hours.

Preparation

First, prepare a solution of sodium silicate in a large flask, best with a perfectly flat bottom. Large crystals of a transition metal salt is added in the sodium silicate solution, resulting in the formation of a transition metal silicate, which grows upwards if the density of the fluid inside the resulting semi-permeable membrane is low, and downwards if the density is high. You can reuse the sodium silicate solution, but as it becomes more diluted, the resulting garden will be less impressive.[1]

The resulting garden should not be shaken, since the "plants" are very delicate and will break. The life of garden can be extended by slowly adding water at a very slow rate, after the growth has ceased.

Salts used

Salt Color
Aluminium potassium sulfate White
Calcium chloride White
Cobalt(II) chloride Purple
Chromium(III) chloride Green
Copper(II) sulfate Blue
Iron(II) sulfate Green
Iron(III) chloride Orange
Manganese(II) chloride Pink
Nickel(II) sulfate Green
Zinc chloride White

Other types of chemical gardens

Charcoal crystal garden

This chemical garden does not require sodium silicate. Instead, salt crystals are grown on charcoal substrates. Other porous materials can also be used, such as brick, cork, sponge, porous rock, pumice. For this experiment you will need charcoal briquettes, ammonia, distilled water, uniodized salt, bluing, and food coloring.[2]

Handling

Safety

While sodium silicate is not very toxic, and only somewhat irritating, some salts used, like cobalt salts are harmful and proper protection should be worn when working.

Storage and disposal

Chemical gardens do not store well over time.

Generally, chemical gardens don't require special disposal and can be simply dumped in trash. If toxic metal compounds have been used, special disposal may be required.

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZWJCuJAYA
  2. http://chemistry.about.com/cs/growingcrystals/ht/charcoalgarden.htm

Relevant Sciencemadness threads

No threads so far. Why not make one?