Synthesis Of Alum Synthesis

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Testing the Suitability of Using Alum Synthesis as a Method of Recycling Aluminum

Introduction: According to The Aluminum Association, “Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year” (The Aluminum Association,2014). With the increasing number of aluminum cans being disposed of in landfills annually, it is important to investigate ways to cut back on waste and how these products can be recycled in the most efficient way possible. The purpose of the lab was to further understand the chemical processes that occur during the recycling of aluminum, ultimately determining the efficiency of this method. In order to investigate the various reactions present within alum synthesis, aluminum can pieces and potassium hydroxide were used
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The acid base reaction was identified knowing compounds containing OH are bases and compounds with H+ are considered acids. The reactions were also identified as metathesis because “bimolecular reaction involve only two reactants” ( During the reactions, it was observed when potassium aluminum hydroxide was mixed with sulfuric acid, the transparency of the mixture was altered from clear to opaque and the consistency of the mixture was described as a slushy-like. The mixture had to be heated on a hot plate in order to prevent the formation of solid material taking place prematurely while the sulfuric acid was still being added. After being heated, the consistency of the mixture was liquefied than before without the almost solid material present. The final reaction took place when alum crystals were formed when the products of the two previous reactions reacted with each other. The potassium sulfate in the second reaction, the aluminum sulfate in the third reaction, and the water from both reactions became the reactants used in the final reaction of alum
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