how do you separate a mixture of water, ethanol, and sand?

My teacher asked me this question on a quiz and said we could look in our book and none of us found the answer to this question so I was wondering how to separate a mixture of water, ethanol, and sand!!

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  • Norrie
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I assume your school has a Laboratory containing the necessary equipment....

    1...Pour the mixture through a fine filter to collect the sand in the filter.

    The collecting vessel will now contain the Water/Ethanol solution.

    2...Pour an extra beaker of fresh water through the filter to wash any ethanol/water out of the sand in the filter.

    3...Take the solution in the collection container and put it through a simple distillation process, during which the temperature of the distillation flask contents should be maintained at a steady 78.5°C by using a 'Reflux' column attached to the flask.

    (Your teacher should be familiar with these processes.but, don't boil the solution. This will vaporise the ethanol out of the mixture into the atmosphere...Ethanol vapour is combustible and possibly explosive...be very careful.

    Source(s): Working with such processes for over 50 years on a much larger industrial system.
  • 9 years ago

    Filter it to get the sand, then boil it to evaporate the water.

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