* 5.4g. of Sand, 7.4g. of Copper Sulfate and 8.3g. of Iron Filings are mixed together with a spatula in a beaker.
* A magnet is then produced and the small-grey Iron is extracted.
* Filter Paper is used to filter out the damp Sand.
* A clear-blue Copper Sulfate solution is obtained.
* Copper Sulfate solution is poured into an crystallising basin.
* Basin is left for a full week along with the damp Sand.
* Copper Sulfate crystals are produced.
Weight Before (g)
Only slightly less of each material was obtained after the separation, leading to a relatively low level of loss and error.
In order to simplify the separation of the Iron Filings, and solve the problem of small pieces of Iron staying attached to the Magnet, I decided to wrap the magnet with a thin layer of paper towel that could then slide off the magnet to release the Iron Filings and drastically decrease the chances of losing pieces of Iron.
The Sand weighed more after rather than before because it still had some water in it, whilst the Copper Sulfate weighed slightly less because of loss in small fragments of Copper Sulfate crystals left in the crystallising basin – both Copper Sulfate before and after were in the form of crystals and therefore contained water.
One apparent problem is that we were unable to weigh the Copper Sulfate in the crystallising basin and therefore had to risk losing some Copper Sulfate because we wouldn’t be able to scratch all of it off the basin, or we had to resort to losing a significant figure. A Weighing machine that could handle up to 2kg whilst at the same time not sacrificing accuracy could have easily solved this.
Another slight problem would be that of our assumption on the amount of water present in the crystals of Copper Sulfate in regards to before and after the experiment, although there is very little that we could have done about it.