A task requires us to experiment water quality. How would you reduce turbidity of a clay water sample with an effective and cost-effective method?


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  • $\begingroup$ What will you test? Will the addition of precipitants interfere with your analysis? Did you have a look at this article? $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Apr 6 '15 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ we just need to purify the water using a cost-effective method $\endgroup$ – Bob Dylan Apr 6 '15 at 8:24
  • $\begingroup$ Is your intent to clean the water, or are you also looking to identify anything else, like impurities. What level of purification are we talking about? Should the filtered water be used for consumption or even other analytical experiments? What do you understand as cost effective? Distillation is certainly one possibility, but it is hard to judge how cost effective this can be considered. To get ultrapure water, it might be your only choice (repetitive distillation). $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 6 '15 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ we are looking to purify the water sample. we need to conduct an experimental investigation of a water sample (with clay particles) to determine the most cost effective method for purifying the water sample. $\endgroup$ – Bob Dylan Apr 6 '15 at 9:52

Apart from the article linked in a comment above, possible options are

  • wait and let settle, then decant
  • use an established flocculant, such as potassium alum $\ce{KAl(SO4)2*12H2O}$
  • $\begingroup$ but however, if you decanted the mixture, wouldn't there still be a brownish colour liquid when you seperate the liquid and the solid? $\endgroup$ – Bob Dylan Apr 6 '15 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ @BobDylan It depends - and you asked for a cheap solution. It doesn't get any cheaper than that ;) $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Apr 6 '15 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ Another question. How did you come up with that formula? Why is there a 12H2O? And what does the dot mean in front of the H2O $\endgroup$ – Bob Dylan Apr 7 '15 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ @BobDylan I'm not quite sure what you you mean with "come up"? If it's about how to make it look that way, have a look at this and this. As for the $\ce{\cdot 12H2O}$ notation, please have a look at Water of crystallization on wikipedia. I hope that helps. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Apr 8 '15 at 4:16

Expensive method is to use heat to evaporate the water, unless you have cheap heat (e.g. sunlight).

Cheap way is to push or suck it through a filter. You can buy bottles with filters in places that sell camping supplies.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Chemistry.SE. Take the tour to get familiar with this site. Mathematical expressions and equations can be formatted using $\LaTeX$. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 6 '15 at 11:36

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