“Analyzing and Synthesizing Potassium Aluminum Sulfate”

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“Analyzing and Synthesizing Potassium Aluminum Sulfate” Introduction: Potassium aluminum sulfate, also known as Alum, is a salt found in many commercially made products. Alum is an ingredient in commercially made baking powder, and gives baking powder the faint metallic taste. Alum is also used in the production of cucumbers, pickles, and maraschino cherries. The aluminum ions give the fruit a crisp taste because it strengthens the cell walls (2). Potassium aluminum sulfate is also used in some commercially produced and sold deodorants (3). The Alum dodecahydrate is commonly used medicinally. The hydrate is found in several vaccines such as hepatitis a and hepatitis b. It can also be used to shrink hemorrhoids as well as stop the bleeding (4). In this lab we synthesized and analyzed potassium aluminum sulfate (KAl(SO4)12H2O) using a multiple different tests. These test included flame test, melting point, potassium test, sulfate test, and aluminum test. We also determined the number of waters of hydration in Alum. Experimentally and empirically potassium aluminum sulfate is a dodecahydrate (4). The purpose of the laboratory is to determine the number of waters of hydration in aluminum potassium sulfate as well as the purity of the Alum we produce. Experimental1: The procedure for this laboratory was followed closely from Professor Abrams’ lab manual. In Part 1 of this laboratory an aluminum soda can was cut apart and the paint and lacquer was rubbed off with steel wool. Next, the aluminum can was rinsed off with tap H2O and then cut into small pieces. Using the analytical balance 1.0537 g of the aluminum can was weighed out. The 1.0537 g of aluminum was added to 40 mL of 1.5 M KOH(aq) in a 250 mL breaker. The slurry of KOH and Aluminum was then placed on a hot plate for 30 minutes. A filtration apparatus made with 500 mL Bucher filter flask, funnel and adapter

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