Sand that you find on a beach or a playground is a mixture of minerals and organic matter. Pure sand, which is silicon dioxide or silica, is a chemical you may not encounter. However, you can make pure sand yourself quite easily:
Ingredients for Sand
Hawaii's Green Sand Beach
- Mix together 5 ml sodium silicate solution and 5 ml water.
- In a separate container, stir 3.5 grams sodium bisulfate into 10 mL of water. Keep stirring until the sodium bisulfate dissolves.
- Mix the two solutions together. The resulting gel that forms at the bottom of the liquid is orthosilicic acid.
- Place the orthosilicic acid into a heat-safe glass or porcelain dish and heat it over a burner flame for about 5 minutes. The orthosilicic acid dries to form silicon dioxide, SiO2, which is your sand. Sand is non-toxic, but it presents an inhalation hazard since the small particles could become trapped in your lungs if inhaled. Therefore, enjoy your sand, but don't play with it like you might with natural sand.
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