Sand that you find on a beach consists of several minerals and organic matter. If you could separate out the impurities, you would have pure sand, which is silica or silicon dioxide. Here is how to prepare pure sand yourself in the lab. It is an easy project that only requires a few chemicals.
Ingredients for Sand
- sodium silicate (make sodium silicate yourself)
- sodium bisulfate
Make Pure Sand
- Mix together 5 ml sodium silicate solution and 5 ml water.
- In a separate container, use a glass stirrer to mix 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 pure 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.