The separation of mixtures is a fundamental science experiment that is performed in many classrooms around the world to teach students the basics of procedures like filtration, heating, and evaporation. When attempting to separate a mixture of sand and salt, you'll need some standard lab equipment like glass containers, filter paper and a bunsen burner.
As a general rule, you should always wear protective eyewear when heating materials with a bunsen burner.
Fill a test tube about half-way with the sand-salt mixture.
Pour water into the test tube. Use enough water to completely submerge the sand-salt mixture.
Stir or shake the mixture for a few minutes so that the salt dissolves in the water. The sand is insoluble, so it will remain visible.
Curl a piece of filter paper into a cone shape and place it in a filter funnel.
Pour the mixture through the filter funnel into a crucible or evaporating basin. The filter paper will hold back the sand and only allow the salt solution to pass through it.
Place the crucible containing the salt solution on a tripod, and heat the bottom of it with a bunsen burner. After a while, the water will evaporate, leaving only the salt crystals behind.
Place the wet filter paper with the sand under a heat lamp or leave it in the sun to dry it out.
Scrape the salt crystals out of the crucible. You should now be left with a pile of sand and a pile of salt, having successfully separated the two from the mixture.
- Verrerie de laboratoire. image by Photon BLEU from Fotolia.com