Chemistry Project on Preparation of Potash Alum
PREPARATION OF POTASH ALUM FROM SCRAP ALUMINUM
Name of Institute: Sindhi High School, Hebbal
This is to certify that Mr. %artftii Srinivas of class twelve, Sindhi High School, Hebbal has satisfactorily completed the project in Chemistry for the AISSCE as prescribed by CBSE in the year 2008-2009.
Registration No. :
Signature of Internal Examiner
Signature of External Examiner
I thank my chemistry teacher Mrs. Rukmini and Mrs. Deepa for their guidance and support. I also thank my Principal Mrs. Mahalakshmi Vijaychand. I would also like to thank my parents and my sister for encouraging me during this course of this project. Finally I would like to thank CBSE for giving me this opportunity to undertake this project.
Aluminium because of its low density, high tensile strength and resistance and resistance to corrosion is widely used for the manufacture of aeroplanes, automobiles lawn furniture as well as for aluminium cans. Being good conductor of electricity it is used for transmission of electricity. Aluminium is also used for making utensils. The recycling of aluminium cans and other aluminium products is a very positive contribution to saving our natural resources. Most of the recycled aluminium is melted and recast into other aluminium metal products or used in the production of various aluminium compounds, the most common of which are the alums. Alums are double sulphates having general formula
Some important alums and their names are given below:
K2SO4.Al2(SO4)3.24H2O - Potash Alum Na2SO4.Al2(SO4)3.24H2O - Soda Alum K2SO4.Cr2(SO4)3.24H2O - Chrome Alum (NH)2SO4.Fe2(SO4)3.24H2O - Ferric Alum
Potash alum is used in papermaking, in fire extinguishers in food stuffs and in purification of water soda alum used in baking powders and chrome alum is used in tanning leather and water proofing fabrics.
In addition Lo these primary uses, alum is also used as
(i) on mirin^m A substance or preparation, that draws together or constricts body
tissues and is effective in stopping the How of blood or other secretions Alum has also
been used by conventional hairdressers for treating shaving cuts,
(ii) a mordant Substances used in dyeing lo fix certain dyes on cloth. Hilher lhe
mordant (If it is colloidal) or a colloid produced by the mordant adheres to the fiber,
attracting and fixing the colloidal mordant dye. The insoluble, colored precipitate that is
formed is called a lake! Alum is a basic mordant used for Fixing acid dyesh
(i ii) for the removal of phosphate from natural and waste waters The alumi num ions of alum combine with the orihophosphaic around pH 6 to form Ihc solid aluminum hydroxy phosphate which is precipitated and
The major uses of alums are based on [wo important properties, namely precipitation of AI(OH)j and those related to the acidity created by the production of hydrogen ions,
Al(HjO)/J -*■ Al(OH), J + 3HjO + 3H*
The H* ions generated arc used for reacting with sodium bicarbonate to release CO]+ This property is made use of in baking powder and CO fire extinguishers,
Preparation of Potash Alum
|❖ 250 ml flask|
|❖ Scrap aluminium or cola can|
|❖ Potassium hydroxide solution (KOH)|
|❖ 6 M Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4)|
|❖ Water Bath|
Aluminum metal is treated with hot aqueous KOH solution. Aluminium dissolves as potassium aluminate, KAl(OH)4, salt.
Potassium aluminate solution on treatment with dil. Sulphuric acid first gives precipitate Al(OH)3, which dissolves on addition of small excess of H2SO4and heating.
2KOH(aq) + H2SO4(aq)————- > 2Al(OH)s (s) + ^SO^aq) + 2H2O(l)
2Al(OH)3 (S) + 3 H2SO4(aq)—————- > Ah(SO4)3(aq) +6H2O(l)
The resulting solution is concentrated to near saturation and cooled. On cooling crystals of potash alum crystallize out.
K2SO4(aq) + ^2^4)3^) + 24H2O(l)——————— > K2SO4.Al2(SO4)3. 24^O(s)
2Al(s) + 2KOH(aq) + 6H2O(l) ————– > 2KAl(OH)4 (aq) + 3H2
K2SO4(aq) + A^^^aq) + 24H2O(l)————————– > K2SO4.Al2<SO4)3. 24H2O(S)
2Al(OH)3 (S) + 3 H2SO4(aq) ————— > Al2(SO4)3(aq) +6H2O(l)
2KOH(aq) + H2SO4(aq)————- > 2Al(OH)3 (s) + K2SO4(aq) + 2H2O(l)
K2SO4(aq) + Al2(SO4)3(aq) + 24H2O(l)————— > K2SO4.Al2(SO4)3. 24^O(s)
■ Clean a small piece of scrap aluminium with steel wool and cut it into very small pieces. Aluminium foil may be taken instead of scrap aluminium.
■ Put the small pieces of scrap aluminium or aluminium foil(about 1.00g) into a conical flask and add about 50 ml of 4 M KOH solution to dissolve the aluminium.
■ The flask may be heated gently in order to facilitate dissolution. Since during this step hydrogen gas is evolved this step must be done in a well ventilated area.
■ Continue heating until all of the aluminium reacts.
■ Filter the solution to remove any insoluble impurities and reduce the volume to about 25 ml by heating.
■ Allow the filtrate to cool. Now add slowly 6 M H2SO4 until insoluble Al(OH)3 just forms in the solution.
■ Gently heat the mixture until the Al(OH)3 precipitate dissolves.
■ Cool the resulting solution in an ice-bath for about 30 minutes whereby alum crystals should separate out. For better results the solution may be left overnight for crystallization to continue.
■ In case crystals do not form the solution may be further concentrated and cooled again.
■ Filter the crystals from the solution using vacuum pump, wash the crystals with 50/50 ethanol-water mixture.
■ Continue applying the vacuum until the crystals appear dry.
■ Determine the mass of alum crystals.
Mass of aluminium metal =………………………… g
Mass of potash alum =…………………. g
Theoretical yield of potash alum =…………………… g
Percent yield =………………… %
Potash alum was prepared from aluminium
Preparation of Potash Alum