Friday, November 4, 2011

Lab Quote Friday: Word of the Week- Flocculent

This week in lab, the students did an experiment where they made alum (see picture) from coke cans and then tested it as a flocculent.  Aaah- spell check doesn't know the word flocculent!  Well, neither do the students.  Do you know what it means?  I'm betting a lot of people have never heard this word much less know its definition.  So today we are going to expand our vocabulary!
Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
1.  "Flocculation, in the field of chemistry, is a process wherein colloids come out of suspension in the form of floc or flakes by the addition of a clarifying agent."
In our case, the clarifying agent (or flocculent) was alum.
2.  "Water treatment-  Flocculation and sedimentation are widely employed in the purification of drinking water as well as sewage treatment, stormwater treatment and treatment of other industrial wastewater streams."
We used our alum to purify some simulated dirty water in the lab.  Students got to see the impurities come out of suspension and settle to the bottom of their test tubes.  Cool!

So, there you have it.  See if you can use flocculent in your conversations today :)  Oh, you need an actual lab quote today too?  OK!  

Lab girl:  Is flocculent even a word?

1 comment:

shelly said...

YEA for lab quote Friday! Love the topic...and the quote!