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1.1 Physical Nature of Matter

For a long time, two schools of thought prevailed regarding the nature of matter. One
school believed matter to be continuous like a block of wood, whereas, the other
thought that matter was made up of particles like sand. Let us perform an activity to
decide about the nature of matter is it continuous or particulate?

Activity ______________ 1.1

Take a 100 mL beaker.

Fill half the beaker with water and mark the level of water.
Dissolve some salt/ sugar with the help of a glass rod.
Observe any change in water level.
What do you think has happened to the salt?
Where does it disappear?
Does the level of water change?

In order to answer these questions we need to use the idea that matter is made up
of particles. What was there in the spoon, salt or sugar, has now spread throughout
water. This is illustrated in Fig. 1.1.

Fig. 1.1: When we dissolve salt in water, the particles of salt get into the spaces between particles
of water.

Fig. 1.2: Estimating how small are the particles of matter. With every dilution, though the
colourbecomes light, it is still visible.


Activity ______________ 1.2

Take 2-3 crystals of potassium permanganate and dissolve them in 100 mL of water.
Take out approximately 10 mL of this solution and put it into 90 mL of clear water.
Take out 10 mL of this solution and put it into another 90 mL of clear water.
Keep diluting the solution like this 5 to 8 times.
Is the water still coloured?

Fig.1.5: a, b and c show the magnified schematic pictures of the three states of matter. The
motion of the particles can be seen and compared in the three states of matter.

Activity _____________1.13
Take some camphor or ammonium chloride. Crush it and put it in a china dish.
Put an inverted funnel over the china dish.
Put a cotton plug on the stem of the funnel, as shown in Fig. 1.7.

Fig. 1.7: Sublimation of ammonium chloride

Now, heat slowly and observe.

What do you infer from the above activity?

A change of state directly from solid to gas without changing into liquid state (or vice
versa) is called sublimation.

Ammonium chloride (or camphor or naphthalene or iodine or any other sublimable solid), china dish,
funnel, cotton plug, burner, tripod stand, and a wire gauge.


1. Take powdered sublimable solid in a china dish.

2. Put an inverted funnel over the china dish.
3. Insert a cotton plug on the stem of the funnel.

4. Put china dish over the wire gauge on the tripod stand.
5. Heat the china dish slowly with the help of a burner.
6. Cover the outer surface of the funnel with wet cotton to sublime the vapours quickly.

Fig. 6.1 : Sublimation of ammonium chloride

A sublimable solid on heating directly get converted into vapours,
that sublimes back on cooling directly into solid again on the walls of
the funnel.


A sublimable solid on heating directly converts into gaseous state. How? Is

it because of the high vapour pressure of the liquid state of the solid. The
liquid state is practically non-existant.

Heat the sample carefully.
Take care in plugging the stem of the funnel securely with cotton.
The size of the mouth of the funnel and china dish should be
Do not remove the funnel when hot.


Moth repellent balls are easily available which can be crushed and can also be used as a sample in
this experiment.




Fig. 11.1 : Separation of components of a mixture of common salt. (a) Residue containing sand and common salt
dissolved in water; (b) Separation of sand by filtration; and (c) Obtaining common salt by evaporation


How do we judge whether milk, ghee, butter, salt, spices, mineral water or juice that
we buy from the market are pure?

Fig. 2.1: Some consumable items

Have you ever noticed the word pure written on the packs of these consumables?
For a common person pure means having no adulteration. But, for a scientist all
these things are actually mixtures of different substances and hence not pure. For
example, milk is actually a mixture of water, fat, proteins etc. When a scientist says
that something is pure, it means that all the constituent particles of that substance
are the same in their chemical nature. A pure substance consists of a single type of
As we look around, we can see that most of the matter around us exist as mixtures
of two or more pure components, for example, sea water, minerals, soil etc. are all

2.1 What is a Mixture?

Mixtures are constituted by more than one kind of pure form of matter, known as a
substance. A substance cannot be separated into other kinds of matter by any
physical process. We know that dissolved sodium chloride can be separated from
water by the physical process of evaporation. However, sodium chloride is itself a
substance and cannot be separated by physical process into its chemical
constituents. Similarly, sugar is a substance because it contains only one kind of
pure matter and its composition is the same throughout. Soft drink and soil are not
single substances. Whatever the source of a substance may be, it will always have
the same characteristic properties. Therefore, we can say that a mixture contains
more than one substance.


Depending upon the nature of the components that form a mixture, we can have
different types of mixtures.

Activity ______________ 2.1

Let us divide the class into groups A, B, C and D.

Group A takes a beaker containing 50 mL of water and one spatula full of copper sulphate
powder. Group B takes
50 mL of water and two spatula full of copper sulphate powder in a beaker.
Groups C and D can take different amounts of copper sulphate and potassium
permanganate or common salt (sodium chloride) and mix the given components to form a
Report the observations on the uniformity in colour and texture.
Groups A and B have obtained a mixture which has a uniform composition throughout.
Such mixtures are called homogeneous mixtures or solutions. Some other examples of such
mixtures are: (i) salt in water and (ii) sugar in water. Compare the colour of the solutions of
the two groups. Though both the groups have obtained copper sulphate solution but the
intensity of colour of the solutions is different. This shows that a homogeneous mixture can
have a variable composition.

Groups C and D have obtained mixtures, which contain physically distinct parts and have
non-uniform compositions. Such mixtures are called heterogeneous mixtures. Mixtures of
sodium chloride and iron filings, salt and sulphur, and oil and water are examples of
heterogeneous mixtures.

Activity ______________ 2.2

Let us again divide the class into four groups A, B, C and D.
Distribute the following samples to each group:
Few crystals of copper sulphate to group A.
One spatula full of copper sulphate to group B.
Chalk powder or wheat flour to group C.
Few drops of milk or ink to group D.
Each group should add the given sample in water and stir properly using a glass rod. Are
the particles in the mixture visible?
Direct a beam of light from a torch through the beaker containing the mixture and observe
from the front. Was the path of the beam of light visible?
Leave the mixtures undisturbed for a few minutes (and set up the filtration apparatus in
the meantime). Is the mixture stable or do the particles begin to settle after some time?
Filter the mixture. Is there any residue on the filter paper?
Discuss the results and form an opinion.
Groups A and B have got a solution.
Group C has got a suspension.
Group D has got a colloidal solution.

Fig. 2.2: Filtration

Now, we shall learn about solutions, suspensions and colloidal solutions in the
following sections.

2.2 What is a Solution?

A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. You come across

various types of solutions in your daily life. Lemonade, soda water etc. are all
examples of solutions. Usually we think of a solution as a liquid that contains either a
solid, liquid or a gas dissolved in it. But, we can also have solid solutions (alloys) and
gaseous solutions (air). In a solution there is homogeneity at the particle level. For
example, lemonade tastes the same throughout. This shows that particles of sugar
or salt are evenly distributed in the solution.


The mixture obtained by group D in activity 2.2 is called a colloid or a colloidal
solution. The particles of a colloid are uniformly spread throughout the solution. Due
to the relatively smaller size of particles, as compared to that of a suspension, the
mixture appears to be homogeneous. But actually, a colloidal solution is a
heterogeneous mixture, for example, milk. Because of the small size of colloidal
particles, we cannot see them with naked eyes. But, these particles can easily
scatter a beam of visible light as observed in activity 2.3. This scattering of a beam
of light is called the Tyndall effect after the name of the scientist who discovered this
effect. Tyndall effect can also be observed when a fine beam of light enters a room
through a small hole. This happens due to the scattering of light by the particles of
dust and smoke in the air.

Fig. 2.3: (a) Solution of copper sulphate does not show Tyndall effect, (b) mixture of water and
milk shows Tyndall effect.

2.3.3 How can we separate a mixture of two immiscible liquids ?

Fig. 2.6: Separation of immiscible liquids

Fig. 2.8: Separation of dyes in black ink using chromatography

Fig.2.9: Separation of two miscible liquids by distillation

Fig. 2.10: Fractional distillation

Fig. 2.12: Separation of components of air

Fig. 2.13: Water purification system in water works

What you have learnt?

A mixture contains more than one substance (element and/or compound)

mixed in any proportion.
Mixtures can be separated into pure substances using appropriate separation

A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. The major

component of a solution is called the solvent, and the minor, the solute.
The concentration of a solution is the amount of solute present per unit volume
or per unit mass of the solution/solvent.
Materials that are insoluble in a solvent and have particles that are visible to
naked eyes, form a suspension. A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture.
Colloids are heterogeneous mixtures in which the particle size is too small to be
seen with the naked eye, but is big enough to scatter light. Colloids are useful in
industry and daily life. The particles are called the dispersed phase and the
medium in which they are distributed is called the dispersion medium.
Pure substances can be elements or compounds. An element is a form of
matter that cannot be broken down by chemical reactions into simpler
substances. A compound is a substance composed of two or more different types
of elements, chemically combined in a fixed proportion.
Properties of a compound are different from its constituent elements, whereas
a mixture shows the properties of its constituting elements or compounds.

Representation of classification of matter

Is Matter Around us Pure
Matter can be broadly divided into two major groups, 'Pure' and 'Impure'. In chemistry, the term 'purity'
acquires quite a different meaning from what we understand it to be in our day-to-day life. Normally,
when we refer to pure water, pure milk, etc., what is implied is that the water, milk etc., are free from
harmful substances such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc., or are not adulterated. 'Purity' as a chemical
concept signifies something quite different. When we say a substance is pure, it means that the
constituent particles that make up the substance are of only one type and have the same chemical
nature. For example, in chemical terms, pure water implies that it is made of only one type of
molecule i.e., H2O. Accordingly, the chemical classification of matter specifies two main categories of
substances, pure substances and mixtures (impure substances).

Matter that is divided into pure and impure substances can be further categorized. Pure substances
can be divided into 'elements' and 'compounds'; impure substances, commonly called 'mixtures' can
be further divided into homogeneous' and 'heterogeneous' mixtures.

Physical and Chemical changes in matter

In this page we are going to discuss about physical and Chemical
changes in matter concept . Matter undergoes certain changes as a result of the
application of energy. Water from saltpans on the seacoast dry up, leaving
behind salt; water from the sea evaporates to from water vapour, which
convert into clouds and then condense to form rain. Glaciers melt in summer
and rivers freeze in winter. A candle upon burning gives light, heat, water
vapour and carbon dioxide. Hydrogen burns in air to form the water molecule
The different changes that matter undergoes, may be broadly classified
into 'physical' and 'chemical' changes.

Physical changes

When the shape, size, appearance or state, of a substance is altered, but its
chemical composition remains same a physical
change of matter takes place. No new substance is formed. It is usually a change,
which is reversible, that is, by reversing the
process, the original substance can be obtained.

By using a piece of gold, a goldsmith can make a gold chain and can later alter it to
make a gold bracelet, ring or a pair of
earings. All of them consist of the same substance, namely gold. This is an example
of a physical change. A more common
everyday example is that of water, which can be converted into solid ice, liquid water,
and gaseous water vapour. It can be
reconverted to its previous state by various methods. Yet, in all the three forms, the
chemical composition of water is not altered.
No new substance with new chemical properties is formed. In all these, water
consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom
of oxygen.

Thus, a Physical change is a change in which the chemical composition of the

substance is not affected, i.e., no new substance is formed.
Examples of Physical Changes

(a) Dissolving of sugar in water

When crystalline sugar is dissolved in water, it seems to disappear completely, and
not even a very powerful microscope can show us the molecules of sugar in water.
The solution obtained is uniformly sweet. By evaporating the water the sugar can be
recovered in a crystalline form.

(b) Magnetising an iron rod

An iron rod can be converted into a magnet by passing an electric current through an
insulated coil wound around it. When the current flows, the iron bar gets magnetised.
One end becomes North Pole and the other the South Pole. If the direction of the
current is reversed, the North Pole changes to South Pole and the South Pole
changes to North Pole.

(c) Glowing of an electric bulb

When an electric current is passed through the filament of a bulb, the filament starts
glowing and the glow stops as soon as the current is cut off. The chemical
composition of the filament does not alter in either state.

Chemical Change
A change in which the composition of a substance is altered is called as chemical
change of matter. As a result, the original
properties get changed and one or more new substances are formed.

Iron is greyish white metal and conducts electricity. It is attracted by a magnet, and
reacts with dilute acids to yield hydrogen.
Sulphur is a non-metal, and is yellow in colour. It dissolves in carbon disulphide.
When powdered iron and sulphur are heated
together, a completely new substance, iron sulphide is formed. The properties of iron
sulphide are entirely different from those of
iron and sulphur. It is black in colour, does not get attracted by a magnet and does
not allow electric current to pass through it.
It reacts with dilute acids to from hydrogen sulphide gas. In short, the properties of
neither iron nor sulphur are exhibited by iron

Conditions For Chemical Change

The criterion for a chemical change is the production of one or more new
substances. Therefore, certain conditions should be
met in order to bring about a chemical change. The necessary conditions are:
1.A minimum amount of energy needed to initiate a reaction, called the activation
energy, should be supplied in the form of heat,
light or electric current. In a chemical change the reactants combine to form new
products. For this process it is necessary to
break the old bonds of the reactants and forms fresh bonds in order to give new
products. This requires a certain amount of

2. For the occurrence of any reaction, the molecules or atoms of the reactants must
collide with one another, in order to break
old bonds and form new bonds.

3. The speed with which the chemical reaction takes place is called the rate of the
chemical reaction. This should be
appreciable, to bring about the change.
4. The rate of a reaction depends on following factors:
Presence of light
Presence of catalyst

Temperature : Certain chemical reactions do not take place at room temperature but
occur readily at a higher temperature. Accordingly, heat is required to start the
reaction e.g. fuels like coal and wood only start burning when heated to a certain
temperature called its ignition temperature.

Presence of Light : Some reactions take place only in light and do not take place in
dark e.g. photosynthesis in green plants or reaction between H2 and Cl2 to form HCl.

Presence of a Catalyst : A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of

chemical reaction without itself undergoing any change.Example: Hydrogenation of
oils to form fats takes place faster, in presence of nickel.

Electricity : Certain reactions take place with the help of an electric current.Example:
Decomposition of acidulated water to give hydrogen and oxygen gas

Pressure : Some chemical reactions need very high pressure to proceed. For e.g., in
the commercial manufacture of ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen by Haber's
process, a pressure of over 200 atmosphere is required, in presence of a catalyst
iron and a temperature of 450oC to 500oC.

Examples of Chemical Changes

Below are the examples on chemical changes (a) Effect of heat on lead nitrate : Lead nitrate is a white, crystalline solid. When
heated, it starts decomposing with a
crackling sound, producing a reddish brown gas called nitrogen dioxide, and a
colourless gas, oxygen. A yellow residue of lead
monoxide is left behind in the test tube.

(b) Action of concentrated sulphuric acid on sugar :When concentrated sulphuric

acid is added to sugar, it becomes a
black mass of sugar charcoal. The acid removes all the water from the sugar, that is,
hydrogen and oxygen and absorbs it
leaving a residue of spongy carbon.

(c) Action of sodium on cold water :

When a small piece (pea size) of sodium is placed in cold water, it darts about on the
water with a hissing sound and produces hydrogen. The water left behind, acquires
the property of turning red litmus blue. This shows the presence of a basic
substance, which is sodium hydroxide

Physical Change

Chemical Change

No new or different substance is formed. The Results in the formation of at least one new sub
composition of the substance, that undergoes constituent particles of the new substance are d
the change, remains unchanged
constituent particles of the original substance
It is temporary change and in most cases it
can be reversed by the reversal of conditions

It is permanent change and cannot be reversed

of conditions

No change occurs in the mass of the

substances undergoing the change

Mass of the individual substances that undergo

always, either increases or decreases. However
all the reactants is equal to the total mass of al

Remember :
Sometimes both changes occur together. For example, when a person eats
chocolate and then digests it a physical and a
chemical change takes place. When the person chews the chocolate and breaks it
into smaller pieces - it is a physical change.
No new substances have been formed yet.

Once acted upon by saliva and other digestive juices, the chocolate is broken down
into other simpler substances, which can be
absorbed by the blood. This is a chemical change.
How can We Separate a Mixture of Salt and Ammonium Chloride?
We have learnt that ammonium chloride changes directly from solid to gaseous state on
heating. So, to separate such mixtures that contain a sublimable volatile component
from a non-sublimable impurity (salt in this case), the sublimation process is used
(Fig.7). Some examples of solids which sublime are ammonium chloride, camphor,
naphthalene and anthracene.

How can We Obtain Coloured Component (Dye) from Blue / Black


Fill half a beaker with water.

Put a watch glass on the mouth of the beaker (Fig. 5).

Put few drops of ink on the watch glass.

Now start heating the beaker. We do not want to heat the ink directly. You will see
that evaporation is taking place from the watch glass.

Continue heating as the evaporation goes on and stop heating when you do not
see any further change on the watch glass.

Observe carefully and record your observations.

We find that ink is a mixture of a dye in water. Thus, we can separate the volatile
component (solvent) from its non-volatile solute by the method of evaporation.

How can We Separate a Mixture of Two Miscible Liquids?

Let us try to separate acetone and water from their mixture.

Take the mixture in a distillation flask. Fit it with a thermometer.

Arrange the apparatus as shown in Fig. 9.

Heat the mixture slowly keeping a close watch at the thermometer.

The acetone vaporises, condenses in the condenser and can be collected from the
condenser outlet.

Water is left behind in the distillation flask.

This method is called distillation. It is used for the separation of components of a

mixture containing two miscible liquids that boil without decomposition and have
sufficient difference in their boiling points.
To separate a mixture of two or more miscible liquids for which the difference in boiling
points is less than 25 K, fractional distillation process is used, for example, for the
separation of different gases from air, different factions from petroleum products etc.
The apparatus is similar to that for simple distillation, except that a fractionating column
is fitted in between the distillation flask and the condenser.
A simple fractionating column is a tube packed with glass beads. The beads provide
surface for the vapours to cool and condense repeatedly, as shown in Fig. 10.

How can We Obtain Pure Copper Sulphate from an Impure


Take some (approximately 5 g) impure sample of copper sulphate in a china dish.

Dissolve it in minimum amount of water.

Filter the impurities out.

Evaporate water from the copper sulphate solution so as to get a saturated


Cover the solution with a filter paper and leave it undisturbed at room
temperature to cool slowly for a day.

You will obtain the crystals of copper sulphate in the china dish.

This process is called crystallisation.

The crystallisation method is used to purify solids. For example, the salt we get from sea
water can have many impurities in it. To remove these impurities, the process of
crystallisation is used. Crystallisation is a process that separates a pure solid in the form

of its crystals from a solution. Crystallisation technique is better than simple evaporation
technique as

some solids decompose or some, like sugar, may get charred on heating to

some impurities may remain dissolved in the solution even after filtration. On
evaporation these contaminate the solid.


Purification of salt that we get from sea water.

Separation of crystals of alum (phitkari) from impure samples.

Thus, by choosing one of the above methods according to the nature of the components
of a mixture, we get a pure substance. With advancements in technology many more
methods of separation techniques have been devised. In cities, drinking water is supplied
from water works. A flow diagram of a typical water works is shown in Fig. 13.
5. Separation of substances
There are many instances when we notice a substance being separated from a
mixture of materials.
Tea leaves are separated from the liquid with a strainer, while preparing tea
(Fig. 5.1).

Fig. 5.1 Separating tea leaves with a strainer

Grain is separated from stalks, while harvesting. Milk or curd is churned to

separate the butter (Fig. 5.2). As we learned in Chapter 3, we gin cotton to
separate its seeds from the fibre.

Perhaps you might have eaten salted daliya or poha. If you found that it had
chillies in it, you may have carefully taken them out before eating.
Suppose you are given a basket containing mangoes and guavas and asked to
separate them. What would you do? Pick out one kind and place them in a
separate container, right?
Seems easy, but what if the materials we want to separate are much smaller
than mango or guava?

Fig. 5.2 Butter is taken out by churning milk or curds

Imagine you are given a glass of sand with salt mixed in it. Impossible, even to
think of separating salt from this mixture by picking out grains of sand by hand!
But, why would we need to separate substances like this at all, is what Paheli
wants to know.
Activity 1

In Column 1 of Table 5.1, are given a few processes of separation. The purpose of
separation and the way separated components are used is mentioned in Column 2 and 3
respectively. However, the information given in Columns 2 and 3 is jumbled up. Can
you match each
Table 5.1 Why do we separate substances?

Separation process

Purpose for which we do

the separation

What do we do with the

separated components?

1) Separat stone from


a) To separate two different,

but useful components

i) We throw away the solid


2) Churning milk to
obtain butter

b) To remove non-useful

ii) We throw away the impurities.

3) Separate tea

c) To remove impurities or
harmful components.

iii) We use both the components.

process with its purpose and the way separated components are used?

We see that, before we use a substance, we need to separate harmful or nonuseful substances that may be mixed with it. Sometimes, we separate even
useful components if we need to use them separately.
The substances to be separated may be particles of different sizes or
materials. These may be solids, liquids or even gases. So, how do we separate
substances mixed together if they have so many different properties?


We will discuss some simple methods of separating substances that are mixed
together. You may come across some of these methods being used in day to
day activities.
Hand Picking

Activity 2

Bring a packet of grain purchased from a shop to the classroom. Now, spread the grain
on a sheet of paper. Do you find only one kind of grain on the sheet of paper? Are there
pieces of stone, husks, broken grain and particles of any other grain in it? Now, remove
with your hand the pieces of stone, husks and other grains from it.
This method of handpicking can be used for separating slightly larger sized impurities
like the pieces of dirt, stone, and husk from wheat, rice or pulses (Fig. 5.3). The
quantity of such impurities is usually not very large. In such situations, we find that
handpicking is a convenient method of separating substances.

Fig. 5.3 Handpicking stones from grain


You must have seen bundles of wheat or paddy stalks lying in fields after
harvesting the crop. Stalks are dried in the sun before the grain is separated
from them. Each stalk has many grain seeds attached to it. Imagine the

number of grain seeds in hundreds of bundles of stalk lying in the field! How
does the farmer separate grain seeds from those bundles of stalks?
One may pluck mangoes or guavas from the trees. But, grain seeds are much
smaller than mangoes or guavas. So, plucking them from their stalks would be
impossible. How does one separate grain seeds from their stalks?
The process that is used to separate grain from stalks is threshing. In this
process, the stalks are beaten to free the grain seeds (Fig. 5.4).

Fig 5.4 Threshing

Sometimes, threshing is done with the help of bullocks. Machines are also
used to thresh large quantities of grain.

Activity 3

Make a mixture of dry sand with sawdust or powdered dry leaves. Keep this mixture on
a plate or a newspaper. Look at this mixture carefully. Can the two different
components be made out easily? Are the sizes of particles of the two components
similar? Would it be possible to separate the components by handpicking?
Now, take your mixture to an open ground and stand on a raised platform. Put the
mixture in a plate or sheet of paper. Hold the plate or the sheet of paper containing the
mixture, at your shoulder height. Tilt it slightly, so that the mixture slides out slowly.
What happens? Do both the components sand and sawdust (or powdered leaves) fall
at the same place? Is there a component that blows away? Did the wind manage to
separate the two components?.

This method of separating components of a mixture is called winnowing.

Winnowing is used to separate heavier and lighter components of a mixture by
wind or by blowing air.

Fig. 5.5 Winnowing

This method is commonly used by farmers to separate lighter husk particles

from heavier seeds of grain (Fig. 5.5).
The husk particles are carried away by the wind. The seeds of grain get
separated and form a heap near the platform for winnowing. The separated
husk is used for many purposes such as fodder for cattles.

Sometimes, we may wish to prepare a dish with flour. We need to remove

impurities and bran that may be present in it. What do we do? We use a sieve
and pour the flour into it (Fig. 5.6).
Sieving allows the fine flour particles to pass through the holes of the sieve
while the bigger impurities remain on the sieve.
In a flour mill, impurities like husk and stones are removed from wheat before
grinding it. Usually, a bagful of wheat is poured on a slanting sieve. The sieving
removes pieces of stones, stalk and husk that may still remain with wheat after
threshing and winnowing.

Fig. 5.6 Sieving

You may have also noticed similar sieves being used at construction sites

Fig. 5.7 Pebbles and stones are removed from sand by sieving

to separate pebbles and stones from sand (Fig. 5.7).

Activity 4

Bring a sieve and a small quantity of flour from home, to the class. Sieve the flour to
separate any impurities in it. Now, make a fine powder of chalk pieces and mix it with
the flour. Can we separate the flour and the powdered chalk by sieving?
Sieving is used when components of a mixture have different sizes.
Sedimentation, Decantation and Filtration

Sometimes, it may not be possible to separate components of a mixture by

winnowing and handpicking. For example, there may be lighter impurities like
dust or soil particles in rice or pulses. How are such impurities separated from
rice or pulses before cooking?

Rice or pulses are usually washed before cooking. When you add water to
these, the impurities like dust and soil particles get separated. These impurities
go into water, which becomes a little muddy. Now, what will sink to the bottom
of the vessel rice or dust? Why? Have you seen that the vessel is tilted to
pour out the dirty water?
When the heavier component in a mixture settles after water is added to it, the
process is calledsedimentation. When the water (along with the dust) is
removed, the process is called decantation (Fig. 5.8). Let us find a few other
mixtures that can be separated through sedimentation and decantation.
The same principle is used for separating a mixture of two liquids that do not
mix with each other. For example, oil and water from their mixture can be
separated by this process. If a mixture of such liquids is allowed to stand for
some time, they form two separate layers. The component that forms the top
layer can then be separated by decantation.
Let us again consider a mixure of a solid and liquid. After preparing tea, what
do you do to remove the tea leaves? Try decantation. It helps a little. But, do
you still get a few leaves in your tea? Now, pour the tea through a strainer.

Fig. 5.8 Separating two components of a mixture by sedimentation and decantation

Did all the tea leaves remain in the strainer? This process is
called filtration (Fig. 5.1). Which method of separating tea leaves from
prepared tea is better, decantation or filtration?
Let us now consider the example of water that we use. Do all of us, at all times,
get safe water to drink? Sometimes, water supplied through taps may be
muddy. The water collected from ponds or rivers may also be muddy,
especially after rains. Let us see if we can use some method of separation to
remove insoluble impurities like soil from the water.
Activity 5

Collect some muddy water from a pond or a river. If it is not available, mix some soil
to water in a glass. Let it stand for half an hour. Observe the water carefully and note
your observations.
Does some soil settle at the bottom of water? Why? What will you call this process?
Now, slightly tilt the glass without disturbing the water. Let the water from the top flow
into another glass (Fig. 5.8). What will you call this process?
Is the water in the second glass still muddy or brown in colour? Now filter it. Did the
tea strainer work? Let us try filtering the water through a piece of cloth. In a piece of
cloth, small holes or pores remain in between the woven threads. These pores in a cloth
can be used as a filter.
If the water is still muddy, impurities can be separated by a filter that has even smaller
pores. A filter paper is one such filter that has very fine pores in it. Fig. 5.9 shows the
steps involved in using a filter paper. A filter paper folded in the form of a cone is fixed
onto a funnel (Fig. 5.10). The mixture is then poured on the filter paper. Solid particles
in the mixture do not pass through it and remain on the filter.

Fig. 5.9 Folding a filter paper to make a cone

Fig 5.10 Filtration using a filter paper

Fruit and vegetable juices are usually filtered before drinking to separate the
seeds and solid particles of pulp. The method of filtration is also used in the
process of preparing cottage cheese (paneer) in our homes. You might have
seen that for making paneer, a few drops of lemon juice are added to milk as it

boils. This gives a mixture of particles of solid paneer and a liquid.

The paneer is then separated by filtering the mixture through a fine cloth or a

Activity 6

Heat a beaker containing some water. Allow the water to boil. If you continue heating,
would the water turn into steam

Fig. 5.11 Heating a beaker containing salt water

and disappear completely? Now, add two spoons of salt to water in another beaker and
stir it well. Do you see any change in the colour of water? Can you see any salt in the
beaker, after stirring? Heat the beaker containing the salt water (Fig. 5.11). Let the
water boil away. What is left in the beaker?
In this activity, we used the process of evaporation, to separate a mixture of water and
The process of conversion of water into its vapour is called evaporation. The
process of evaporation takes place continuously wherever water is present.
Where do you think, salt comes from? Sea water contains many salts mixed in
it. One of these salts is the common salt. When sea water is allowed to stand in
shallow pits, water gets heated by sunlight and slowly turns into water vapour,
through evaporation. In a few days, the water evaporates completely leaving
behind the solid salts (Fig. 5.12). Common salt is then obtained from this
mixture of salts by further purification.

Fig. 5.12 Obtaining salt from sea water

Use of more than one method of separation

We have studied some methods for separation of substances from their

mixtures. Often, one method is not sufficient to separate the different
substances present in a mixture. In such a situation, we need to use more than
one of these methods.
Activity 7

Take a mixture of sand and salt. How will we separate these? We already saw that
handpicking would not be a practical method for separating these.
Keep this mixture in a beaker and add some water to this. Leave the beaker aside for
some time. Do you see the sand settling down at the bottom? The sand can be separated
by decantation or filtration. What does the decanted liquid contain? Do you think this
water contains the salt which was there in the mixture at the beginning?
Now, we need to separate salt and water from the decanted liquid. Transfer this liquid
to a kettle and close its lid. Heat the kettle for some time. Do you notice steam coming
out from the spout of the kettle?
Take a metal plate with some ice on it. Hold the plate just above the spout of the kettle
as shown in Fig. 5.13. What do you observe? Let all the water in the kettle boil off.
When the steam comes in contact with the metal plate cooled with ice, it condenses and
forms liquid water. The water drops that you observed falling from the plate, were due
to condensation of steam. The process of conversion of water vapour into its liquid
form is called condensation.
Did you ever see water drops condensed under a plate that has been used to cover a
vessel containing milk that has just been boiled?
After all the water has evaporated, what is left behind in the kettle?

We have thus, separated salt, sand and water using processes of decantation, filtration,
evaporation and condensation.
Paheli faced a problem while recovering salt mixed with sand. She has mixed a packet
of salt in a small

Fig. 5.13 Evaporation and condensation

amount of sand. She then tried the method suggested in Activity 7, to recover the salt.
She found, however, that she could recover only a small part of the salt that she had
taken. What could have gone wrong?
Can water dissolve any amount of a substance?

In chapter 4, we found that many substances dissolve in water and form a

solution. We say that these substances are soluble in water. What will happen
if we go on adding more and more of these substances to a fixed quantity of
Activity 8

You will need a beaker or a small pan, a spoon, salt and water. Pour half a cup of water
in the beaker. Add one teaspoonful of salt and stir it well, until the salt dissolves
completely (Fig 5.14). Again add a teaspoonful of salt and stir well. Go on adding salt,
one teaspoonful at a time, and stir.
After adding a few spoons of salt, do you find that some salt remains undissolved and
settles at the bottom of the beaker? If yes, this means that no more salt can be dissolved
in the amount of water we have taken. The solution is now said to be saturated.
Here is a hint as to what might have gone wrong when Paheli tried to recover large
quantity of salt mixed with sand. Perhaps the quantity of salt was much more than that
required to form a saturated solution. The undissolved salt

Fig 5.14 Dissolving salt in water

would have remained mixed with the sand and could not be recovered. She could solve
her problem by using a larger quantity of water.
Suppose, she did not have sufficient quantity of water to dissolve all the salt in the
mixture. Is there some way that water could be made to dissolve more salt before the
Let us try and help Paheli out.
Activity 9

Take some water in a beaker and mix salt in it until it cannot dissolve any more salt.
This will give you a saturated solution of salt in water.
Now, add a small quantity of salt to this saturated solution and heat it. What do you
find? What happens to the undissolved salt in the bottom of the beaker? Does it
dissolve, now? If yes, can some more salt be dissolved in this solution by heating it?
Let this hot solution cool. Does the salt appear to settle at the bottom of the beaker
The activity suggest that larger quantity of salt can be dissolved in water on heating.
Does water dissolve equal amounts of different soluble substances? Let us find out.
Activity 10

Take two glasses and pour half a cup of water in each of them. Add a teaspoon of salt
to one glass and stir till the salt dissolves. Go on adding salt, one teaspoon at a time, till
the solution saturates. Record the number of spoons of salt that dissolved in the water,
in Table 5.2. Now, repeat the same activity with sugar. Repeat this with some other
substances that are soluble in water.
What do you notice from Table 5.2? Do you find that water dissolves different
substances in different amounts?

Table 5.2

Number of spoons of substance that dissolved in water


We have discussed a few methods of separating substances. Some of the

methods of separation presented in this chapter are also used in a science
We also learnt that a solution is prepared by dissolving a substance in a liquid.
A solution is said to be saturated if it cannot dissolve more of the substance in







Saturated solution







Handpicking, winnowing, sieving, sedimentation, decantation and filtration are some

of the methods of separating substances from their mixtures.

Husk and stones could be separated from grains by handpicking.

Husk is separated from heavier seeds of grain by winnowing.

Difference in the size of particles in a mixture is utilised to separate them by the

process of sieving and filtration.

In a mixture of sand and water, the heavier sand particles settle down at the bottom
and the water can be separated by decantation.

Filtration can be used to separate components of a mixture of an insoluble solid and

a liquid.

Evaporation is the process in which a liquid gets converted into its vapour.
Evaporation can be used to separate a solid dissolved in a liquid.

A saturated solution is one in which no more of that substance can be dissolved.

More of a substance can be dissolved in a solution by heating it.

Water dissolves different amount of soluble substances in it.


Why do we need to separate different components of a mixture? Give two

What is winnowing? Where is it used?
How will you separate husk or dirt particles from a given sample of pulses
before cooking.


What is sieving? Where is it used?


How will you separate sand and water from their mixture?


Is it possible to separate sugar mixed with wheat flour? If yes, how will you
do it?


How would you obtain clear water from a sample of muddy water?


Fill up the blanks


The method of separating seeds of paddy from its stalks is called


When milk, cooled after boiling, is poured onto a piece of cloth the cream
(malai) is left behind on it. This process of separating cream from milk is
an example of

Salt is obtained from seawater by the process of

Impurities settled at the bottom when muddy water was kept overnight in a
bucket. The clear water was then poured off from the top. The process of
separation used in this example is called

True or false?




A mixture of milk and water can be separated by filtration.



A mixture of powdered salt and sugar can be separated by

the process of winnowing.



Separation of sugar from tea can be done with filtration.



Grain and husk can be separated with the process of


Show Result


10. Lemonade is prepared by mixing lemon juice and sugar in water. You wish
to add ice to cool it. Should you add ice to the lemonade before or after
dissolving sugar? In which case would it be possible to dissolve more sugar?
Suggested Projects and Activities

Visit a nearby dairy and report about the processes used to separate cream from


You have tried a number of methods to separate impurities like mud from water.
Sometimes, the water obtained after employing all these processes could still be a
little muddy. Let us see if we can remove even this impurity completely. Take this
filtered water in a glass. Tie a thread to a small piece of alum. Suspend the piece of
alum in the water and swirl. Did the water become clear? What happened to the mud?
This process is called loading. Talk to some elders in your family to find out whether
they have seen or used this process.

Things To See

Reproduced with permission from Muse de Beaus Arts, Nantes, France