Flotation

Flotation is a process of separating mixtures which involves separating substances by whether they sink or float. An example of this is oil and water, if they are stirred the oil will rise on top of the water. Another example of this is if sawdust and sand are stirred in water, the sawdust floats and the sand sinks, separating the two substances.

A separating funnel can be used to separate two substances. The heavier substance sinks to the bottom of the funnel used and the lighter ones will stay at the top. A tap is then opened to let the heavier substances out, therefore separating them. The operator must quickly close the tap after to stop the lighter substances falling out too.

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Oil and water flotation
Oil and water flotation

Process of using a Separating Funnel
Process of using a Separating Funnel