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What is an example of a precipitation reaction that is used in everyday life or in the...

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iamsherlocked | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:02 AM via web

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What is an example of a precipitation reaction that is used in everyday life or in the industry?

I need an example of a precipitation reaction that is used around us in normal life or is common in the industry.

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mlsiasebs | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM (Answer #1)

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A common place where precipitation is used is in treatment of wastewater.  If a contaminant can form an insoluble solid then we can precipitate out the contaminant ion(s).  A frequent concern in wastewater treatment is the presence of heavy metals in water.  Since many hydroxide and sulfide compounds of heavy metals are insoluble in water, we can add a source of hydroxide that is soluble (i..e NaOH or Na2S) that will result in the precipitation of the heavy metal hydroxide.

For example,

Pb2+ + Na2S --> PbS + Na+

The lead sulfide is then an insoluble precipitate and can be filtered out of the water to remove the lead sulfide. 

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