Can we separate tartaric acid from water? I need some different methods! Could reverse osmosis be helpful?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Tartaric acid is a small molecule that is very soluble in water.  If you have a simple mixture of tartaric acid in water then the simplest method is to simply evaporate the water by boiling it away.  When all of the water is boiled away, tartaric acid will be left...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Tartaric acid is a small molecule that is very soluble in water.  If you have a simple mixture of tartaric acid in water then the simplest method is to simply evaporate the water by boiling it away.  When all of the water is boiled away, tartaric acid will be left in the flask as a dry white solid.  Tartaric acid is quite stable and will not be damaged by the heat.  Another method would be to crystallize out the tartaric acid using cold temperatures.  If the solution if highly concentrated, then put the solution in a refrigerator and allow the tartaric acid the crystallize and fall out of solution as a solid.  Pass the mixture through a filter to isolate the solid.

A more complex method to separate the tartaric acid from water would be to use something like reverse osmosis.  This is a technique that uses pressure to force a solvent like water through a semi-permeable membrane.  The water molecules can move through the membrane while the larger tartaric acid molecules cannot pass through and remained trapped on one side of the membrane.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team