How do you separate sugar and salt?

2 Answers

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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Sugar and salt look the same to your eyes but they are two totally different kinds of compounds.  Table sugar, or sucrose, is an organic compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen all making covalent bonds to each other.  Salt on the other hand is an inorganic compound.  It is sodium chloride (NaCl), an ionic solid with no covalent bonds.  Both compounds will readily dissolve in water, but only sugar will dissolve in ethanol.  So add some ethanol to the mixture and stir it around well.  Then pour it through a paper filter to collect the solid salt while the sugar and ethanol solution passes through.  Finally, evaporate the ethanol to leave the dry sugar crystals behind.

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miami2016 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

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add alcohol. Sugar is soluble in alcohol while salt is not. So it filters out the salt, evaporate the alcohol and only sugar remains