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Recrystallizing out of methanol

  1. Nov 13, 2013 #1
    Hi, I am trying to recrystallize salt from methanol. I am having trouble. This is exactly what I did:

    I dissolved a gram of salt into 20 ml of methanol (the bottle I have says methyl hydrate but I read online that it's the same thing as methanol). Then I made a hot water bath. I put a pyrex dish into a pot of boiling water. Using an eye dropper, I dropped a few drops into the pyrex beaker. I expected the methanol to evaporate almost immediately, leaving me with a thin flakey crystal that can easily be scraped off. But at best, I am left with a small piece of crust that is impossible to scrape off the pyrex dish. What is wrong?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    No idea why you expected dried out substance to easily separate from the glass. It may, but it doesn't have to.
  4. Nov 13, 2013 #3
    What are you planning on getting out of this process? It seems to me that you are just spinning your wheels. Making a solution and evaporating the solvent leaves you with the material you started with minus some time and energy.

    Recrystallizations are typically done to purify something from a mixture and requires either some background knowledge of the system (what your compound is, what impurities might be there etc) or a bunch of trial and error.

    See Wikipedia for a intro discussion: Recrystallization
  5. Nov 14, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the replies! I have read a lot about crystallization and I will be doing some experiments over the next couple of days. I will update this thread if I have any questions.
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