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Safely and cost effective chemical to raise specfic gravity of water

  1. Jan 21, 2012 #1
    We are currently working on a project with flexible PVC wire chop from a metals recycler. with a density of 1.1 -1.35 we are in search of a chemical to raise the specific gravity of 1,200 gallons of water to float the pvc in a separation process. any ideas? thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2012 #2


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    why not use salt?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  4. Jan 21, 2012 #3
    i tried salt on a smaller scale and was able to make some of the pvc float. the water became so saturted it would not dissolve anymore salt.
  5. Jan 23, 2012 #4


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    try soluble tungsten salts

    i don't recall which has the highest solubility, but sodium/ammonium tungstate/metatungstate/paratungstate are cheap
  6. Jan 23, 2012 #5
    i will check into that. spoke with morton salt company this morning and they were not very informative. the first load will be here this week. we need a solution quick. thank you
  7. Feb 3, 2012 #6
    I would use cheap calcium chloride (CaCl2) since you can make a solution up to 40-60% easily without crystallization. It is commonly sold as a deicer as prills, or as a concentrated solution.

    It will need makeup if your separation is not a yes or no type of differentiation; the solution will continue to dilute itself when exposed to moisture in the air.

    An advantage could be that it doesn't like to wet parts like plastics, so will bead up and easily come off the parts.
  8. Feb 3, 2012 #7
    I found that Occidental Chemical (OXY) has some good PDF links to properties of solutions and handling info at oxycalciumchloride.com. Their LIQUIDOW is a technical grade water solution of 10-12 #/US gal calcium chloride.
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