Filtration is a method used to separate insoluble substances from liquids or solutions. Insoluble substances are those that do not dissolve in a solvent. For example, sand is an insoluble substance.

A common example of filtration in everyday life is when hot water is passed through ground coffee and a filter. The liquid that passes through the filter is called the filtrate, while the insoluble parts of the coffee, such as the grounds, are separated and removed.

To carry out a filtration, you will need:

  • Conical flask
  • Funnel
  • Filter Paper – Fold it twice

An illustrated diagram of a filtration setup. A mixture of liquid and insoluble solid is being poured through a funnel with filter paper held by a glass rod, positioned above a conical flask. The residue remains on the filter paper while the filtrate collects in the flask below.

As shown in the diagram above, a filter funnel and paper are used.

1. Pour the mixture you want to separate into the filter funnel.

2. The solid particles are too large to pass through the filter paper, so they remain behind.

3. The liquid or solution passes through the filter and collects in the conical flask; this is called the filtrate.

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