A piece of the beach at home, or how to grow artificial jellyfish!
Warning! Only under adult supervision.
- sodium silicate;
- solutions of copper(II) chloride and nickel(II) sulfate,; *Petri dish;
Add a few drops of copper(II) chloride and nickel(II) sulfate solutions to a solution of sodium silicate. The droplets don’t spread through the sodium silicate, but rather remain on the surface, forming neat-looking artificial jellyfish.
Due to the high viscosity of the sodium silicate solution, the droplets don’t spread over its surface or mix with it, but instead splash and spatter somewhat like paint capsules falling on asphalt. At the same time, reactions begin between the compounds in the droplets and the sodium silicate solution:
CuCl₂ + Na₂SiO₃ → CuSiO₃↓ + 2NaCl
NiSO₄ + Na₂SiO₃ → NiSiO₃↓ + Na₂SO₄
CuCl₂ + Na₂SiO₃ + H₂O → Cu(OH)₂↓ + 2NaCl + SiO₂↓
Such reactions proceed relatively quickly, yielding a film of insoluble compounds between each droplet and the sodium silicate solution. Thus the droplets do not spread, instead beginning to resemble jellyfish.
A similar experiment is included in the MEL Chemistry subscription!