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Separation of Polar and Non-Polar Substances


  • Hexane is very flammable.
  • Potassium permanganate and sodium dichromate are strong oxidizers.
  • Iodine causes burns.

Chemicals and Solutions

  • Distilled water
  • n-hexane
  • I crystals
  • KMnO crystals
  • Sodium dichromate crystals


  • 2-1L separatory funnels
  • 2 Ringstands, 2 rings, and 2 clamps
  • 2 Pennyhead stoppers
  • 2 Spatulas


  1. Put ~300 mL water into each sep. funnel.
  2. Add ~200 mL n-hexane to each sep. funnel.
  3. Add a few KMnO crystals to one sep. funnel and shake. (KMnO will dissolve in the aq. layer).
  4. Add a few I crystals to the other sep. funnel and shake. (I will dissolve in the organic layer).

Hint: As an extra bonus, a few crystals of sodium dichromate can be added to the sep. funnel already containing iodine so that Husky colors are made.