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Silicate Garden

Hazards

Nickel salts are particularly toxic.

Chemicals and Solutions

  • Mangenous sulfate
  • Ferric Ammonium sulfate
  • Copper sulfate
  • Nickel ammonium sulfate
  • Cobalt chloride
  • 3.0 liters of Commercial Silicate Solution
  • Distilled water

Discussion

Crystals are dropped into the silicate solution. The metal ions react with the sodium silicate to form a thin membrane of insoluble metal silicate. Water penetrates the membrane by osmosis, causing it to expand and burst. A new membrane then forms and the process repeats causing a column of colored metal silicate to form.

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