Friday, June 4, 2010

Garden in glass jar - Silica Garden!

Whatever present in the Nature is mimicked, it will wonder us, is it not? A garden with colorful trees present inside a glass jar(!) is the wonder here - the Chemical garden or the Silica garden! This jar contains a solution of Sodium silicate (common name: Water glass). Inside it small crystals of various metallic salts are placed. Then the colorful trees start to grow instantly and visibly in minutes!

Copper sulphate crystal produces blue colored tree, Ferric chloride the orange tree, Ferrous chloride the yellow tree, Chromium chloride the green tree, Lead nitrate the white tree and so on! This formation of chemical tree garden is based on Osmosis performed through semipermeable membranes - the Silica gel here. Its mechanism is as follows. Around the placed salt crystal a silica gel forms between the stronger salt solution inside and the weaker solution (Sodium silicate) outside. Water enters through this gel membrane. But this act bursts open the membrane itself. The escaping solution forms again gel membrane, repeating the process then again and again, thus producing a growing hollow tube of a colorful tree!
It is a wonderful Silica garden that attracts both kids and adults, who after seeing it appreciate the Chemical Science, for its providing such exciting entertainments!

Click on here to know about
Sodium silicate
Silica gel
Making a Chemical garden

1 comment:

Rose Sterling said...

Its astonishing to know this process and the different chemical compounds. I had read the definitions and is trying to seek for an image a video of the actual process taking place as I am interested to see one.

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