acid stuff

Extracting Bismuth from Pepto Bismol!

So today I extracted bismuth from pepto bismol with the chemistry teacher and my partner for a project.  I have pictures explaining each step.  Enjoy!

So I went out and bought 180 pepto bismol pills (obviously not all of them are shown here).

Then we put them in a mortar…

…and ground them with a pestle:

When we were done grinding them we had a beautiful beaker of powdered Pepto Bismol.

Then we got to the fun part.

We dissolved the powder in a solution of six parts water and one part muriatic acid (also known as hydrochloric acid (HCl)).  While we were trying to dissolve it we got this (Ignore the NaOH it was on the flask originally and has nothing to do with this project):

You can see that we got a lot of foam. It even overflowed and we had to put it into separate flasks so we wouldn’t lose our work.  I found this to be hilarious.

I know the flask only shows a little bit of overflow but there was a lot more after! The end result of the dissolved pills was a foggy white solution with foam still present but the powder was dissolved.  Then we filtered it.

This type of filter was not sufficient enough so we switched to a coffee filter which was faster but it was still filtering slowly.  While the solution was being filtered the chemistry teacher was curious and wanted to know if the next step worked so he took some of the filtrate and put the aluminum foil in and it worked!

The black stuff that you see is the bismuth powder which formed as a result of the reaction between the aluminum and the filtrate! We filtered that too but it is not done yet but it probably will be done by tomorrow.  I will post an update if I can.  I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed doing this experiment!