what is decantation »definition and concept

Decantation is a process that deals with the separation of a dense solid or liquid from another fluid that is characterized by being less dense and then, due to this characteristic, it will occupy the upper part of the mixture that both form. It is widely used to separate heterogeneous mixtures that are made up of a solid and a liquid substance or by two dense liquid substances.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, we must emphasize that settling is not equated with sedimentation, since in reality in the latter it is gravity that acts, separating solid materials from the liquid.

Used at the request of water purification How is the process?

This procedure is recurrent in water purification processes in order to extract the heaviest particles before filtering. It is allowed to rest and when a certain time has elapsed, the solid particles suspended in the liquid in question will settle at the bottom of the container.

Once the aforementioned action is carried out, the liquid will be transferred to another container and the solid material will be left at the base, which can now be removed very easily.

Settling is not feasible in homogeneous mixtures such as water and alcohol, while it is possible in heterogeneous mixtures, such is the case of water and oil.

To carry out the decantation process, a decantation vial is used in which the mixture in question will be placed. The water is the one that descends to the base while the oil, due to its intrinsic characteristics, will remain on the surface of the container. When the valve of the ampoule is opened, the liquid will transfer to a container placed under the ampoule. The faucet is then closed and thus the decantation is a success.

Colloquial use

As a consequence, it is common for the concept to be used in colloquial language with a symbolic load, to refer to those separations that occur because they do not belong to the whole that they comprise, the separating factor being the different attitudes or opinions that they express or represent.

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