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DemonstrationsIntro › 1.2A

Lecture Demonstrations

Introduction to Chemistry, Matter, The Elements

1.2A Definitions of Matter II (Iron filings and sugar)

Subjects: Introduction to chemistry, definitions of matter

Description: The separation of iron filings from sugar will demonstrate a heterogeneous mixture.


  • Sugar and iron filing mixture
  • 250 ml beaker
  • Stir bar magnet

Procedure: Hold the magnet up to the side of the beaker in order to separate the iron filings from the sugar. Or stir the mixture with the Teflon stir bar and pull the iron filings from the mixture.

Discussion: A heterogeneous mixture is one for which the different materials in the mixture can be detected and separated easily. Iron and sugar is such a heterogeneous mixture. They can be easily separated using a magnet.

Safety: None

Disposal: None. The mixture can be reused indefinitely.

References: Prof. Botch

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