Lines Composed Whilst Drifting Away in Experiment 22

By: Charlie Ablett (School of Chemical Eng. and Analytical Science)
Competition Year: 2016
Votes (16) | Comments (0)
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“I’m placing an order for a cup of clean water”
The demonstrator says to the lab.
“From this questionable juice, you must produce
Water, the lifeblood of man”

With no time to ask of this virtuous task,
We’re swiftly ushered aside.
Where to start with this glorious art,
Of chemical knowledge applied?

Commence with a beaker of water untreated
Turbidity ceasing lights route.
Colloids and humus obscuring the blueness,
All work in this jar to pollute.

To attempt to remove from their spiralling groove;
Add acid to give it a sting.
A pH of five should aim to provide,
The perfect milieu to begin.

Ferric and alum supplied by the gallon,
Are portioned by unerring pipette.
Let’s add a dose to make water less gross,
And put an end to this soluble threat.

Alas our transaction has little reaction,
And the water persists as a blur.
Rethink and refit; some revolutionary kit
Enter the flocculator.

Given a minute to rapidly spin it
Then slowly; another fifteen.
We see forming of flocs, like cumulus rocks
Whirling with stormy routine.

Currents and eddies diffuse; become steady
So sedimentation can start.
The maelstrom of muck, from the fluid unstuck,
Sinks softly until it departs.

A sample is taken with care not to awaken
The slurry that’s lying below.
The supernatant liquid is carefully lifted
Emitting salubrious glow.

Our transpicuous sample is a shining example
Of Chemistry’s vivified power.
A quick easy fix, a few drops and a mix,
From toxic to tea in an hour.
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