Students

How to separate Salt and Pepper

You will need

  • A sachet of Salt
  • A sachet of Pepper
  • A balloon
  • A clean white surface


Pour a small amount of salt and a small amount of pepper onto a clean white surface. You should be able to see that the grains of salt and pepper are mixed together. Can you think of an easy way to separate them?

Well we are going to use a balloon. This experiment works by using ‘electrical charges’. The salt and pepper have different electrical charges and we are going to separate them with a balloon that we charge with static electricity.

This is a very safe type of electricity as it is a really small charge that will not hurt us. First of all inflate the balloon and tie it securely so no air escapes. Now you are ready to charge the balloon. Rub the balloon in the same direction a number of times on your hair or your friend’s hair or on a piece of fake fur.

Now that the balloon is charged with static electricity gently hold it over the salt and pepper. What happens?