|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Hi there. Crystallization is a technique which chemists use to purify solid compounds. It is essentially a solid-liquid separation technique and a very important one at that. It is based on the principles of solubility: compounds (solutes) tend to be more soluble in hot liquids (solvents) than they are in cold liquids. If a saturated hot solution is allowed to cool, the solute is no longer soluble in the solvent and forms crystals of pure compound. Impurities are excluded from the growing crystals and the pure solid crystals can be separated from the dissolved impurities by filtration. Crystallization occurs in nature like water freezing and snow flakes formation, stalactites/stalagmites, rings formation, natural (mineral) crystal formation, removing sucrose from beet solutions, removing KCl from an aqueous solution. It also applied in medical field. The importance of protein crystallization is that it serves as the basis for X-ray crystallography, wherein a crystallized protein is used to determine the proteinís three-dimensional structure via X-ray diffraction. In understanding crystallization you will learn to appreciate what is happening around you. Until then, levy
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