Materials List: Water Desalination Plant

Each group needs:

  • No. 10 tin can (this large size can is ~6 3/16-in diameter x 7-in height [15.72 cm x 17.78 cm] and is most commonly used by food service companies for tomatoes, ketchup, pie filling, refried beans, pizza sauce, etc.; ask for this size at restaurants or your school's cafeteria; Indian restaurants buy this size to make some of their food, so ask for their used cans before they throw them out; alternative: any other large tin can, such as a 2-lb coffee can)
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil, 12 x 12 in (30 x 20 cm)
  • 2 plastic containers (any type will do)
  • 5-10 Popsicle sticks
  • plastic soda bottle, 20 fl oz (566 ml) size
  • hot plate
  • 3-5 cups, 9 fl oz (266 ml) or 16 fl oz (473 ml) size
  • eye protection (goggles or safety glasses)
  • oven mitt, to safely move tin can on hot plate
  • saltwater circuit, as created in the associated Saltwater Circuit activity
  • Design Worksheet, one per team
  • Reflection Worksheet, one per person

For the entire class to share:

  • roll of aluminum foil
  • salt, enough for 20-25 g per group
  • water, enough for 32 fl oz (946 ml) per group
  • duct tape
  • masking tape
  • measuring cups or graduated cylinders, to measure ml of water
  • triple beam or digital scale, to measure grams of salt
  • ice, enough for about 2-4 cups per group (expect to use 1 large bag of ice for two class periods; sometimes school cafeterias have an ice maker; otherwise bags of ice are available at grocery stores and gas stations)
  • cooler, to keep the ice cold
  • projector, to show the attached Water Desalination Plant Presentation PowerPoint