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Lesson 1: Learning the Parts

A number of places on Earth are having a serious lack of rainfall. These droughts lead to very small supplies of fresh water. Many places need a way to make fresh water to make up for the lack of rain. Desalination is one way to make fresh water. Are you ready to dive into this investigation?

Here are some definitions to help you in your investigation.

Drought - a lack of rainfall in a given area

Desalination - turning salt water from the ocean into fresh drinking water

Flash Chamber - a device that holds liquid, turns it into a gas, and holds the gas

Aerosolizer - a device that changes a liquid into much smaller and lighter particles that can be carried in the air

Condenser - a device that changes a gas into a liquid

Intake - where a substance enters a system

Outlet - where a substance exits a system

Return - where a substance is moved to its original location

Change of Phase - to go from one phase of matter to another phase of matter

Condensation - to move from the gas phase to the liquid phase

Vaporization - to move from the liquid phase to the gas phase

Liquid - a phases of matter where particles move less than in the gas phase

Gas - a phase of matter where particles have lots of motion

Temperature - a measure of the motion of a particle or the hotness or coldness of something

Doing the Science


    Part I. The Flash Chamber
  1. The image below shows the flash chamber where the aerosolizer is located.
  2. The letter “A” shows where liquid warm ocean water is pumped into the flash chamber.
  3. The letter “B” shows the outlet return for the liquid warm water to be pumped back into the warm ocean water tank.
  4. The letter “C” shows where water in the gas phase is moved through pipes into the condenser.

  5. Part II. The Condenser
  6. The image below shows the condenser.
  7. The letter “A” shows where water in the gas phase enters the condenser.
  8. The letter “B” shows where extra water in the gas phase exits the condenser and moves to the gas outlet.
  9. The letter “C” shows where liquid cold water enters the condenser.
  10. The letter “D” shows where liquid cold water returns to the cold water tank.
  11. The letter “E” shows where liquid fresh water exits the condenser and moves to the fresh water storage tank.

Solid

Liquid

Gas

Distance between particles

Particles are very close together; touching

Particles are very close together, but not a close as a solid

Particles are very far apart

Can be squished into a smaller volume

No

No

Yes

Motion of particles

No change in position, only jiggle in place

Small, slow changes in position and jiggle more than a solid

Very fast motion in many directions and jiggle more than liquids

Definite volume?

Yes

Yes

No, spread out to fill any container

Definite shape?

Yes

No, take the shape of any container because the particles are free to move

No, take the shape of any container because the particles are free to move

Do You Understand?

  1. A one-liter bucket of water spills on the floor and spreads out evenly on the floor into a puddle. What volume of water is now in the puddle? Please support your answer with a reason.


  2. A one-liter balloon filled with helium gas pops and the helium gas spreads out evenly in the room. What volume of helium gas is now in the room?


  3. Some liquid water is heated. What should happen to the motion of the water particles as the liquid is heated?


  4. Some water in the gas phase is heated. What should happen to the motion of the water particles as the gas is heated?


  5. For the flash chamber in Part I, state which letter(s) need liquid-carrying pipes and which letter(s) need gas-carrying pipes.


  6. For the condenser in Part II, state which letter(s) need liquid-carrying pipes and which letter(s) need gas-carrying pipes.


  7. Does the water in the flash chamber undergo condensation or vaporization? Please support your answer with a reason.


  8. Does the water in the condenser undergo condensation or vaporization? Please support your answer with a reason.


  9. For the flash chamber in Part I, which water particles have more energy: those coming out of letter “B” or those exiting letter “C”? Please support your answer with a reason.


  10. For the condenser in Part II, which water particles have more energy: those entering letter “C” or those exiting letter “B”? Please support your answer with a reason.


  11. As a liquid particle is vaporized, how does the movement of the particle change?


  12. As a gas particle is condensed, how does the movement of the particle change?


  13. What is the main goal of a desalination plant?


  14. As the temperature of a liquid particle increases, what happens to the particle’s motion?


  15. Design a simple experiment that could be used to convince a person that water in the gas phase is in normal air.