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Increase the surface tension of water

Superdave the Wonderchemist thweatt at prairie.nodak.edu
Mon Jan 6 12:38:12 EST 1997

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References: <01bbfb17$1c39f300$394f22cf at billyy>
Organization: North Dakota Higher Education Computing Network (NDHECN)

Billy Yeung Kei Chun (billyy at connect.ab.ca) wrote:
: Hi, I am now doing a research project in class on "how to increase to
: surface tension of water"  The water is just the ordinary water from the
: tap that we use in our daily life.  If anyone realize the answer of possess
: any information please help me out of it.  Thank you

: Billy

I will help:

According to my hady-dandy CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (70th 
edition, 1989-1990, CRC Press, USA) the surface tension of "pure" water 
against air at 20 degrees C is 72.75 dynes/cm.  This increases with 
cooling and decreases with heating.  Most inorganic solutes increase the 
surface tension of the solution when dissolved in water.  Most mineral 
acids decrease the surface tension of the solution in water (sulfuric 
acid is the most obvious exception).  Most organic compouns decrease the 
surface tension of the solution in water (organic acids and alcohols are 
often exceptions).  

It is important to note that we are talking about increasing and 
decreasing the surface tensions of SOLUTIONS of these things in water 
with respect to distilled water.  In order to change the surface tension
of distilled water, just changing the temperature will suffice.

At 0 degrees celcius, the surface tension of water is 75.6 dynes/cm, at 
100 degress it is only 58.9 dynes/cm.

To find out more, check out a CRC handbook in any local college science 
library and look in the index under "surface tension".

-Superdave The Wonderchemist

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