Desiccator in Chemistry Lab: Definition & Concept

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  • 0:01 What is a Desiccator?
  • 1:01 Desiccators in Action
  • 1:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Williams
Desiccators are important tools for scientists who perform chemical reactions in laboratories. This lesson addresses desiccators, their properties, and how they work.

What Is a Desiccator?

Reactants are chemicals that can be combined to produce a chemical reaction, or change. Reactions, then, must depend on the nature and characteristics of the reactants involved. These characteristics include any changes that occur due to the environment around the reactants. One of these factors, water vapor, can cause major changes in reactants that absorb water, and therefore, must be controlled in order to allow the chemical reactions to occur properly. One way to do this is by using a desiccator.

A desiccator is a chamber or box that is designed to absorb water vapor from reactants that are hygroscopic. Hygroscopic reactants are able to absorb water. This can cause a problem when it comes to measuring the appropriate amounts of a particular chemical. The desiccator reduces this effect and helps to ensure accurate measurements of chemicals prior to the start of a chemical reaction. In other words, desiccators are used to dry any chemicals that may be used in reactions.

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