Centrifuges are used by biologists around the world to separate out different parts of a heterogeneous liquid mixture. At prices that can reach over a £650, however, they're often not feasible for the casual scientist. Using a few household items and some elbow grease, you can make your own.
Remove one paddle from your hand-powered egg beater. This is necessary so that your plastic tubing doesn't get tangled as you're cranking it.
Cut a length of polythene (PE) tubing to fit the amount of liquid you wish to separate.
Fill the tubing with the liquid in question and tape it onto the remaining beater paddle with electrical tape. Taping the tube farther down the paddle with help you harness the maximum amount of kinetic energy with each turn, separating the liquid faster.
Crank the egg beater to spin the paddle and the tubing. Depending on how much liquid you're separating and what type it is, you may have to adjust your spinning time. For blood centrifuging, a time of 10 minutes is fairly standard.
When working with potentially infectious liquids, be sure to maintain proper lab safety protocols.
Tips and warnings
- When working with potentially infectious liquids, be sure to maintain proper lab safety protocols.
Things you need
- Hand-powered egg beater
- Polythene tubing
- Electrical tape