User login

Washing Air

Source Institutions

    Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

Add to listGo to activity
Washing Air

Learners observe and discuss a simple model of a wet scrubber, a device for cleaning industrial air pollution. This demonstration can be combined with other demonstrations and activities to create a larger lesson. Resource contains suggestions for assessment, extensions, and scaling for different levels of learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Duct tape
  • 1/2 cup chalk dust or fireplace ash
  • 3 clear, glass bottles (such as large olive oil or liquor bottles)
  • 3 rubber corks with 2 holes drilled in each (the corks must fit snuggly into the bottle openings; available at hardware stores, sometimes predrilled)
  • 5 barb connectors (to connect plastic tubing to corks; the connector must fit snuggly into the holes in the corks; available at hardware stores; see Figure 3)
  • 5 ft. clear plastic tubing (the tubing must fit snuggly over the barb connectors; available at hardware stores; see Figure 3)
  • Various pipe connectors, as needed, to transition the narrow tubing to the wider vacuum cleaner nozzle (see Figure 2)
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Wet/dry shop vacuum cleaner


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kolenbrander, Amy; Yowell, Janet; Mach, Natalie; Schaefer Zarske, Malinda; Carlson, Denise; Perez, Sharon

Source Collection:

  • TeachEngineering


  • All Rights Reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, ©2004

Funding Sources:

  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • National Science Foundation, 0226322


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists:

  • Thumbnail Demos by kdavey on 2015-08-24