Can you turn glass back into sand?

A calm walk along the beach doesn't sound as pleasant with glass underfoot!

19th July 2017
Can you turn glass back into sand? (Getty)

Asked by: Jodie Appleton, New Zealand

Finely crushed glass is basically a very pure form of sand. Technically, natural sand is made of quartz crystals of silicon dioxide, whereas glass is the non-crystalline, amorphous form of silicon dioxide. But when it is ground down enough, the difference isn’t obvious. Crushed glass is sold as an alternative to sand for pool filters – in fact, recycled crushed glass has been considered as a partial replacement for the sand on some of Florida’s eroding beaches.

Read more: 

 


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.