Acid Base

KoolAid and similar drinks as convenient laboratory reagents: The weak acid-strong base titration of citric acid or malic acid

The major component of a non-carbonated drink such as KoolAid or a similar beverage is usually a fruit acid, either citric acid or malic acid. The titratable acid (H+) concentration of such drinks has been found to be in the range of 0.02 to 0.04 M. A weak acid-strong base titration of these drinks with 0.1 M NaOH solution is feasible as a student exercise. Phenolphthalein indicator may be employed so long as the drink is not intensely coloured. The use of such drinks as reagents is safe, convenient, and inexpensive. Experiment instructions are included. 

Food Dyes as Acid-Base Indicators

Natural food dyes are being sold online and in stores that can be used as acid-base indicators. These dyes open up a host of possibilities for at-home and in-class. For example, these food dyes can be used as indicators in the quantitative titration of the Mg(OH)2 in milk of magnesia.

Thermal Paper as a Polarity and Acidity Detector

Thermal paper such as that used for point of sale receipts typically functions by darkening when exposed to heat. The pigment system used in this paper also darkens when exposed to solvents of intermediate polarity and acids. This enables thermal paper to be used as an inexpensive sort of indicator paper for a variety of demonstrations.

A Highly-Scaffolded Activity for Helping Students Generate Exam Review Questions and See Patterns in Quantitative Problem Solving

Helping students develop abstract understanding is a universal goal. This article describes an activity that involves students developing and then solving novel quantitative chemistry problems following a MadLibsTM style framework.

Lesson to determine the relationships between acid strength, Ka, pH, Molarity, and percent ionization

After teaching the concepts and calculations for acid and base strength, concentration, percent ionization, and pH I noticed many of my students were struggling to make meaningful connections between these calculations.This lesson was created to strengthen the understanding of the relationships between these concepts and skills.