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.
This engaging activity uses wrapped and unwrapped candy to simulate alpha and beta decay.
The "Two-Faced" thionin reaction involves causing a purple solution to fade to colorless by shining light on the solution. I wondered if it could be demonstrated the color of light that caused this transition.
Flat, symmetrical molecules can be modeled by folding a sheet of paper, cutting patterns into the folded structure, and unfolding to produce the flat paper models. The finished models resemble paper snowflakes, but have a variety of rotational symmetries. Template patterns for several molecules are available for download in the Supporting Information.
For your enjoyment, we present lists of chemically-related words that end in the letters “-cation” but do not actually refer to the positively-charged chemical species. The lists are available for download in the Supporting Information.
Chad Husting tries out some micro-scale labs.
In recent years, the fluorescence properties of pumpkin seeds have been highlighted on social media. When illuminated with a UV lamp, pumpkin seed extract appears orange/red to the human eye due to fluorescence associated with protochlorophyllide that is present in the seeds. Chlorophyll extracts can also be used as a fluorescent dye in “glowstick” chemiluminescence experiments. The similarities between chlorophylls and protochlorophyllide raised the question, is it possible to use pumpkin seed extract as a fluorescent dye in chemiluminescence experiments? In this short article, some results are reported from attempts to use pumpkin seed extracts for chemiluminescence experiments.
Tom Kuntzleman conducts a safer "mercury-like" beating heart experiment with an added splash of gratefulness.
Balloons that inflate using carbon dioxide produced from the reaction of citric acid and sodium hydrogen carbonate can be used to demonstrate a number of aspects of chemistry. Gas laws were used with the balloons to illustrate limiting reactants, molar mass of gases, and rockets. The endothermic reaction in the balloon was visualized with an infrared camera, and the Green Chemistry aspects of these balloons were considered.
Did you figure out how to create a multi-colored mixture? Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #19: Multi-colored Mixture!