A small-scale experiment which can be undertaken with reagents readily available around the house, while observing standard laboratory safety principles and practices

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Carbon monoxide detection without a detector

I have just been waken up by an alarm and found out that my neighbour did something terrible with his lighter. Luckily, there was no fire, only a plenty of smoke, and our flats were hermetically ...
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52 views

How to dissolve steel without affecting aluminium alloy

Disclaimer: I have very limited knowledge of chemistry My problem is the following: I have motorcycle part made from some sort of Aluminium alloy - most probably 6005, 6061-T6 or 7005. And inside of ...
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43 views

Yama Cold Brew Tower: what are these lab parts / components?

When viewing this on a shopping web site, one of the reviewers indicates "This is about 50-60 [dollars] worth of pyrex glass and another 20 [dollars] worth of wood." The company charges $499 for this ...
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71 views

Would this recipe on stink bomb work?

I found this recipe on how to make a stink bomb: The recipe basically says to mix ammonia and match heads to create ammonium sulfide. However, I am skeptical, because It seems that match heads have ...
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90 views

Is this reaction safe?

For my chemistry experiment, I was assigned to produce Ammonia Sulfide and test the chemical properties of the compound. From my online research, I found out that I can mix household ammonia and match ...
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40 views

the perfect campfire

As far as chemistry goes, there are laws or observations that can be useful to determine the perfect shape and disposition of the wood in a campfire ? For example what chemistry says about the 2 most ...
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92 views

How can I safely carry out an electrolytic etch on stainless steel without producing relatively harmful by-products?

I propose to carry out an electrolytic etch on a stainless steel plate like so: One of electrodes must be the stainless steel plate which is being etched and the surface layer must be removed. I'm ...
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64 views

What is made at the copper cathode when electrolyzing water?

I just electrolyzed water with $\ce{NaHSO4 -> HSO4- <=> H+ + SO4^2-}$ with copper electrodes. At the anode this reaction happened: $\ce{Cu -> Cu^2+ + 2e-} \hspace{26 mm} E_0 = -0.34V$ ...
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369 views

How explosive is hydrogen gas?

I want to electrolyze water to get oxygen and hydrogen. I want to mix them in a regular balloon and ignite it. How much hydrogen would you need in a 2:1 ratio with air for it to be dangerous? Is this ...
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70 views

What is the reason a grain of salt alters the perceived bitterness of coffee by such a high degree?

Coffee served hot can be quite bitter (presumably high pH). Several people I have known will add a single grain of salt to the coffee - which reduces the perceived bitterness. My question is: What ...
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104 views

For a given teabag and dunking duration - will I get more caffeine in a bigger cup or the same amount?

When choosing a cup of tea, I can choose a big cup or a small cup. I'm wondering if I get more caffeine with the bigger cup or the same amount of caffeine. (in moles) My question is: For a given ...
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52 views

Can lye be extracted from bamboo ash?

I know that the best source of lye is hardwood. A brief search tells me that Bamboo is considered a hardwood of the monocotyledon variety. I've done a lot of searching to find this answer, but I can't ...
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61 views

Decomposition of iron (III) acetate?

I recently asked about the synthesis of iron (III) acetate. I want a rather concentrated solution to use as a calligraphy ink (which will be dissolved in alcohol/water). Will it be okay to heat the ...
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115 views

Can I synthesize iron acetate like this?

The oxidation state of the iron doesn't matter too much; I am just trying to make an attractive red-brown ink. Here are some instructions I prescribed to a friend. Here's an approximately decent ...
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1answer
59 views

Help me make some homemade ink

I want to make some homemade ink suitable for amateurs to practice calligraphy. I have access to many household chemicals, including acetic acid, sodium hydrogen carbonate, sugar, sodium chloride, and ...
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16 views

Soy Wax / Corn Syrup

I am trying to mix corn syrup with Soy Wax. Ratio is approximately 90% Soy Wax (in molten state) with 10% Corn Syrup but they are not miscible. Does anyone know of some type of "emulsifier" that could ...
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3k views

Chemistry behind Gale's Coffee Maker in Breaking Bad

Is there a scientific basis for the coffee making equipment which Gale describes in Breaking Bad? He talks about maintaining the right conditions for bringing out the coffee flavor without degrading ...
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252 views

Why does water cause a jet flame when poured over a bunch of tealights?

A neat party trick (typically for outdoors) is to build a pyramid of tealights, let them burn for a while and then pour a bit of water over it and see a large jet flame shoot out (see e.g. this ...
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Why is my Aqua Regia solution not reacting properly?

I mixed up a batch of Aqua Regia to purify gold mixed in among small amount of other metals. I dissolved the metals in the typical 1:3 $\ce{HNO4}$ - $\ce{HCl}$ ratio. But, I forgot to neutralize the ...
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70 views

Coffee and tap water reaction - results in gray tint

I use filtered water to make my coffee. If I mix a few drops of said coffee with our tap water, it turns a grayish color; it's much darker than the coffee would turn the water by itself (I compared ...
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2answers
99 views

Why do hairs (rubbed with plastic comb) fallen on water seems to be sticking?

I was observing from many days, how hairs seems to be sticking to water, when made to fall on it. I made an attempt to know what really was going on. I kept a jug of stationary water under the light, ...
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119 views

Why do puffed rice stick to wet hands?

My mom gave puffed rice to eat, I had quite wet hands. I saw that, each puffed rice pieces started hanging to the hand, when I brought my hand in contact with them. I thought about electrostatics ...
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74 views

Create a long-lasting foam

For a potential new business idea I need to create a foam that can last 24 hours or longer and that is hydrosoluble. The idea is to cover something that should have limited air contact with a dome of ...
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63 views

Are there any tricks I can use to pull SO2F2 out of the air?

A massive apartment complex near where I live is being fumigated with Vikane gas (sulphuryl flouride, $\ce{SO2F2}$). The process will take a long time (weeks) because there are a lot of buildings, ...
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82 views

How can I formulate a rate equation using a solid catalyst?

When formulating a rate a equation two experiments must take place: one in which the reactant concentrations are varied, and one in which the catalyst concentrations are varied. If I am given a ...
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How can I use corresponding quantities of a liquid and a solid in this experiment?

I am comparing the effect of three catalyst types on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide: $\ce{FeCl3}$ solution (homogeneous), $\ce{MnO2}$ (heterogeneous) and catalase (enzyme). I plan to measure ...
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471 views

Homemade reactor for water cooling

Background: Well, it's summer here in Brazil, and a great way to keep cool is drinking a so called Tereré, and, of course, we do need cold water for that. Problem: I was looking for endothermic ...
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65 views

Can freezing break up sugar polymers?

I recently freezed a huge bunch of apple slices, and thawed them again a few days later. After thawing, I noticed a few things compared to a batch that I had put in the fridge (no freezing) The ...
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42 views

Best experiment to show that tiny differences matter?

I'm looking for an experiment (the simplest the better) that would show that tiny differences matter. I do have access to very precise scale (below 1mg), and would like to show kids that sometimes, ...
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288 views

How would one go about making a cheap freeze spray?

I'm interested in making a liquid freeze spray, for a fun science project. My only experience with this comes in spraying inverting canned air dusters, which spray a -60F mist/liquid (liquid if you ...
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2answers
842 views

How can I separate the vinegar from a 5% white vinegar to make a more concentrated solution.

I was under the impression that if I put a semi full bottle of vinegar in the freezer the water would freeze but the vinegar would not until a lower temp. Therefore I could remove the bottle after ...
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99 views

Soda-powered battery energy calculation method

I have created a soda-powered battery to make a homemade battery but I need also to calculate the battery energy. So how can I do this? If I have 2 liters of (soda) NaOH liquid, a strip of aluminum, ...
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55 views

Reaction with carbon

Usually maximum time we see then after cooking by gas there is no black spot on the pot. But continually burning can affect the pot surface and makes black powder. My question is: What is the ...
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70 views

Safe, easily detectable gas or aerosol for testing fume hoods

I've recently started undertaking a project to construct a small fume hood. So far I'm considering its use for soldering, 3d printing with ABS and polystyrene, and PCB etching using a muriatic ...
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1answer
339 views

How to measure amount of oxygen (or carbon oxide) in air?

Im not chemist, and I'm looking for easiest way to measure how much oxygen plant in closed container will produce per hour (edit or few hours - for better accuracy). My first idea was to measure ...
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30 views

Making bioplastics

I've heard a lot about creating bioplastics out of corn and starches, but I'm confused on how companies like Cereplast can do it with algae. Basically, I was wondering how you start with algae and end ...
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3k views

Iron Nail and Vinegar experiment

I have submerged a iron nail in vinegar twice recently. What is puzzling me is the different results each time. The first time I submerged it, it was covered in rust. When I put it in the solution of ...
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1k views

Experiment to show that air contains about 20% oxygen

I remember that in my primary classed I had an experiment in science to show air contains 20% oxygen. The experiment involved taking a trough of water, lighting a candle in the middle of the trough ...
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47 views

Testing for Iron-Gall Inks

I have to bottles of Lamy blue-black fountain pen ink. It turns out that some months ago the composition of the ink was changed by the manufacturer and there is no difference in the package. Before, ...
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133 views

Extracting Zinc (oxide) from baby powder

I have a bottle of baby powder that is 15% Zinc oxide and the rest is talc. Is there an over-the-counter way of purifying zinc oxide from it? I'm trying to make some sunscreen from it.
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140 views

How to disarm and correctly dispose of tear gas spray?

I have a can of spray for self-protection which has expired way back in 2008. It hasn't been used at all, and it doesn't seem a good idea to just throw it away without disabling it somehow first. I'm ...
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1answer
121 views

Analysis of a mixture of carbonate salts

We've got a mixture of carbonate salts. It's a buffer, used in fish tanks. How might we go about identifying the components and their concentrations? I suspect it'd be hard to separate some of this. ...
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390 views

How do you explain the thread sticking to an ice-cube when salt is sprinkled over it?

So this experiment goes like this : You take an ice-cube You put a thread on top face of it You sprinkle some common salt on the ice-cube wherever its touching the thread You wait for sometime ...
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161 views

Easy-to-do experiments that clearly show outstanding properties of graphene

By chance, we received some monolayer graphene sheets (20 cm x 20 cm) and mixed coper-graphene wires for free at our university. I would like to prepare some very-easy-to-do experiments for the ...
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1answer
654 views

Chemical methods to extract Oxygen from Rust

Let's say I have a large quantity of rust and want to extract the oxygen from it in a way that allows me to collect the oxygen in a container. What chemical process can I use to do this and what ...
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1answer
155 views

Calculate Ethanol content after heating for N minutes

Does there exist a formula I can use to calculate alcohol content of a solution after heating it for some time? I have the following use-case: I am making a pecan pie. I have a thick sugary solution. ...
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68 views

How To Obtain A Reducing Sugar At Home?

I'm looking for a reducing sugar such as glucose or maltose (any reducing sugar will do) for some home chemistry experiments. Is there a readily available reducing sugar that I might source without ...
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195 views

Time to effervescent an effervescent tablet

Say I have an effervescent tablet and I put in water. I thought that if I break the tablet in two halves it would dissolve quicker than with the whole table (without breaking), but it actually takes ...
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96 views

I'm looking for a substance that can be used as an adhesive, but that will burn without producing any ash

I need to 'adhese' paper to plastic, but I need the adhesive to be flammable and quick burning, but without producing any ash or too many toxic fumes. I know this is an absurd question, but does ...
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119 views

Hot and cold air interaction in a sealed environment

What would happen if air heated to 1200 degree's Fahrenheit in a sealed environment was injected with colder air? No specific pressure defined yet just a general idea of potential interaction between ...