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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How do I measure the density of a cellulose acetate membrane?

I've been playing around with filtration methods, and got my hands on a casting machine for this purpose. My first mission was to find out how porosity can affect filtration. To see this for myself, ...
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0answers
29 views

Low Melting Glass

What kind of glass can I purchase that will melt in a Bunsen burner flame? Follow up question: Is there any way to treat glass such that the melting point is lowered? I tried adding some sodium ...
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2answers
50 views
+50

Safety when handling cyclohexylamine in non-industrial amounts

Today I was pipetting some cyclohexylamine into smaller bottles so that I don't have to use the liter flask every time I need a little bit of catalyst or plasticizer. I pipetted several 10-20 mL ...
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0answers
12 views

How does a Microbial Fuel Cell work?

I am doing a science fair experiment about Microbial Fuel Cells and was wondering how exactly do they work? I know the basics, that they work similarly to a normal Fuel Cell through oxidation and ...
3
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1answer
39 views

Any possible additives to a drain cleaner I use as a source of NaOH?

It is in pellets. And the box says main ingredient $\ce{NaOH}$ at least $30\%$ (I hope it's more). The box also says "aluminium catalyst". My goal was to take these pellets and dissolve them in water ...
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1answer
60 views

Is there a means to measure pH without indicators?

I have created a solution that should contain hydroxide ions. Therefore, the pH > 7, but is there any way to roughly estimate the pH in absence of any indicator? Maybe using current, or checking ...
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2answers
37 views

Is there anything funny I can do with chemicals in glowsticks?

I particulary enjoy performing chemical experiments without buying any chemicals for them. I was always sad about the fact that one glowstick lights out, you just throw it into trash can (I like all ...
3
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1answer
29 views

How do erasable pens work?

I understand the principle behind an eraseable pencil. Graphite is highly slippery, you rub it onto the paper, and an eraser can rub it off again. I've had friends at school with 'eraseable ink ...
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1answer
34 views

Solar still and how it works

I use a solar still that holds 182 cubic feet of water. Here is how it works: There is an insulator on both sides of the metal bowl. On the outside it covers the whole thing. on the inside it covers ...
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1answer
54 views

Help with simple DIY procedure to measure diffusion?

While I am not asking the question here, a recent question concerning osmosis at the Bio SE caught my interest. In a nutshell that question was, given isotonic solutions of sugar inside and outside an ...
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0answers
18 views

Can I use harvested plants to gain electric power?

I was just thinking - plants are mostly acid. Even grass is quite acid. Could you create battery cell from squashed plants (after cutting them in pieces)? How much effective would it be? Could you ...
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1answer
19 views

What copper oxide is being created upon electrolysis?

Whenever using copper as anode, I end up with cyan dust that doesn't dissolve in water. What's that (presumably) oxide? Is it poisonous? Can I dissolve it in something to perform electroplating ...
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1answer
34 views

Can I perform electroplating with sodium carbonate and copper?

I want to avoid anything poisonous during electroplating. I can't avoid copper oxide though. I have dissolved $\ce{Na2CO3}$ in water and I'm trying to electroplate aluminium with copper: As you ...
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2answers
32 views

How do I make a simple home destillation device? I got two flasks. Whats next?

Like this: I have two medium sized glass flasks. And I understand I need a T shaped adapter from the first flask that will connect the thermometer and the condenser. Then I also need the condeser. ...
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0answers
38 views

How can i detect Formalin in food easily

I am trying to detect formalin in different types of food. Formalin $(\ce{CH2(OH)2})$is an aqueous solution of formaldehyde, which is $\ce{CH2O}$ or $\ce{H2CO}$. I used many chemicals to do this, but ...
5
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0answers
55 views

Why does increasing number of salt bridges increase voltage of electrochemical battery?

In an experiment, I set up a cell with lead nitrate (w/ lead electrode) and zinc sulfate (w/ zinc electrode), with a salt bridge containing potassium nitrate. I observed that by increasing the number ...
2
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0answers
33 views

Is it possible to synthesis adenine, thymine, cytosine, or guanine at home?

I'm wondering if there is any way to create adenine, thymine, cytosine, or guanine from chemicals available to anyone, using basic lab equipment.
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0answers
50 views

How to break down soap and detergents?

I am building a greywater harvesting system. I have all of it designed except one aspect. It is a 3 phase system. The first phase breaks down soap and detergents. The second phase filters the water. ...
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1answer
49 views

identification of zinc/aluminium/magnesium with copper sulphate solution

We are doing an experiment and would like to be able to identify zinc/aluminium/ magnesium . Would a copper sulphate solution work ? I hear that it turns black on contact with zinc, stays clear on ...
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2answers
39 views

What condenser can be used for simple distillation?

I think I need some distilling (boiling) and collection flasks and a 3-way adapter with a thermometer. I was thinking of using an open vacuum adaptor to join the lower end of the condenser to the ...
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0answers
44 views

How to translate an experiment into equations?

I'm building a home lab around All Lab, No Lecture Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments and I'd like to understand the chemistry that I'm doing a bit better. For example, here's an iodine ...
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0answers
30 views

Remove purple dye from One Shot Drain Cleaner

I bought one shot drain cleaner as a cheap and easily obtainable source of sulphuric acid. However it has an annoying purple dye added to it and I was wondering how to safely remove that without ...
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1answer
47 views

How can I protect my skin from KMnO4?

We have national elections coming up in two days, and like every time the election officials will mark people's thumbs with a dab of some purple solution that leaves a brown stain on the skin (and ...
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6answers
561 views

How can I demonstrate chemistry with the simplest possible experiment like with the “elephant's toothpaste”? [closed]

I actually have to perform an experiment for my school project, and since chemistry is a subject which has the ability to show some pretty good results, I'm not able to think about a project which ...
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0answers
50 views

Impurities in Sulphuric Acid drain cleaner

I have been wanting to do a bit of amateur chemistry and since sulphuric acid is such a useful and ubiquitous reagent I need to get hold of some. Since ordering it from eBay is expensive (postage and ...
2
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2answers
35 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
63 views

Possible methods for copper (II) reduction to copper (I)

How can I make $\ce{Cu2O}$ from copper? I am seeing if electrolysis is a good route (in the context of kitchen style chemistry) to cuprous oxide, instead of the traditional heating copper and ...
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2answers
137 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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1answer
114 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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1answer
87 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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2answers
103 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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1answer
50 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 ...
2
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2answers
80 views

How to determine the vapor pressure of a glycerine and propylene glycol mixture?

I am looking to calculate the minimum heat needed to create vapor from a specific mixture. I have a mixture of 60% $\ce{C3H8O3}$ (glycerine) and 40% $\ce{C3H8O2} $ (propylene glycol, ...
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2answers
148 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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1answer
91 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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4answers
787 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 ...
2
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1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
117 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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1answer
69 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
2
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1answer
67 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 ...
0
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0answers
18 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 ...
7
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2answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
279 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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0answers
144 views

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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0answers
82 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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votes
2answers
117 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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vote
2answers
136 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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0answers
104 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 ...