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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19 views

Non-wetting fluids for precise volume measurements

I need to precisely measure the internal volume of an open steel fixture. I was planning to do this via displacement, but I'm wondering what the best fluid would be. Ideally it should have no ...
2
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1answer
30 views

What is the chemical reaction in a home-made high-bouncer ball?

I took the kids to the Science Museum in Canberra (Questacon) and one of the toys we brought back was a Home-Made High Bouncing Ball. Now I did it with the kids and it was amazing. You pour the ...
2
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1answer
43 views

How does potassium nitrate work as an oxidiser?

Potassium nitrate is very popular compound in pyrotechnics, used as an oxidiser. It can be mixed with sugar to make a "rocket candy", with coal and sulphur to form black powder. You can stick it on ...
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13 views

Does potassium nitrate + sugar solution degrade?

I have created a solution of $\ce{KNO3}$ and table sugar in order to create fuse from hemp rope. I wet the rope in the solution and let it dry - I repeat this process several times. It works and ...
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1answer
82 views

Why is sugar used in low-cost homemade rockets?

I was thinking about making a "rocket candy". It's relatively inexpensive rocket based on sugar and some oxidiser, mostly $\ce{KNO3}$. The fuel is usually formed by heating the mix of both compounds ...
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47 views

Best Invisible Ink for Clothing

I am interested in writing and revealing a message in invisible ink for theatrical purposes. I found a list of potential compounds here but I am having a hard time prioritizing which to ...
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1answer
26 views

pH of baking soda in water? [closed]

If I dissolve 1g of sodium bicarbonate powder into 400 ml of distilled water, what will the pH of the resulting solution be?
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2answers
48 views

Are there any solvents that dissolve talcum powder?

I understand that talcum powder is insoluble to water, would alcohol or something be able to dissolve it?
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2answers
68 views

Baking soda bath to deacidify newsprint?

I have some oil-pastel sketches on newsprint I would like to treat for framing (and longevity). My plan is to rinse them in a deacidifying bath, then use wheat paste to wet-mount them to heavyweight ...
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1answer
50 views

Why does steel wool catch fire when rubbed with a battery?

I was watching an episode of Man vs Wild where steel wool was rubbed with phone battery. To my surprise, the wool caught fire. What is the reason for this?
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0answers
39 views

Separating citric acid from sugar

I'm trying to get as pure citric acid as possible from a mandarin. It's not because I desperately need citric acid, but because I want to achieve this. I started by grating the mandarine and ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Black Smoke Produced from Regular Lighter but Not Torch Lighter Applied to Copper

I have a piece of copper mesh from which I would like to remove all coatings/oils. The copper comes from a pot scrubber like this. In order to remove any residue, I held a standard bic lighter up to ...
5
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1answer
121 views

Scary jelly forming on zinc anodes

I'm continuing with my electrolysis experiments. Over a long time, I seek a perfect electrodes. It seems, that when you pick the right anode and cathode, it might be a lot cheaper than universal ...
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1answer
59 views

Homemade filter paper

I used normal paper from my notebook to perform filtration. The filtration is 100% perfect, but takes incredibly long to happen, because the paper is too dense. I'm not planning to buy filtration ...
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0answers
10 views

How to get sodium from sodium aluminate?

The sodium aluminate is formed when aluminium or aluminium hydroxide reacts with water solution of lye. After drying the water you'll end up with white crystals - sodium aluminate. I was wondering if ...
1
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1answer
22 views

Home-made way to detect lye in solution

I believe that electrolysis of salt water creates lye ($\ce{NaOH}$ - sodium hydroxide). In salt water, there's $\ce{Na+}$, $\ce{Cl-}$, $\ce{H+}$ and $\ce{OH-}$ as of ionts. So at cathode, you get ...
2
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2answers
27 views

Extracting silver from Tollens test

When we add tollens reagent (diamminesilver(I) cation, $\ce{[Ag(NH3)2]+}$) to glucose it forms a silvery mirror on the walls of the container. Since the sides are coated with actual Silver, is ...
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2answers
57 views

How to separate HCl and NaOH from an aqueous solution of NaCl?

At home I make experiments on salt (as it is easily available at home). One day I came to know that on mixing salt and water I will get Hydrochloric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide. So I became really ...
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2answers
33 views

Can I use Sunflower oil to make soap?

When reading about making glycerine soap, the recipes suggested to melt animal fat and mix it with $\ce{NaOH}$. Could I use Sunflower oil instead? Or a olive oil for nice flavor? Is heating necessary ...
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1answer
26 views

Siliconization for Organic Compounds

I was wondering if it was possible to create Silane from Methane using the process of siliconization to replace the Carbon with Silicon. For example Silicon Carbide is produced by replacing C-C bonds ...
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2answers
72 views

How can I get a hand sanitizer solution to form a gel?

I am trying to formulate a gel hand sanitizer for a thesis project. The sanitizer that I have right now is watery and will not gel. My teacher told me to change our formulation because it is not ...
3
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1answer
46 views

How do I seperate graphite powder from light oil?

I have a sample of very fine graphite powder suspended in light oil. I've attempted to seperate the two by placing the mix in a 2 micron filter sock. The oil will slowly drip through. If I apply ...
2
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0answers
40 views

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
50 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
83 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
36 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
votes
1answer
51 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
85 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
49 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
46 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
48 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 ...
1
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1answer
63 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
23 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 ...
0
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1answer
43 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
68 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
44 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
58 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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1answer
107 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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1answer
60 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
90 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
91 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
62 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
53 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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1answer
56 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 ...
2
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6answers
596 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 ...
0
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0answers
95 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
votes
2answers
42 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
87 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 ...
2
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2answers
377 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 ...
2
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1answer
272 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 ...