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How can you build a model of tetrahedral coordination from objects found at home?

Inflate balloons, and tie them «at their stem» like a bouquet of flowers. If you take four of them, not too much inflated, you well demonstrate a situation close to $sp^3$ hybridization. These models ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
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25 votes

Why does bleach feel slippery?

Actually it is saponification. Bleach has alkali added to it, to stabilize it against decomposion to chlorine gas. To wash your hands after contact with bleach was a wise move.
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
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25 votes
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How would I measure the Carbon Dioxide content in Coca Cola over a period of time?

Measure the change in mass over time of the remaining liquid. Though some water will also evaporate, you can control for that by keeping the humidity near 100%. If you have to be precise, collect the ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
25 votes

Why does my sand dissolve in citric acid?

Your sand dissolves in citric acid because it is carbonate sand. Not all sand is formed by quartz, even if it is usually implied in context of masonry or fish-keeping. There are sometimes used ...
Poutnik's user avatar
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24 votes
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Why do raisins bob up and down in carbonated water?

The raisin has nucleation sites on it that allow bubbles of $\ce{CO2}$ to form. The raisin is light enough to be lifted by the bubbles as they push their way to the surface. As the bubbles are ...
ringo's user avatar
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24 votes
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Why does bleach feel slippery?

Maybe it needs to be clarified that the salt of a strong base and a weak acid can conduct saponification. Therefore the fact that bleach reacts with fatty acids creating soap, does not necessarily ...
Kinformationist's user avatar
23 votes
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Counterintuitive Reaction of Aluminium On Steel Balls

This is actually related to the thermite reaction, where the rust on the balls reacts with the pure aluminum in the foil. Here is a pdf detailing the experiment. The activation energy for the ...
fyrepenguin's user avatar
22 votes
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Why doesn't liquid propane in a closed coke bottle burst?

Yes, based on what we can see in the video, your guess appears to be correct: as the propane-filled bottle warmed up, just enough propane evaporated to keep the pressure inside the bottle equal to the ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
17 votes

Are children's sparklers based on a magnesium reaction?

To answer the question, let us understand sparkler chemistry. A sparkler consists of: An oxidizer: potassium nitrate or potassium chlorate. They burn off a mixture and are part of oxidation-reduction ...
Chakravarthy Kalyan's user avatar
16 votes
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How can I safely handle a concentrated (fuming) nitric acid spill?

Of course, you’ll want to prevent a spillage as well as possible (making sure the bottle doesn’t fall over etc.) but sometimes you just run into bad luck. Let’s hope that your work bench is at least ...
Jan's user avatar
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16 votes
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Can I eat the lemons after I have used them as a battery?

In a lemon battery, the zinc from the galvanized nail is giving up electrons and transitioning into an aqueous state: $$\ce{Zn → Zn^2+ + 2e−}$$ While zinc is entering the electrolyte, two ...
John Snow's user avatar
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15 votes

Improving Elephant Toothpaste experiment

You might try horseradish as a catalyst, rather than yeast. Use the fresh root, not the prepared sauce, and test a few different plants - some are more effective than others. Cosmetic supply stores ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
15 votes
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Are children's sparklers based on a magnesium reaction?

What would happen if we threw the sparkler into the water? Would it keep burning under water. Most likely, not. Water is an effective coolant, so a wet sparkler wouldn't be able to propagate a burn ...
permeakra's user avatar
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13 votes
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What is behind of the attraction between a burned matchstick with a magnet?

Some matchstick heads contain iron(III) oxide as a colorant. The yellowish color of the burning match indicates that it has low oxygen, i.e. a reducing flame. It reduces the iron oxide to iron which ...
aventurin's user avatar
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13 votes

Melting point of obsidian

Obsidian This is a volcanic glass, formed when rhyolitic lavas cool too quickly for crystals to form. From a chemistry point of view, it's a mixture of silicon dioxide, aluminium oxide, with sodium ,...
Andrew Jon Dodds's user avatar
13 votes

How would I measure the Carbon Dioxide content in Coca Cola over a period of time?

Measure concentration in a fixed volume of air Easiest way might be to put it in a sealed impermeable bag or box and measure the CO2 concentration over time. Home hobbyists use something like the MG-...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes

How can you build a model of tetrahedral coordination from objects found at home?

This one is inspired by ideas from Ed V and Todd Minehardt. The cool thing is that the angles are pretty accurate if the chop sticks reach into the opposite corners of the cube: As a bonus, you can ...
Karsten's user avatar
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13 votes
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Cleaning with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate

Your intuition is on point. Pretty much all the "lifehacks" praising cleaning abilities of vinegar and sodium bicarbonate are ineffective. The reaction appears vigorous due to the formation ...
andselisk's user avatar
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12 votes
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Gases produced by pyrolysis of cellulose

During pyrolysis, organic compounds are thermally decomposed in the absence of oxygen. The pyrolysis products are classified into categories based on their physical state of existence: char (solid), ...
ringo's user avatar
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12 votes

Why doesn't liquid propane in a closed coke bottle burst?

The person in the video said it was about $\pu{45^oF}$. At this temperature propane has a vapor pressure of about 8 atm, so that is the pressure that built up inside the Coke bottle. Once this ...
airhuff's user avatar
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12 votes

How can I roughly measure a fraction of a gram?

You ask: Can I roughly get the weight that a fraction of a gram without buying a scale just for this crystal making kit? Absolutely. You're in Japan. You have access to Japanese coins which ...
Todd Minehardt's user avatar
11 votes

What is the simplest way to create a precipitation reaction at home?

Here's one easy way : Make a solution of salt ($\ce{NaCl}$) in water, and another solution of Silver Nitrate ($\ce{AgNO_3}$), which you can buy easily) in water. Upon mixing the two, $\ce{AgCl}$ (...
Chemobot's user avatar
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11 votes
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Chemical reaction in homemade deodorant

The most likely culprit is something acidic reacting with the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Try mixing separately: Baking soda and witch hazel Baking soda and aloe vera gel My guess is that one ...
hBy2Py's user avatar
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10 votes
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Producing ketones from secondary alcohols using hydrogen peroxide

I think it is possible to use hydrogen peroxide. This paper discusses it: http://greenchem.uoregon.edu/PDFs/ResourceID88.pdf Other alternatives: Pyridinium Chlorochromate (or PCC for short) Dess-...
getafix's user avatar
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9 votes

Separating iron from blood

It is not possible to separate iron from blood without damaging the haemoglobin. Iron is a part of haemoglobin, and if iron is removed, the haemoglobin becomes something else. The blood then becomes ...
sadljkfhalskdjfh's user avatar
9 votes
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How to extract caffeine from coffee

The popular procedure to experimentally isolate caffeine is sublimation. Slowly heat a teaspoon of coffee or tea from 150°C to 250°C. Let the sublimated caffeine precipitate at a watch glass cooled ...
aventurin's user avatar
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9 votes
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Sodium permanganate from manganese dioxide and sodium hypochlorite

I performed this reaction, and the answer is yes, concentrated sodium carbonate can be used in place of sodium hydroxide, though the latter works better. The reaction goes under normal pressure, but ...
vapid's user avatar
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9 votes
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Extracting urea from urine

First, from Boundless.com (Chemical Composition of Urine), "Urine is an aqueous solution of greater than 95% water, with the remaining constituents, in order of decreasing concentration urea 9.3 g/L, ...
Ben Welborn's user avatar
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9 votes
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How would you separate sugar from water?

If you start with a known 'pure' mixture of sugar and water, then what you propose is fine, to an extent, if you are just after separating the two ingredients. Crystallisation is a purification ...
long's user avatar
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9 votes
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How to make Poinsettia pigment into ink?

I think that would be hard, you could try to use a mordant to convert a dye to a pigment, you can use Alumina $\ce{FeSO4}$ or $\ce{CuSO4}$. There is an article that explains it in detail how to use ...
G M's user avatar
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