Chemistry stinks - class smelling activity

Description

This class practical introduces concepts of chemistry and smell. A number of common chemicals with distinctive smells have been chosen to help students get their nose around different functionalities in chemistry. This is done via a series of solutions, which can be smelled using smelling sticks.

chemistry-stinks-class-sm...



Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

Balance

Small glass vials or conical flasks (25 cm3), 10

Rubber stoppers or lids for the vials/flasks

Measuring cylinders (25 cm3)

Dropping pipettes, 10

Smelling sticks (either cut filter paper, cut rigid card or wooden splints)

The quantities listed below are sufficient for multiple class practicals:

R-(-)-Carvone (HARMFUL, LOW HAZARD), 293 mg

S-(+)-Carvone (LOW HAZARD), 293 mg

Vanillin (IRRITANT, LOW HAZARD), 91 mg

R-(+)-Limonene and  S-(-)-Limonene  (FLAMMABLE, IRRITANT, MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC SKIN REACTION), 470 mg

Ammonium sulphide (FLAMMABLE, TOXIC, LOW HAZARD), 10 mg

Ammonium thioglycolate (TOXIC, IRRITANT, MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC SKIN REACTION), 475 mg

Butanoic acid (IRRITANT, LOW HAZARD), 238 mg

Indole (HARMFUL, TOXIC, LOW HAZARD), 18 mg

Menthol (IRRITANT, LOW HAZARD), crude solid used

Purified (distilled or deionised) water, 15 cm3
for each sample solution

Surfactant such as Tween20 15 cm3 for each Limonene sample used

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 


Compound Solution volume / cm3 Concentration / M Mr Mass required / g
R-(-)-Carvone 15 0.13 150.22 0.293
S-(-)-Carvone 15 0.13 150.22 0.293
Vanillin 15 0.04 152.15 0.091
R-(+)-Limonene 15 0.23 136.23 0.470
S-(-)-Limonene 15 0.23 136.23 0.470
Ammonium sulfide 15 0.01 68.14 0.010
Ammonium thioglycolate 15 0.29 109.15 0.475
Butanoic acid 15 0.18 88.11 0.238
Indole 15 0.01 117.15 0.018
Menthol neat solid 156.27 n/a

 




This class practical introduces concepts of chemistry and smell. A number of common chemicals with distinctive smells have been chosen to help students get their nose around different functionalities in chemistry.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Royal Society of Chemistry would like to thank Dr Jacob Cox, Dr Simon Rees, Rebecca Edwards and Kate Madden as part of the Educational Techniques Group (ETG) for their involvement in the development of this resource.