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Lab:List of intermediate level Practical Chemistry experiments

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Contents

These experiments are for students who have already been introduced to basic chemical concepts. Students' ages will vary in different countries. In the UK they will generally be aged 14 to 16. They are organized by topic.

How science works

Practical and enquiry skills

Experiments in this section can be used to teach practical and enquiry skills including the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of primary data.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [1]

States of matter

Properties of solids, liquids and gases

The experiments in this section can be used to illustrate the properties of solids, liquids and gases. The experiments are linked to simple particle theory and can be used illustrate and explain changes of state, gas pressure and diffusion.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [2]

Structure and bonding

Properties of substances and types of bonding

The experiments in this section can be used to investigate how the properties of substances provide clues about the type of bonding involved as well as illustrating how bonding affects the structure, properties and uses of different materials.

  • Allotropes of sulfur: Procedure
  • Dyeing – three colours from the same dye-bath: Procedure
  • The density of ice: Procedure
  • Experiments with hydrogels – plant water storage crystals: Procedure
  • Which substances conduct electricity?: Procedure
  • Experiments with hydrogels – hair gel and disposable nappies: Procedure
  • Modelling alloys with plasticine: Procedure
  • Making an alloy (solder): Procedure
  • Cooking potatoes: Procedure
  • Chocolate and structure: Procedure
  • Flame colours – a demonstration: Procedure
  • Electrolysis of zinc chloride: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [3]

Elements, compounds and mixtures

Properties of elements and compounds

The experiments in this section can be used to illustrate the properties of elements and compounds and to provide examples of chemical change which can be explained by the rearrangement of atoms.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [4]

Separation and analysis

Methods of separating and analysing substances

The experiments in this section cover different methods of separating substances (e.g. filtration, distillation, chromatography) as well as chemical methods for identifying different substances.

  • Colorimetric determination of a copper ore: Procedure
  • Extracting iodine from seaweed: Procedure
  • Distribution of iodine between two immiscible solvents: Procedure
  • Decolourising and deodorising: Procedure
  • Reactions of positive ions with sodium hydroxide (microscale version): Procedure
  • Silver and lead halides: Procedure
  • Fermentation of glucose using yeast: Procedure
  • Flame colours – a demonstration: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [5]

Periodic table

Trends in properties of elements and compounds

The experiments in this section can be used to illustrate the trends in the properties of the elements and their compounds. Group and Period trends are included.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [6]

Metals

Metal matters The experiments in this section cover the extraction of metals, common reactions of metals and the properties and uses of metals.

  • Extracting metals from rocks: Procedure
  • Extracting metals with charcoal: Procedure
  • Displacement reactions between metals and their salts: Procedure
  • The reaction between zinc and copper oxide: Procedure
  • Turning copper coins into 'silver' and 'gold': Procedure
  • Preventing rusting: Procedure
  • Extracting iron from breakfast cereal: Procedure
  • The real reactivity of aluminium: Procedure
  • The copper envelope: Procedure
  • The causes of rusting: Procedure
  • How much air is used during rusting?: Procedure
  • The change in mass when magnesium burns: Procedure
  • The combustion of iron wool: Procedure
  • Solid mixtures – a tin and lead solder: Procedure
  • The position of iron in the reactivity series: Procedure
  • The thermite reaction: Procedure
  • The reaction of magnesium with copper(II) oxide: Procedure
  • Where does carbon come in the reactivity series?: Procedure
  • Alkali metals: Procedure
  • Modelling alloys with plasticine: Procedure
  • Making an alloy (solder): Procedure
  • Reactions of chlorine, bromine and iodine with aluminium: Procedure
  • Reaction of zinc with iodine: Procedure
  • Exothermic metal-acid reactions: Procedure
  • Extraction of iron on a match head: Procedure
  • Anodising aluminium: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [7]

Acids, alkalis and salts

Acid and alkali reactions

The experiments in this section cover the reactions of acids and alkalis to form soluble salts. The use of indicators is also covered.

  • The reaction between carbon dioxide and water: Procedure
  • A thermometric titration: Procedure
  • Using indigestion tablets to neutralise an acid: Procedure
  • pH of oxides: Procedure
  • The acidic reactions of ethanoic acid: Procedure
  • Preparing salts by neutralisation with oxides and carbonates: Procedure
  • Preparing an insoluble salt: Procedure
  • Acid-base neutralisation – a microscale titration: Procedure
  • The part that water plays in acidity: Procedure
  • Properties of hydrogen chloride: Procedure
  • Preparing a soluble salt by neutralisation: Procedure
  • Metals and acids: Procedure
  • Developing a glue: Procedure
  • Titrating sodium hydroxide with hydrochloric acid: Procedure
  • Making magnesium carbonate: an example of a salt which is insoluble in water: Procedure
  • What makes a substance ‘acidic’?: Procedure
  • Neutralisation – ‘curing acidity’: Procedure
  • Exothermic metal-acid reactions: Procedure
  • Universal Indicator ‘Rainbow’: Procedure
  • pH scale: Procedure
  • Making and testing ammonia: Procedure
  • Making a pH indicator: Procedure
  • Indicators and dry ice: demonstration: Procedure
  • Acid or alkali? Acidic or alkaline?: Procedure
  • Sulfuric acid as a dehydrating agent: Procedure
  • Ammonia fountain: Procedure
  • Reacting copper(II) oxide with sulfuric acid: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [8]

Ionic precipitation

Forming insoluble salts

The experiments in this section involve precipitation reactions to form insoluble salts.

  • Investigating the solubilities of lead halides: Procedure
  • Solubility patterns among anions of the halogens on microscale: Procedure
  • Diffusion in liquids: Procedure
  • Reactions of positive ions with sodium hydroxide (microscale version): Procedure
  • Making a photographic print: Procedure
  • Silver and lead halides: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [9]

Solvents and solutions

Solubility

The experiments in this section include activities illustrating the variation of solubility of a solute with temperature, the formation of saturated solutions and the solubility of solutes in different solvents.

  • Distribution of iodine between two immiscible solvents: Procedure
  • What are the dissolved solids in seawater?: Procedure
  • Recovering pure water from a solution using a water condenser: Procedure
  • The thermal properties of water: Procedure
  • How can hardness in water be removed?: Procedure
  • Which ions cause hardness in water?: Procedure
  • Diffusion in liquids: Procedure
  • Equilibria involving carbon dioxide in aqueous solution: Procedure
  • The part that water plays in acidity: Procedure
  • Reactions of aqueous solutions of the halogens: Procedure
  • Silver and lead halides: Procedure
  • Sodium ethanoate ‘stalagmite’: Procedure
  • Making and testing ammonia: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [10]

Chemicals from oil

Oil as a source of chemicals

The experiments in this section illustrate how useful chemicals can be obtained from crude oil e.g. fractional distillation and cracking. Experiments investigating the properties and uses of hydrocarbons, such as alkanes and alkenes, are also included.

  • Cracking hydrocarbons on a microscale: Procedure
  • The fractional distillation of crude oil: Procedure
  • Cracking hydrocarbons: Procedure
  • Identifying the products of combustion: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [11]

Polymers

Polymers: making polymers, and their properties

The experiments in this section can be used to show how polymers are made and how the uses of polymers are related to their properties. Experiments include making ‘slime’ and investigating ‘hydrogels’ for example.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [12]

Alcohols, acids and esters

Alcohols: production, properties, and reactions

Experiments in this section cover the production, properties and reactions of alcohols, organic acids and esters. Experiments include fermentation reactions and the preparation of examples of esters which are used in flavours and fragrances.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [13]

Oxidation and reduction

Corrosion and rusting

The experiments in this section illustrate oxidation and reduction processes such as corrosion and rusting.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [14]

Electrolysis

Applications of electricity in chemistry

The activities in this section illustrate the many different applications of electricity in chemistry and include examples of electrolysis to extract and purify substances as well as experiments involving fuel cells, for example.

  • Rechargeable commercial cells: the lead-acid accumulator: Procedure
  • Which substances conduct electricity?: Procedure
  • Migration of ions: Procedure
  • Exploding bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen: Procedure
  • Quantitative electrolysis of aqueous copper(II) sulfate: Procedure
  • Identifying the products of electrolysis: Procedure
  • Preferential discharge of cations during electrolysis: Procedure
  • Reaction of zinc with iodine: Procedure
  • Electrolysis of copper(II) sulfate solution: Procedure
  • Electrolysing molten lead(II) bromide: Procedure
  • Colourful electrolysis: Procedure
  • Electrolysis of zinc chloride: Procedure
  • Anodising aluminium: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [15]

Energy changes and fuels

A topic about sources of energy and effects

The experiments in this section can be used to illustrate, for example, what makes useful fuel and how to measure the energy given out by different fuels. Also included are a range of experiments looking at different examples of exothermic and endothermic reactions.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [16]

Rates of reaction

Measuring chemical reaction speed

The experiments in this section illustrate different methods for measuring the speed of chemical reactions, for investigating the factors affecting the rate of a chemical reaction including the effect of catalysts.

  • Testing for enzymes: Procedure
  • The cornflour ‘bomb’: Procedure
  • A solid-solid reaction: Procedure
  • Involvement of catalysts in reactions: Procedure
  • Catalysts for the thermal decomposition of potassium chlorate: Procedure
  • Microbes and bread making using yeast: Procedure
  • Catalysis of the reaction between sodium thiosulfate solution and iron(III) nitrate solution: Procedure
  • Catalysis of the reaction between sodium thiosulfate and hydrogen peroxide: Procedure
  • Catalysis of the reaction between zinc and sulfuric acid: Procedure
  • Rate of reaction of magnesium with hydrochloric acid: Procedure
  • Rates and rhubarb: Procedure
  • Iodine clock reaction: Procedure
  • Spontaneous exothermic reaction: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [17]

Reversible reactions

Reactions which go both ways

The experiments in this section can be used to demonstrate reversible reactions and reactions involving dynamic equilibria.

  • The reaction between carbon dioxide and water: Procedure
  • A reversible reaction involving hydrated copper(II) sulfate and its anhydrous form: Procedure
  • An equilibrium involving chromate(VI) and dichromate(VI) ions: Procedure
  • An equilibrium involving copper(II) ions: Procedure
  • Le Chatelier’s Principle: the effect of concentration and temperature on an equilibrium: Procedure
  • Equilibria involving carbon dioxide in aqueous solution: Procedure
  • Rechargeable commercial cells: the lead-acid accumulator: Procedure
  • Le Chatelier’s principle: the equilibrium between nitrogen dioxide and dinitrogen tetroxide: Procedure
  • Le Chatelier’s Principle: the effect of concentration on equilibrium: Procedure
  • Reaction of zinc with iodine: Procedure
  • Ammonia fountain: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [18]

Colloids

Emulsions and other mixtures

The experiments in this section include examples of emulsions, emulsifiers, gels, suspensions, and foams and build on knowledge and understanding of mixtures.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [19]

Materials

Materials: investigating their properties and uses

Activities covering the investigation of the properties and uses of a wide range of materials such as plastics, fibres, ceramics, composites, glasses, metals are included.

  • Detergents, soaps and surface tension: Procedure
  • Making soaps and detergents: Procedure
  • Comparing light- and heavy-duty detergents: Procedure
  • Thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate: Procedure
  • Making glass: Procedure
  • Solid mixtures – a tin and lead solder: Procedure
  • Experiments with hydrogels – plant water storage crystals: Procedure
  • Experiments with hydrogels – hair gel and disposable nappies: Procedure
  • Developing a glue: Procedure
  • Making an alloy (solder): Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [20]

Food

Chemistry of food

The experiments in this section can be used to investigate the chemicals and chemistry involved in food, food production and cooking. Experiments included cover food additives (e.g flavourings and colourings), vitamins, preserving and preservatives and analysis techniques such as chromatography.

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [21]

Formulae and equations

Consolidating knowledge and understanding of chemical formulae and balanced equations.

The activities in this section can be used to consolidate knowledge and understanding of chemical formulae and balanced equations.

  • Combustion of hydrogen in air: Procedure
  • Reaction of hydrogen and oxygen: reacting masses: Procedure
  • Thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate: Procedure
  • Investigating the solubilities of lead halides: Procedure
  • Finding the formula of copper oxide: Procedure
  • The change in mass when magnesium burns: Procedure
  • Finding the formula of hydrated copper(II) sulfate: Procedure
  • Exothermic or endothermic?: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [22]

Chemical quantities

How to work out formulae and calculate quantity of product from reactions

The experiments in this section can be used to consolidate knowledge and understanding of, for example, how chemists work out the formulae of compounds or calculate how much product can be obtained in a reaction. Also included are titration experiments.

  • Combustion of hydrogen in air: Procedure
  • Reaction of hydrogen and oxygen: reacting masses: Procedure
  • A thermometric titration: Procedure
  • Determination of Relative Atomic Mass: Procedure
  • Finding the formula of hydrated copper(II) sulfate: Procedure
  • Determining the relative molecular mass of butane: Procedure
  • Microscale extraction of copper: Procedure

Based on the Experimentation hub collection: [23]