The book Chemistry on a Budget contains inexpensive chemistry labs that could be useful. You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. Check it out!
There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
It will take a week or so to get to you, so Order Now!
*Some of you have purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
An interesting development recently (many of these sources are dated April 19, 2016) was the discovery of the use of coal for electronics.
“Graphene may be the poster child of thin film electronics, and silicon the current king of materials for semiconductors, but if scientists from MIT get their way, graphene's humble cousin, coal, could soon be giving them both a run for their money. For the first time, electronic devices have been created from thin films of coal and the research points to a range of uses that this cheap and abundant material could have in electronic devices, solar panels, and batteries.”
“Thanks to the availability of cheap, abundant, and cleaner-to-burn natural gas, U.S. use of coal to generate electricity has fallen to lows not seen since 1949 ... with increased pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, energy experts say the coal industry is at the beginning of what may be a long slide to obsolescence...MIT researchers are looking at other ways to utilize coal’s molecular complexity and harness it to make a new generation of electronic devices — including some that could become part of the switch to renewable energy.”
Carbon (C) comprising coal, with 4 valence electrons, is in the same Group (or Family) on the Periodic Table as silicon (Si), which also has 4 valence electrons. You might want to draw electron dot diagrams for both elements to emphasize their similarity.
“The adjustability of… [carbon’s] electronic and optical properties, combined with its high conductivity, thermal stability and robustness, make it a promising material. It's also relatively cheap to fabricate.”
The infrastructure to mine coal already exists in the United States because it was already being used as a fuel source.
“Some naturally occurring coal varieties have a range of electrical conductivity that spans seven orders of magnitude, making them suitable for a wide range of electronic uses — and without the extensive purification and refining that silica, a standard raw material in electronics manufacturing, requires.
For that reason, coal might provide a cheaper alternative.”
“The researchers demonstrated coal’s potential by using it to make a simple electrical heating device, which could be utilized for jobs such as defrosting car windows or airplane wings.”
Some students get a little bored, thinking that scientific research and development of technologies has reached an end point. Here is a development using a resource in a completely different way. It would be interesting for your students to gather pros and cons of working with carbon from coal versus silicon from sand.
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Remember, you can check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Remember, buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Have a great week!