The book Chemistry on a Budget contains inexpensive chemistry labs that are useful with easy to obtain materials.
The early labs include the topics of Significant Figures, Density (3 labs), the Separation of a Mixture (including coverage of Percent Composition), and Liquid Chromatography. These are safe labs that cover essential information, giving you time to emphasize Lab Safety and get Lab Safety Contracts signed.
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.
You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. It will take 1-2 weeks to get to you -- Order Now. It’s a great resource!
*Some of you have already purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
Past blog posts that may be useful right now include:
01/10/2014 2nd Entry (Mole Conversions and
10/20/2014 Celebrating Mole Day
10/15/2015 Mole Mathematics
10/15/2016 Mole Day is Coming!
There are several labs in Chemistry on a Budget about The Mole Concept including “Catching Moles”, “Moles in Your Name?”, and beginning Stoichiometry with “A Chemical Reaction”.
Types of Chemical Reactions
01/11/2014 New Schedule (Single Replacement
Reaction – Cu with Ag)
01/14/2014 Decomposition of Sodium Bicarbonate
01/16/2014 Combination of Magnesium and
01/18/2014 Double Replacement Reactions
01/22/2014 Combustion of a Hydrocarbon
11/14/2014 Predicting Products of a Synthesis
Reaction (1st Rxn Type)
11/17/2014 Predicting Products of a Decom-
position Reaction (2nd Rxn Type)
11/21/2014 Predicting Products of a Single Re-
placement Reaction (3rd Rxn Type)
11/23/2014 Predicting Products of a Double
(4th Rxn Type)
11/25/2014 Predicting Products of a Combustion
Reaction (5th Rxn Type)
During this holiday time, flavored coffees are very popular – to purchase the drink already made or flavored coffee grounds to use in your home.
“French vanilla, hazelnut, and cinnamon all sound like they would be a natural addition to coffee, but in reality there are very few coffee bean flavors that are truly natural. To flavor coffee, the roaster adds the chemical propylene glycol to the beans to help get the flavoring to sink in. … As a food additive, propylene glycol is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) safe list (not to be confused with ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic if ingested)…”
“In general, coffee flavoring contains flavor compounds mixed with a solvent like propylene glycol (popularly used in pharmaceuticals, and airplane de-icing compound!) in order to attach the flavor chemicals to the beans. The flavor syrup is poured onto to coffee beans after the roast, and agitated to provide an even coating.”
“According to the Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR), propylene glycol is a synthetic chemical used to absorb liquid in substances that may leak and cause contamination. … [also,] this chemical is used to make polyester compounds.
…[P]ropylene glycol is widely used as an antifreeze in the cosmetic industry. It’s a mainstay component in chemical production, it’s used to maintain the moisture in pharmaceuticals and makeup, and it’s a solvent widely used in the paint and plastics industry.”
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is "generally recognized as safe" for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. “
“Both experimental and anecdotal evidence to date indicate PG [propylene glycol] to be completely non-carcinogenic, despite its "petroleum-based" origin. In an interesting study, some rats were fed propylene glycol at amounts equal to 5% of all of their food intake every day for two years, which is a pretty huge volume over a large portion of their lifetime. There were no observable effects on their health or behavior.”
This article provides a molecular model of propylene glycol.
“How likely is propylene glycol to cause cancer?The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the EPA have not classified propylene glycol for carcinogenicity. Animal studies have not shown this chemical to be carcinogen.”https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=1121&tid=240
“Propylene glycol is an organic chemical compound nobody talked much about until recently, when Fireball Cinnamon Whisky was pulled off the shelves in three Scandinavian countries for containing too much of the ingredient to meet European Union standards. The chemical is used as a solvent and as the primary ingredient in non-toxic antifreeze and as the "e-liquid" in e-cigarettes. Propylene glycol is considered safe by the FDA in small quantities, although it can be toxic in large doses. And it’s more common than you think. It’s widely used in food and drink products as a thickener and preservative, or to add a little bit of sweetness.”
It looks like a little flavored coffee won’t kill you – it’s approved by the FDA – but along with the many chemicals that you and your students are exposed to or ingest, it’s good to know about your foods and be able to make choices.
“…coffee is usually flavored with chemical additives rather than real ingredients. Hazelnut and vanilla are common coffee flavors and ones that could be added with natural means, but it's usually cheaper or easier to use a concoction mixed up in a lab. After roasting, beans to be used for flavored coffee are coated in flavoring chemicals along with solvents to help the flavor stick. This coating could gum up your equipment and leave residue that imparts their taste to future coffee batches. ….flavoring may be a way for roasters to cover up the taste of poor quality or old beans.”
Don’t have flavored coffee every day (whoops, I’m guilty of that) – maybe make flavored coffee at home.
This page offers 4 ways to flavor coffee grounds in your own kitchen:
A test run with a small amount of cinnamon added to the grounds was surprisingly tasty – this not only reduces your exposure to propylene glycol, but it’s a lot cheaper!
Small changes and choices aid in reducing the lifetime exposure to carcinogens for you and your students. Your body is designed to filter toxins in your system, but making conscious choices about the food and drink you consume aids that process, putting less stress on your body.
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. 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 weekend!