For inexpensive chemistry lab ideas to expand your repertoire, buy my lab book Chemistry on a Budget for $20.56 at amazon.com or $23 at lulu.com. It will take a few weeks to get to you, so order now!
This book contains 13 labs using consumable materials purchased from local stores including Analysis of a Mixture, Paper Chromatography, and Coinium (using pennies to demonstrate half-life). 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.
I realize that during the school year it’s very difficult to keep up with research topics. During the next few weeks, I will talk about some current research going on in the science community.
Recently published in June, 2015 was the following:
First ‘unassisted’ water splitting using only hematite and silicon as solar absorbers
Finding an efficient solar water splitting method to mine electron-rich hydrogen for clean power has been thwarted by the poor performance of hematite. But by ‘re-growing’ the mineral’s surface, a smoother version of hematite doubled electrical yield, opening a new door to energy-harvesting artificial photosynthesis, according to a report published online today in the journal Nature Communications.
This is exciting because ocean water (H2O) provides a great source of hydrogen gas (H2), and this appears to be a low-cost method of separation.
There would be a challenge of storage and transport of the highly flammable gas (think Hindenburg). Here is a video clip of the famous disaster:
According to another online article:
'This offers new hope that efficient and inexpensive solar fuel production by readily available natural resources is within reach,' said Wang. 'Getting there will contribute to a sustainable future powered by renewable energy.'
This article of earlier research shows development of this idea:
What’s currently being researched is always interesting. I’d love to hear from you about further developments – write when you can!
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.
Have a great Fourth of July weekend!