The sought to determine the effects of mixing various levels of acids and bases to see which combination would have the most explosive reaction, and measure the resulting pH levels. I did this by testing an assortment of different pH levels of acids and bases, mixing them together and measuring the results. Most of the experiments resulted in a pH neutral solution, except for the Sulfuric Acid and the Sodium Hydroxide. By far, the Sulfuric Acid was the most explosive, followed by the Citric and Acetic acid. Introduction The project I am doing has to do with the mixing of acids and bases with assorted pH levels and recording the results. The pH levels are a scale of 0-14 that measure the acidity or base content of a chemical. I became interested in this project when I first experimented with the "Volcano" project a few years ago. I wanted to investigate why this happened, how it happened, and see if I could make it better. If you have done the Volcano project, you would know that you use more vinegar than you do baking soda, but you might not know how much more. I looked up the chemical compounds and names of some common household items, then tested their pH levels. I was going to try to prove that this project can be used with different chemicals, different pH levels, and different amounts. I would show the ideal combinations of acids and bases that would give off this mild explosion. My conclusion could help people in the future who are doing the Volcano project, and want to get a more exciting explosion. Experimental Here is how I did my experiment. First I formed my hypothesis, and I thought how I should go about doing it. I decided to use Vinegar (Acetic Acid) and Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate.) I used these because they are the basic and well know chemicals used in the "Volcano" project, which is a bubbling, fizzing foam caused by mixing almost any amount of Vinegar and Baking Soda. I first used any amount for a test, in this case it was a one to one ratio. The result was a very pasty solution, that foamed, but not as much as I had expected. After this I decided to try a ten to one acid to base ratio. Base being Baking Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate, and the acid being Vinegar, or Acetic Acid for a control. I measured 10 ml. of Vinegar, dumped that into a two inch high glass jar, and wrote down the pH level. Then I measured one ml. of Baking Soda, mixed it with a very little amount of water so that I could take a pH reading, and dumped that into the same glass containing the Vinegar, starting my timer, and taking notes on what I saw. I then tried a similar experiment, using Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid) as a substitution of Vinegar. This was complicated because I still had to maintain the ten to one acid to base ratio, and I could not mix two dry, or powdered substances together. I added very little water to the grounded up Aspirin, and then took its pH level. I only used five ml. of Aspirin, due to the fact that these pills are expensive, and I did not want to waste half a bottle of them. Since I only used five ml. or half the acid, I had to use .5 ml., or half the base as well. I did this, dumped them into the same container, ( I thoroughly cleaned it after the Baking Soda - Vinegar project) and wrote down the results. I then looked and tested some common household items, like antacids, cleaners, battery acid, vitamin C, lemon juice, and many others. Since I didn't have a source for hydrochloric acid, I added salt to vinegar to create HCl. I did the exact same experiment, using a ten to one acid to base ratio after testing them with pH paper, carefully wrote down the results, and then cleaned all of the used equipment. I repeated this until I could find no other chemicals to test, and than I made my charts. Discussion The following documents the outcome from my experiments. You can find the rest of the charts elsewhere on my report stand: Acids and Bases and their Levels Chemicals pH Level Acid or Base Sulfuric...
Bibliography: "Sodium Bicarbonate" American Heritage Dictionary and Electronic Thesaurus (1985) 21: 347 "Acids and Bases" Science Activities Winter 95, Vol. 31 issue 4, p28. McCarthy, E. Jerome Basic Chemistry Homewood Illinois: Irwin-Dorsey, 1968.
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