INT Task 3
In this paper I will be addressing how to tell an acid from a base using a simple experiment that can be done in the household. Telling an acid from a base is very important in the world from people that may have a pool in their backyard to those who are chemists and need that information to balance chemical equations. With simple experiments, one can tell if the solution they have is a base or an acid. The testable question in this paper will be “can simple tests show that a liquefied solution is an acid or a base?”
I will be arguing that it is possible to show a solution is either an acid or a base with an experiment I conducted in my home kitchen.
My first literature review will come from a blog titled, “How Can You Tell If Something Is An Acid Or A Base?” The article explains how water’s elements form it and also how pH in acids and bases abide by certain laws and situations.
Acids and bases are normally found in a liquefied state forming molecules that would dissolve in water to let out ions.
Acids normally are spoken of as giving a hydrogen ion to a solution while bases take one away. Every solution is generally either acidic or basic. Even tap water can be either slightly acidic or basic due to the natural elements like calcium or magnesium that are often naturally found in it (How Can You Tell If Something Is An Acid Or A Base, 2007). The pH scale is a method of telling how acidic or basic solutions are in reference to something neutral like water.
The range for the scale is 0-14. If something has a pH value of 0, it is extremely acidic, while the opposite is if something is a 14 it is extremely basic. Pure water has a pH of 7 and is very neutral. Either extreme can be harmful to humans. The indicator is typically a chemical that changes color if it comes in contact with an acid or a base (How Can You Tell If Something Is An Acid Or A Base, 2007). One way of making this happen is to add an acid or a base to something like red cabbage juice and seeing what color it changes to. Based on the color change, a conclusion can be drawn.
My second literature review is from the science buddies website with an article titled “Cabbage Chemistry.” The overview is pointed at an experiment geared toward kids in efforts to teach them differences between acids and bases by making a home pH indicator. You might think about an acid as something that an evil villain uses to trap a super hero, but actually some very common household solutions are acids (Cabbage Chemistry,2006). You need an indicator to tell if something is an acid or a base. These can be other liquids or strips of specialized paper known as litmus paper.
Red cabbage is an extremely good indicator because of the flavin molecule that is within it (also known as an anthocyanin). For my experimental design, I chose to take 5 clear bowls I had from my kitchen and fill them with vinegar, water, milk, soap solution, and lemon juice. Next a cut some pieces of the litmus paper into strips that I could use to dunk into the solutions. With the bowls filled with the solutions and my strips cut, I can now dip the litmus paper into each of the bowls to see what the color changes are. I chose this method of testing because it is a common and accurate way of testing the acidity of a solution.
This has been a science experiment for a long time. My variables for the experiment are as follows: The independent variable is the amount of liquid in each of the bowls, which was 1 cup and what color of litmus paper I dipped into the solution. My dependent variable was water flowing out of my faucet. Finally, my controlled variables were: indoors, room temperature, and plastic bowls. My reduction of possibly being wrong in this experiment is nearly nulled by my resources that I found explaining how to do the experiment. Also, I repeated the process for a total of 5 times and got the same results. After each run through of the experiment, I wrote down the color on the litmus paper. So with all of that in mind, I have 5 bowls of liquids ready to be dipped into.
I have my blue litmus paper strips and dip one paper in to one solution and note the changes. First I tested blue litmus in vinegar and it yielded pink on the litmus paper. Nothing happed as far as color changing in the water, milk, or soap solution, but did turn the strip pink like the vinegar when dipped into the lemon juice. Next I tested with the pink litmus paper. Nothing different happened with the vinegar, water, milk, or lemon juice.
However, the soap solution did turn the strip blue, telling us that the soap has a presence of a base since only bases turn pink litmus into blue. My final trail was holding a blue and pink litmus paper, one after the other, under running water, to see if there was a difference. Neither strip changed color, which lead the deduction that neither water or milk was an acid or a base. So after everything was said and done I organized the data into a table for the purposes of the paper. It is here in the following table:
Blue Litmus (more acidic)
Pink Litmus (more basic)
1 cup of water
Blue Litmus (acidic)
Pink Litmus (basic)
From the information gathered, we can see which liquids are more towards the acidic end of the pH scale and which are more towards the basic end of the pH scale. The information helps conclude that tests can be done to determine the acidity or basicness of a liquid by using litmus paper. Anyone can do this experiment by purchasing some litmus paper from the internet or a local laboratory supplier. The user merely needs a few bowls of different types of liquid and there you have it. An educational experiment about acids and bases.
Cite this INT Task 3 Acid experiment
INT Task 3 Acid experiment. (2016, May 05). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/int-task-3-acid-experiment/