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Monday, January 7, 2013

Cleaning Reaction: Acid Base Chemistry

Appropriate Age Level
3+ (more depth for older children) 

Science Concepts Learned

Acid Base Reaction - a neutralization reaction where enough base is added to an acid to neutralize it into a salt and water


The following acid base reactions occur when vinegar(CH3COOH) and baking soda(NaHCO3) react:


A. CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + H2CO3

      (vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate)  (carbonic acid) 
B. H2CO3 ===> CO2 + H2O
(carbonic acid)  (carbon dioxide) (water)
Overall:  CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + CO2 + H2O

                (vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate) (carbon dioxide) (water)

Compound Reaction - reaction where there are intermediates that are not in the products or reactants


Decomposition Reaction  separation of a chemical compounds into elements or simpler compounds



Exothermic Reaction - a chemical reaction where energy is released in the form of heat or light.   

Materials Needed

1/2 cup White Vinegar

1/2 cup Baking Soda
two containers for each substance
optional: liquid measuring cup


Activity/Experiment


1. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into a container, one with a lid for smaller children.  Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda and put into another container. 


2. Now, this is your choice.  You can either carry out the experiment this in a bowl or on a spot that needs some cleaning. For more containment use the bowl, but if you want something cleaned along with science being learned then by all means be creative.


3. Add a tablespoon of the baking soda to the container or designated spot.  Spread it around evenly.  Add a tablespoon of vinegar on top of the baking soda and watch it react.


4. Rinse out and dry the container, or choose a different spot to clean and repeat, this time explaining the reaction happening :



A. CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + H2CO3
      (vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate)  (carbonic acid) 
B. H2CO3 ===> CO2 + H2O
(carbonic acid)  (carbon dioxide) (water)
Overall:  CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + CO2 + H2O

                (vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate) (carbon dioxide) (water)

5. Depending on the age of the student you can go into as much detail as you want, you can add in the stoichiometry with the associated compounds, you can explain how this is a compound reaction versus a one-step reaction, you can explain how this is a decomposition reaction and go into detail about what an acid and a base means.


Time Allotted 

10-15 minutes

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