Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Fun Reactions

coyote - 4-4-2023 at 10:18

Hi! I'm a chemistry student with a little home-lab going.
I am looking for some fun chemical reactions to do that aren't gonna blow up the house.

I have some basic glassware, beakers, distillation apparatus, etc.
I also have some chemicals such as Nitric acid, Sulfuric acid, Silver nitrate, Sodium nitrate, Sodium hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Formaldehyde and some other basic stuff.

I am unsure what I can do with some of these chemicals, I've collected them up for other projects but I'm wondering what other fun stuff I can do with them.

Suggestions that will not make me blow up will be appreciated :D

B(a)P - 4-4-2023 at 12:23

There are some great ideas in this thread
There are many more threads on entry level experiments, they can be hard to find with the SM search engine so best to search from google.

I would highly recommend Woelen's web page, it has a huge number of experiments to try, including detailed write up of the procedure and explanatory notes.

You might also like to try making some of your own reagents to expand what you have. Making various salts/complexes of transition metals may be of interest and many of the metals are easily obtained. If transition metals are of interest you might like to make yourself some ammonium hydroxide which will be useful in making complexes.

It is very much dependent on the type of chemistry that interests you.
If you post a little more about what you are interested in you might get some more targeted responses that are more useful to you.
Have fun!

Rainwater - 4-4-2023 at 16:49

If you can obtain some 33% ammonia solution then you can perform the silver mirror experiment.

Making ammonia solution can be fun, the first time. After that it becomes a chore.

Texium - 4-4-2023 at 19:19

You don’t need 33% ammonia to do the silver mirror, you just need ammonium nitrate (from an instant cold pack) and sodium hydroxide.

Not sure what type of chemistry you’re interested in, but on the organic side of things, Fischer esterification is a good place to start. You already have salicylic acid and sulfuric acid. With methanol or ethanol you can make methyl or ethyl salicylate. You can also decarboxylate salicylic acid to make phenol, which can then be used for a variety of different reactions.

coyote - 4-4-2023 at 21:32

Quote: Originally posted by Texium  
You don’t need 33% ammonia to do the silver mirror, you just need ammonium nitrate (from an instant cold pack) and sodium hydroxide.

That's great, I forgot to mention I have a bag of ammonium nitrate I got from cold packs. It's contaminated with calcium but I assume that will not pose much of a problem. I will definitely try out this reaction, and the esterification to make wintergreen, once I get my lab cleaned up.

Herr Haber - 4-4-2023 at 23:45

Pottery, glass working and generally art stores have quite a few chemicals that could be reacted with what you have to get you several interesting salts (cobalt, manganese, copper, nickel, lithium) and make pretty crystals that you can later use as reagents.
Again in art / woodworking you can find an incredible range of solvents that could be used in organic chemistry with what you have.