Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 40 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
H2SO5. This acid is called peroxomonosulphuric acid, for it contains a peroxidic bond. Structure is similar to that of sulfuric acid; one -OH group is substituted with an -O-OH group.
1 + 2. Fluorine reacts with water much different than the other halogens, 2*F2 + 2*H2O = 4*HF + O2 .
|"Antifreeze" is used in car radiators to stop the liquid that cools the engine from, well, freezing when it gets cold outside. Water is one component of antifreeze; which compound below can be used as the other main component?||The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz
ethylene glycol. Antifreeze is an ethylene glycol-water mixture. Water is an excellent conductor of heat, which is why it's used in car radiators, but it freezes at too high a temperature to be used on its own. It's mixed with ethylene glycol to lower the freezing point - a phenomenon known as freezing point depression (this is the same phenomenon that makes pouring salt onto snow effective in making it melt faster). The ethylene glycol molecules act as "impurities" in the water, meaning that when the temperature gets low, the water can no longer easily form the regular 3-dimensional solid lattice it does when it freezes, so the temperature must be taken lower to freeze the mixture. A 50:50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol freezes at -37C (-35F) - very comforting to know when you're driving in a snowstorm!
acetylsalicylic acid. A tablet of aspirin contains pure acetylsalicylic acid and a bit of binder to help hold the tablet together. Aspirin is a remarkable substance in that it can act as an analgesic (to relieve pain), an antipyretic (to lower fever) _and_ an anti-inflammatory agent (to reduce inflammation). It was first synthesised in 1853 and was accepted into widespread pharmaceutical use at the end of the 19th century. The parent compound salicylic acid was also known as spiraeic acid, and the name "aspirin" was derived by taking the "a" from "acetyl" and combining it with "spir" taken from the acid's name. Aspirin can cause irritation of the stomach, and due to this, its popularity has declined recently (in favour of other medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and acetaminophen) but it is still the most widely used drug for the treatment of illness or injury.
|I've already mentioned superglue in this quiz. Another common adhesive used around the home is woodworking glue, also known as PVA glue, Aquadhere and many other names. What is the major component of this adhesive?||The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz
poly (vinyl acetate). OK, so the "PVA" in the question probably gave this one away! PVA = poly (vinyl acetate). PVA glue is an emulsion of the polymer poly (vinyl acetate) in water. The solution is fairly viscous and when it dries, it gives a nice clear finish. PVA can be used to make poly (vinyl alcohol), which is can be used to make the popular children's toy "Slime". All that needs to be done is mix a solution of poly (vinyl alcohol) with a solution of Borax with a little bit of dye and voila - Slime! Well, it's not quite that simple, but that's the general idea. The borax makes cross-links between the polymer molecules, making much larger molecules that are even more viscous than the original polymer solution.
|The humble pencil is something found in just about every household. Often called "lead pencils", the substance in the middle of the pencil that does the writing actually isn't lead at all; what is it?||The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz
graphite. Graphite is what does the writing when you use a "lead" pencil. The core of a pencil is made up of graphite, clay and a little bit of water to help hold the mixture together. Graphite is an allotrope of the element carbon. Allotropes occur when atoms of an element are joined together in different ways. These different joinings give different solid forms of the element. Another allotrope of carbon is diamond. Graphite was discovered by a 16th century Englishman, who found a grey deposit under a tree that had been blown over by a storm and thought he'd discovered lead (hence, "lead pencils"). It was not until 200 years later that this "lead" was actually found to be graphite (named after the Greek word meaning "to write").
|Bleach is another useful household chemical. It is often referred to as "chlorine bleach", but this is a misnomer. What is the main component of household bleach?||The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz
sodium hypochlorite. Household bleach is a 3-6% solution of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) in water. There is no actual "chlorine" (Cl2) in bleach at all, although it does contain a chlorine atom (Cl). Sodium hypochlorite is, however, prepared from chlorine (Cl2) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which is perhaps where the name "chlorine bleach" comes from. It is a very useful chemical in that it not only kills germs, but is also an excellent stain remover. Under normal household use, sodium hypochlorite breaks down into sodium chloride (table salt), oxygen and water, and has been recently found by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute to pose no environmental problems provided it is used in the correct manner. (Thanks to howstuffworks.com - an incredibly interesting website. If you haven't checked it out, make sure you've got a spare hour or three when you do go have a look!)
alpha-cyano acrylate. Superglue is a solution of a chemical called alpha-cyano acrylate. This chemical undergoes a process called polymerisation, and this is what forms superglue. When you squeeze some superglue from the tube, polymerisation of alpha-cyano acrylate is initiated by small amounts of water on the surface of the object (and on fingers also! ;)), and this leads to the rapid formation of the polymerised version of the chemical. Superglue is immensely strong - one drop can support 2000lb (900kg)! If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation with superglue, try using some acetone to dissolve it.
ethanol (alcohol). Methylated spirits is basically ethanol (ethyl alcohol). The "methylated" part comes from the fact that a small percentage of methanol (methyl alcohol) is added to pure ethanol to stop it from being used to make alcoholic drinks (!). Methanol is very poisonous, unlike ethanol which, although toxic in large quantities, does not have the toxicity of methanol.
|The molten iron sits at the bottom of the blast furnace waiting to be siphoned off. What is the name of the substance which rests on top of it?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Slag. Slag is the name of the substance which contains all the acidic impurities and other unwanted substances from the reactions which have taken place in the blast furnace. It isn't totally useless however, as it can be used as a cheap way of creating fertilisers.
I hope you enjoyed the quiz and I thank you very much for playing!
|In the production of molten iron, lime is a material that needs to be added to the blast furnace. What is the purpose of adding this substance?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Removes all acidic impurities. Lime has a pH of over 7 and therefore helps in the process of removing any of the unwanted acidic impurities. Only after these impurities have been removed are we left with the finished product of molten pure iron. It can then be used in the creation of, amongst other things, steel, in separate industrial processes.
|Hot air is pumped into the blast furnace which reaches very high temperatures. The hot air contains oxygen and reacts with carbon to form carbon dioxide and eventually reacts further to form the poisonous carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a reducing agent and helps to extract iron from its ore. Where does the carbon originally come from?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Coke. Coke is another raw product needed for this reaction. As said above, it is necessary for the reduction of iron from its ore.
|A very interesting chemical process is the creation of molten iron in the blast furnace. Many raw materials are used in this process. What is the name of the ore which contains the wanted iron?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Haematite. Haematite is the name of the substance containing the desired iron. It is also known as iron ore. In this raw state, the iron is in the form of an oxide and needs to be reduced (loss of oxygen) to obtain a pure specimen of iron.
|The production of ammonia is efficient in the fact that the unused gases are recycled back into the process. How are these unused gases separated from the ammonia?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Liquification. The ammonia and unused gases enter a cooling tank or chamber. Here the ammonia liquefies and is stored in the chamber until it is ready to be siphoned off for transportation. The unused hydrogen and nitrogen gases flow through another tube to be reused.
|There are two raw materials used in the creation of ammonia gas. The first material is nitrogen. Nitrogen gas (N2) has a very strong triple bond between its two molecules and is found, abundantly in our atmosphere. It constitutes just below 80% of the total gas found in the air. This is reacted to another gas - which?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Hydrogen. The second raw material is hydrogen. As we have a very small amount of hydrogen in our natural atmosphere, it is extracted from natural gas. Ammonia has the chemical formula NH3, this shows that one mole of ammonia contains one atom of nitrogen and three atoms of hydrogen.
The Haber Process. The production of ammonia is named after the German chemist Fritz Haber. He discovered how to artificially produce ammonia and received a Nobel prize for his findings. The process is sometimes referred to as the Haber-Bosch process, as a man named Carl Bosch commercialised the process and led to the production of ammonia on a mass scale. The importance of creating ammonia is in the fact that it is a huge boost to agriculture and farming. Ammonia is one of the constituents that forms the commonly known ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
Oleum. Oleum is the chemical term for fuming sulphuric acid. This round-a-bout way of creating sulphuric acid is necessary despite the fact that adding water to the gas of sulphur trioxide creates sulphuric acid far quicker. The reason this isn't done in industry is due to the erratic nature of the reaction. It causes a mist of sulphuric acid which is difficult to control. The chemical formula for oleum is H2S2O7.
|The contact process is the general name given to the series of reactions leading up to the creation of H2SO4 or sulphuric acid. One of the steps is the oxidation of sulphur. Structurally speaking, what does oxidation mean?||Interesting Industrial Processes
Losing Electrons. The first stage of the contact process is the oxidation of sulphur. The equation is (S + O2 ---> SO2). The result, as shown by the equation, is sulphur dioxide which is a gas.
As an extra bit of chemical knowledge, oxidation means a gain in oxygen and a loss of electrons. It is the opposite of the process of reduction. When oxidation and reduction happen simultaneously in a reaction, it is said to be a redox reaction.
|A final dab of face powder and I'm almost ready to start the day. I see on the ingredients list that the major component of my face powder is talc. Chemically-speaking, what is talc?||The Very Beautiful Chemistry Quiz
A hydrated magnesium silicate.. Like mica, the atoms that make up talc are arranged in sheets; talc feels slippery because these sheets can easily move over each other. Finely-crushed talc is used in face powders as a bulking agent and also to give a pleasant texture to the preparation. Face powders also contain ingredients such as kaolin, which helps to absorb moisture.
Castor oil. Castor oil can be obtained from plant seeds. In general, it is a mixture of triglycerides, but before being used in the cosmetics industry, it must be highly purified. Only a small percentage of the weight of a tube of lipstick is taken up by the dye that gives it its colour. Castor oil and other emollients in lipsticks such as lanolin and waxes help keep the lips soft.
To harden the enamel of my teeth.. These days, many toothpastes contain fluoride, often as sodium fluoride (NaF). Other sources of fluoride in toothpaste are stannous fluoride (SnF2) and sodium monofluorophosphate (Na2PO3F). This additive is present only in small amounts (my toothpaste is 0.22% sodium fluoride), but it plays a major role in keeping teeth healthy. The enamel covering our teeth is mostly made up of hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2). Fluoride in toothpaste is thought to strengthen the enamel by replacing some of hydroxyapatite's OH groups with fluoride ions, to give fluoroapatite, which is stronger and resists acid wear better than the original hydroxyapatite.
|Right, now I'm feeling much more alert! Over to the bathroom sink to brush my teeth now. As I squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube, I wonder how, exactly, it cleans my teeth. Which of the substances below might be present in toothpaste to rub away any plaque on my teeth?||The Very Beautiful Chemistry Quiz
Calcium carbonate. Although most toothpastes contain a surfactant (such as ammonium lauryl sulphate mentioned in question 1) to make them foam up nicely, a surfactant is not considered to be the most important component of a good toothpaste. The most important component of toothpaste is an abrasive that grinds away any plaque, while not grinding away at the tooth's enamel. Calcium carbonate (CaCO3 - limestone!) is one of the abrasives used; others include magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), aluminium hydroxide (Al(OH)3) and calcium pyrophosphate (Ca2P2O7).