Quiz about The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz
Quiz about The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz

The Very Useful Chemistry Quiz


The sequel to "The Very Edible Organic Chemistry Quiz" - this quiz is all about the useful chemicals you might find around the house.

A multiple-choice quiz by NatalieW. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
NatalieW
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
135,953
Updated
Feb 02 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
16130
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 103 (10/10), Guest 207 (4/10), malidog (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Methylated spirits is a very common household chemical - but what is its main component? Hint

turpentine
ethanol (alcohol)
water
acetone

2. Most people have used superglue at one stage or another, but what is its major chemical component? Hint

alpha-cyano acrylate
specially-treated honey
styrene
acetone

3. 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? Hint

sodium chloride
sodium hydroxide
hydrochloric acid
sodium hypochlorite

4. Nail polish remover is something that girls just can't do without. Which of the following has been used as the active ingredient in nail polish remover? Hint

methanol
ethanol
acetone
limonene

5. If you've been in the unfortunate situation of having to use a fire extinguisher to fight a fire (or had the chance to use one at a fire safety course, like me!), you've probably noticed that there are lots of different types. One of these types is the "dry ice" extinguisher. What is dry ice? Hint

solid carbon dioxide
frozen ethanol
water ice
liquid nitrogen

6. 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? Hint

black chalk
of course it's lead!
graphite
ink

7. 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? Hint

polyamide
natural rubber
poly (vinyl acetate)
cellulose

8. Aspirin can be found in many household medicine cabinets. But what is it chemically? Hint

paracetamol
acetylsalicylic acid
acetaminophen
ibuprofen

9. "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? Hint

toluene
benzene
acetone
ethylene glycol

10. If you wanted to lighten your hair at home, which of the following is potentially an active ingredient in the dye preparation that will lighten your hair? Hint

sodium hydroxide
hydrogen peroxide
acetic acid
phenol


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Methylated spirits is a very common household chemical - but what is its main component?

Answer: 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.
2. Most people have used superglue at one stage or another, but what is its major chemical component?

Answer: 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.
3. 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?

Answer: 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!)
4. Nail polish remover is something that girls just can't do without. Which of the following has been used as the active ingredient in nail polish remover?

Answer: acetone

Nail polish remover has acetone as a major component. Acetone is an excellent solvent - in my experience as a chemist, I've found it dissolves pretty much all organic (carbon-based) chemicals! Of course, there are exceptions, but when I want to clean my glassware, acetone is the solvent of choice! So when you use nail polish remover containing acetone, all it's doing is dissolving the nail polish so you can wipe it away. You can also buy "acetone-free" nail polish remover; this contains another solvent called ethyl acetate which works in just the same way.
5. If you've been in the unfortunate situation of having to use a fire extinguisher to fight a fire (or had the chance to use one at a fire safety course, like me!), you've probably noticed that there are lots of different types. One of these types is the "dry ice" extinguisher. What is dry ice?

Answer: solid carbon dioxide

"Dry ice" is solid carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide freezes at -78.5 degrees Centigrade. When dry ice "melts" it undergoes a process called sublimation. This means that it is converted from a solid directly to a gas, bypassing the intermediate liquid stage. This is where the name "dry ice" comes from - when it melts, you never get any liquid (unlike water ice), hence it's "dry".
6. 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?

Answer: 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").
7. 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?

Answer: 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.
8. Aspirin can be found in many household medicine cabinets. But what is it chemically?

Answer: 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.
9. "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?

Answer: 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!
10. If you wanted to lighten your hair at home, which of the following is potentially an active ingredient in the dye preparation that will lighten your hair?

Answer: hydrogen peroxide

Although there are other substances that will lighten hair, hydrogen peroxide (chemical formula H202 - looks like water, but very different!) is still very common in hair dye preparations (especially ones designed to turn you into a blond). The hydrogen peroxide in the preparation acts as a bleach and strips the hair shaft of its colour; the amount of hydrogen peroxide you use on your hair will determine how "blond" you go. Hydrogen peroxide is actually not a very nice chemical at all (the materials safety data sheet for hydrogen peroxide says it can cause serious burns), so wear gloves and be careful when using it! Thanks for playing this quiz; I hope you enjoyed it.
Source: Author NatalieW

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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This quiz is part of series Chemistry in the Real World!:

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  4. The Chemistry of Living Average
  5. The Uses of Various Chemical Substances Average

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