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hey guys,


this thread falls into the catogory of both chemistry biology but more so to chemistry so I put it here.


I've always been interested in chemistry off and on. I've always wanted to mix things together in a beaker, cause it bubble, glow, smell, turn into something new, and everything else.


the only thing I really did was do the famous vinegar and baking soda fizz reaction that blows out carbon dioxide...really only useful for bad smell and blowing out matches...


soo...I was wondering if you guys could tell me a list of chemical combinations that react in different ways like this that I could do just for fun, that aren't too dangerous, but that use things other than household "chemicals" but that use things that are sold to the general public. something easily obtainable but also adequate for making something interesting, like, potassium nitrate in smoke bombs. reactions such as...


- changes temperature

- chemoluminescence

- give off gases

- change state of matter

- change colors

- react because of temperature change

- solutions, even possible to drink like color-changing soda.

- gives off smoke

- things that are useful like, insecticides that aren't anymore dangerous than house cleaners.


...maybe you get the idea.


oh I think its also cool to grow stuff...like fungi and bacteria....the only thing I really did was grow some black bread mold in the only petri dish I had. It grew untill COMPLETELY engulfed the bread, inside and out.


what other things could I grow in samples and cultures like that, that wouldn't pose a health threat, and that I could perhaps, kill them with "poision" I have made just for fun? :D or do something else cool with them?


also, could I even mix some bacteria into a chemical solution to produce something interesting and perhaps useful?


I know some of this could be dangerous but thats why Im asking for relatively safe "experiments"


you might call me crazy, but thanks in advance anyway.

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You could always try electrolysis or salt water. This will give you chlorine gas and hydrogen gas. Then you can breathe the chlorine gas in and you will die, and if you collect enough hydrogen gas and ignite it you will also die.

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Here's a pretty cool experiment to extract DNA using household items:



A link to a page discussing the extraction of caffeine from tea:



A page discussion esterification experiments:



And of couse, the classic diet pepsi + mentos:


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If you want to totally alarm the neighbours (especially in this era of Sept 11 paranoia), here is something you can do.


1. Make a fuse. Take old fashioned cotton thread and soak in Potassium nitrate solution. Dry it. When you light the end, it will fizz beautifully. Try this and get the feel of the speed.


2. Fill a balloon with hydrogen gas. This is easy. Mix some caustic soda with water, say one part to 20. Let it cool and put it in a glass bottle. Add some aluminium (say, kitchen foil). Fit the balloon mouth over the mouth of the bottle. The aluminium will slowly dissolve in the solution releasing hydrogen gas, which will blow up the balloon. You may have to try it a couple of times to get it right.


3. Fit the balloon with the cotton fuse, and tie it off. Wait till night, and release the balloon with LOTS of fuse trailing. Light the fuse and let the balloon go. It will drift through the night sky and go off with a real bang.

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Make a stink-

buy some tartaric acid or cream of tartar. Dissolve say 1g in 100mL of water. Place in a sealed vessel. Place in a peice of badly aged cheese, seal up the vessel and leave in a warm, dark place for a week or so.


Open up the vessel and whiff- the bacteria in the cheese (works best with parmesan, romano and bluevein) have converted the tartaric acid to butanoic acid.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am just like you when i was in secondary school, get excited when experiment dealing with mixing solution, cause bubble.....


However, since I get to university, I found it is not interesting as you think. Now i am dealing with some hazadous materials such as H2O2 (a strong oxidizing agent), concentration acids and bases.....


I have to pay extra 200% careful when doing experiment! :-(

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