Your research question could be along the lines of which vegetable oil produces the best biodiesel in comparison to commercial biodiesel? You can make biodiesel from soybean by the following method: Weigh accurately 20.0 g of soybean oil into a round bottom flask and add a few boiling chips, 6 mL of methanol and 1.2 grams of potassium carbonate and reflux for 25 minutes (at a low intensity). Then allow to cool. Add 18 mL of 1 M acetic acid to the flask and pour it all into a separating funnel. Allow the layers of the reaction mixture to separate overnight. Drain the lower glycerol layer into a waste beaker and collect the upper layer containing biodiesel into a tared beaker. Record the mass of collected biodiesel.
A good EEI would be to take some calcite to represent the calcareous organisms. Calcite is the most common form of the mineral whereas marble is the metamorphic form. Really, I guess you could use either. To a weighed sample you could add some acidic buffer solution of various pHs and let it react for a set time (maybe 30 minutes). Dry and reweigh. If the pH drops during the reaction add more buffer. What does the graph look like? Is pH that critical? Perhaps you should do triplicates. What about temperature (ocean warming): you could try a change in temperature as a separate variable. I think you may be shocked. There is an interesting article titled "Laboratory Experiment Investigating the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Calcareous Organisms" by Alokya P. Perera and A. Bopegedera in the J. Chem. Educ. 2014, 91, 1951−1953.
You need to create what is called a Ginger Beer Plant. Put 15g of general purpose dried yeast into a large jar or bowl, add 300mL water, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cover with a sheet of cling film and secure with a rubber band. Each day, for seven days, add 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the mixture in the jar. Now strain the mixture through a piece of fine muslin and add the juice of two lemons to the liquid. Add 50g or sugar to the liquid and make up to 4.5 litres with cold water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bottle into a plastic bottle Keep for 7-10 days when the ginger beer is sparkling and ready for drinking.
Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and oxygen and the degree of sensitivity depends on the pH of the solution. In food it can be partly or completely destroyed by long storage or overcooking. By refrigeration the loss of Vitamin C in food can be substantially diminished. An interesting EEI would be to see how some of these factors really affect a Vitamin C solution. You could start with some fresh fruit juice (eg apple, orange) or you could simulate fruit juice by making up an appropriate solution with added citric acid, some citrates, glucose/fructose and so on. Should you measure the concentration of the ascorbic acid with time (eg daily) or just measure after a week or two weeks? What will you control? What will your independent variable be: sugar concentration, [H+], light, oxygen, temperature? If you intend to measure the concentration as a function of time elapsed you .
You would then plot acidity on the y-axis and time elapsed on the x-axis. The rate of reaction would be the slope of the line at a particular time. Does the rate vary over the whole time period? Does the rate vary as the acidity increases (is there a relationship)? Perhaps you could compare red and white wine. Does the red anthocyanin in the red wine act as an antioxidant as some people believe? What a fabulous EEI, and you'd even have some wine vinegar for your fish and chips afterwards.
Instructions for making soap can be found easily but you'd need to work out ways (and reasons) for changing the reactants and their quantities: that is, what problem are you trying to solve, and what is your hypothesis? To keep the investigation manageable, you would be wise to consider just two independent variables (perhaps type of hydroxide and saturation of the oil) and control the rest (salt, temperature, concentrations etc). The tests might involve suds formation in hard and soft water and ability to remove an oil spot. You could add some perfume and give the leftovers to mum for Mother's Day.
A great way to get copper in close contact with the zinc is to deposit copper metal directly on to the zinc by a displacement reaction. To do this you would dip the piece of zinc into a solution of copper sulfate and a coating is immediately deposited. If you dipped identical pieces of zinc strip into a copper sulfate soution - but each to a different depth (0 cm, 1 cm, 2 cm ....) and for the same time you would get different areas of coating. Then react the strips individually with hydrochloric acid and measure the rate by whatever method you like (change in mass due to lost hydrogen, amount of gas produced, temperature change, titration the final solution against NaOH).
All chemical and biochemical reactions involve an energy change; e.g., chemical energy may be transferred as electrical, kinetic, light, sound, or (most often) to heat energy. Chemical to heat energy changes occur, for example, in displacement reactions such as: M(s) + Cu2+(aq) → M2+(aq) + Cu(s). Chemical to electrical energy changes occur, for example, in simple electrical cells; thus, a potential difference (V) is observed if the metal (M) is more or less reactive than copper. It would seem reasonable that the amount of heat evolved is directly related to the voltage of the cell. How true is this? Does it hold over a wide range of voltages, and is it concentration dependent?
The photo (on the left) below may give you a start but how on earth will you measure the temperature change without heat loss? The photo on the right makes you glad you didn't have one of these on your lap.
Enzymes, like other catalysts, catalyze reactions by lowering the activation energy necessary for a reaction to occur. The molecule that an enzyme acts on is called the substrate. The enzyme molecule is unchanged after the reaction, and it can continue to catalyze the same type of reaction over and over. The enzyme catalyze will speed up the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide (the substrate) into water and oxygen. Say you took 10 mL of 3% peroxide solution, added some water, and added different amounts of catalase to each, you may get different reaction rates. The catalase can be made up into a suspension with water and different amounts added dropwise (0, 5, 10, 20 etc) to the peroxide solution. What to measure? The simplest way to start making measurements is to stop the reaction by adding sulfuric acid as this destroys the enzyme's functioning and the reaction stops.
As a trial, I took a 1 cm3 cube of marble and placed it in 200 mL of 7.5%w/v citric acid solution (pH 1.8) at 50°C (with stirring) and after 60 minutes it had lost 0.30 g. Why not make up a synthetic soft drink from phosphoric or citric acid. What concentration will you choose? How does the reaction rate or the extent of the reaction vary with concentration? Does temperature have much effect on the rate? Does the product - calcium citrate or calcium phosphate - impede the progress of the reaction; that is, how soluble are the products (one is 4 times as soluble as the other). How do you measure the progress of the reaction (amount of carbonate consumed or change in titratable acidity of the solution)? Oh, the possibilities are endless. And you can drink the left-over Coke and rot your teeth a bit more at the same time. A perfect EEI.
ALTERNATIVES: 1. Alternatively you could titrate samples taken over a range of times (10, 20, 30…etc minutes). You'd have different graphs for the two approaches but what a great EEI. Is commercially available sodium bicarbonate different to the analytical reagent from the chem lab? Be careful if you buy "baking powder" rather than "baking soda"; baking powder has starch and sodium acid pyrophosphate added to give more gas.