Year 9 have just completed a complex scientific experiment looking at what happens when we add acid to a carbonate. We started off by asking the students to define some of the materials that we will be working with. Year 9 have been learning how a carbonate is a mixture of carbon and oxygen.
Our experiment was set up to test sodium bicarbonate (baking powder), chalk and marble. This study will later become useful when we start to look at the impact of acid rain on different building materials.
As with all scientific experiments at Lansdowne School, safety is our first concern. All student put on their protective goggles before we handled any of the substances.
Hydrochloric acid was then added to each of our three testing carbonates to see what type of reaction it would create. If we could observe that bubbles were starting to form then this must mean that a gas has been formed. We would then need to know what type of gas this is.
Our method for testing this would be to take a small sample of the gas in a pipette, and then gently add it to some limewater. If we then observed that this new mixture appears to turn cloudy then it must mean that a carbon dioxide has been formed.
We repeated this process for all three of the carbonates being studied. Results were logged on our experiment sheets. You can watch a short video showing some of this testing taking place above.