Author Archives: David Harvey

An Inexpensive Electrodeposition Device and Its Use in a Quantitative Analysis Laboratory Exercise

This experiment describes the construction of a simple apparatus for effecting the electrodeposition of nickel onto a tared copper electrode. Results are compared to the determination of nickel by the classical gravimetric precipitation of the dimethylglyoxime complex. The full citation … Continue reading

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How Much Cranberry Juice is in Cranberry-Apple Juice?

Students determine the amount of cranberry juice (as a volume percent) in mixtures of cranberry juice and apple juice by measuring the absorption of mixtures and comparing to a calibration curve prepared for cranberry juice. The experiment assumes that the … Continue reading

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Leeching of Silver from Silver-Impregnated Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers may contain micro-particles of Ag, which serves as an anti-microbial agent to limit the growth of molds, fungi, and other microorganisms. Students study the leeching ability of three solvents — deionized water, tap water, and acetic acid … Continue reading

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A Comprehensive Enzyme Kinetic Exercise for Biochemistry

The kinetics of the dephosphorylation of sodium p-nitrophenol using the enzyme bovine alkaline phosphatase is studied by measuring the reaction’s velocity spectrophotometrically as a function of the substrate’s concentration. The kinetic parameters Km and Vm are determined using Lineweaver-Burke and … Continue reading

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Measurement of Solution Viscosity via Diffusion-Ordered NMR Spectrosocpy (DOSY)

In this experiment students use diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy (DOSY) to determine the viscosity of a solution by measuring the diffusion coefficient (D) for a reference compound in solvents of known viscosity (η), generating a linear calibration curve of log(D) vs … Continue reading

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Using a Flatbed Scanner to Measure Detergency

Using a flatbed scanner to measure the reflectance from samples of a white polyester fabric impregnated with linseed oil, students determine detergent efficiency. Scans of samples are stored as RGB (red, green, blue) coordinates and the blue channel used as … Continue reading

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Laboratory Inquiry for Determining the Chemical Composition of a Component in a Laboratory Detergent

Students determine the concentration of sodium sesquicarbonate in an alkaline laundry detergent though a combination of an acid-base titration and thermal gravimetry, both of the thermal decomposition and the decomposition by reaction with acid. The full citation is here: Koga, … Continue reading

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To See the World in a Grain of Sand: Recognizing the Origin of the Sand Specimens by DRIFT and Multivariate Exploratory Analysis

Students use DRIFT spectra and multivariate analysis to characterize sands collected from different locations. A principal component analysis shows that the scores for the first and fourth principal component allows students to identify samples collected from different areas. The scores … Continue reading

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The Shell Seeker: What is the Quantity of Shell in the Lido di Venezia Sand? A Calibration DRIFTS Experiment

This experiment uses a novel approach to introduce students to the method of standard additions. To approximate the contribution of shell fragments in sand collected from a beach (in this case, from the seashore at Lido di Venezia, Italy). After … Continue reading

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Have Biofuel, Will Travel: A Colorful Experiment and a Different Approach to Teach the Undergraduate Laboratory

This experiment describes a  quantitative UV-Vis analysis of mixtures of diesel/ethanol and diesel/biofuel based on the absorption of a solvochromatic probe dye. Students first synthesize the dye and then monitor the change in the dye’s λmax for different known mixtures, … Continue reading

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