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  Lionel Chem-Lab - Chapter 5

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NOTE:  This book was published in 1942 as a manual to accompany several Lionel Chemistry sets of the time.  While some of the experiments and activities here may be safely done as written, a number of them use chemicals and methods no longer considered safe.  In addition, much of the information contained in this book about chemistry and other subjects is outdated and some of it is inaccurate.  Therefore, this book is probably best appreciated for its historical value rather than as a source for current information and good experiments.  If you try anything here, please understand that you do so at your own risk.  See our Terms of Use.
Pages 79 - 101

CHAPTER V

THE STORY OF CARBON AND ITS COMPOUNDS

Carbon is familiar to everyone because of its widespread occurrence in nature. There are so many compounds composed of carbon in combination with hydrogen, oxygen and other elements that the branch of chemistry which deals with them has a special name, organic chemistry.

In its free state, carbon is found as diamond, graphite and coal. The purest carbon is the beautiful precious gem known as a diamond. Graphite and coal contain more or less free carbon but in an entirely different form.

Every living thing, plant or animal, has carbon in its tissues in the form of organic compounds. Carbon dioxide, which we exhale from our lungs, is the most familiar gaseous compound of carbon. Natural gas and petroleum are other compounds of carbon and hydrogen.

This element also occurs abundantly in the carbonates of certain metals, especially calcium and magnesium. Marble and limestone are two varieties of calcium carbonate. A considerable part of the earth’s crust consists of these materials.

Our bodies and the food we eat also contain large percentages of the compounds of carbon and this is such an important phase of chemistry that we shall later devote a whole chapter of our book to it.

In the free state, carbon occurs in both the crystalline and the amorphous, or non-crystalline, form. Diamonds and graphite are crystalline forms of carbon. Although very brittle, the diamond is one of the hardest substances known to man. In addition to its value as a thing of beauty, it has many uses in industry where an extremely hard cutting tool is required.

Graphite, the second form of crystalline carbon, is a shiny black substance, very soft and slippery to the touch, used in the manufacture of lead pencils and crucibles, as a lubricant, and in the form of a polish or paint as a protective covering for iron.

PROPERTIES OF CARBON

Pure amorphous (non-crystalline) carbon is best prepared by heating sugar in the absence of air. Hydrogen and oxygen are expelled (largely in

79


80 THE STORY OF CARBON


the form of water) and pure carbon remains. Almost any form of organic matter yields carbon when similarly heated. 

While the various forms of carbon differ in many respects, especially in hardness, yet they are all odorless, tasteless solids, insoluble in water.

BONEBLACK

Boneblack or animal charcoal can be obtained by heating bones in the absence of air. The product consists of calcium phosphate and very finely divided carbon.  Boneblack is used extensively for filter purposes. It has the ability to absorb both coloring material and gases from solution and is especially valuable in removing coloring material in the refining of sugar.  The name given to this property is adsorption (not to be confused with absorption).

EXPERIMENT No. 136 Bitter Taste Of Quinine Removed by Charcoal

(CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Test tube, quinine (drug store) and charcoal.

PROCEDURE: Add a few grains of quinine to a test tube one quarter full of water. Shake well and put a drop of the solution on the tongue.  Place three measures of charcoal in the test tube and again shake well.  Filter off the charcoal and taste a drop of the solution. Continue adding charcoal and subsequent filtering until the bitter taste is no longer present.

SUMMARY: Due to the adsorptive properties of charcoal, the bitter taste of quinine is removed from the solution.

GAS MASKS

Carbon is an extremely valuable defense material because of its property of adsorbing large volumes of gases. This makes it an ideal material to use in the manufacture of gas masks. Charcoal prepared especially for adsorbing gases is known as activated carbon. The volume of gas adsorbed by any given carbon depends upon how it was made. In the manufacture of gas masks, carbon prepared from cocoanut shells and peach stones is one of the best. Gas masks developed during the first World War to protect troops from poisonous gas were used after the war to protect coal miners and other workmen.

EXPERIMENT No. 137 Deodorizing Properties Of Charcoal

(CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Powdered charcoal, paraffin, sulfur, delivery tube and stopper, funnel, filter paper, candle or alcohol lamp, two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Place a small piece of paraffin and three measures of

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 81


miners with gas masks

U.S. Bureau of Mines

An emergency mine crew wearing gas masks which supply each man with oxygen.  These men are able to work in a gas-filled mine in perfect safety.


sulfur in a test tube. Insert the delivery tube and stopper with the long stem running into a test tube half full of water. Heat test tube and contents noting the odor of the hydrogen sulfide. Add four measures of powdered charcoal to the hydrogen sulfide water and shake the tube vigorously. Filter the solution and collect the filtrate in another test tube. Note that the odor has practically disappeared.

SUMMARY: When liquids having a disagreeable odor are mixed with activated carbon and then filtered, the gaseous impurities responsible for the odor are extracted. What happens is that the molecules of the gases collect on the surface of the porous charcoal and stay behind with the charcoal when it is filtered out of the liquid.

COAL

Coal is formed from vast accumulations of vegetable matter. Millions of years ago, the earth was covered with massive forests and jungles of giant ferns. As these great forests toppled into swamps, the decaying vegetation was crushed deep into the soil and transformed by the pressure of centuries into carbon, diamonds and coal.

There are two chief forms of coal, anthracite and bituminous. Neither one in pure carbon. In hard coal (anthracite) nearly all the carbon is uncombined, while in soft coal (bituminous) a considerable portion of the carbon is in combination with hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur.


82 THE STORY OF CARBON


coal dust experiments

Coal dust is ignited in experiments conducted by the U. S. Bureau of Mines to determine the causes of coal mine explosions.

When soft coal is heated in the absence of air, certain changes take place which result in the formation of a number of very useful carbon compounds.  These compounds are released in the form of gases and vapors, the mineral matter and free carbon remaining as a solid. This process is known as destructive distillation and the matter which escapes in this process is known as volatile matter. The solid that remains is coke. In soft coal, the percentage of volatile matter is much greater than in hard coal.

EXPERIMENT No. 138 Distillation Of Coal

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Powdered soft coal, test tube, candle or alcohol lamp, glass rod, delivery tube and stopper.

PROCEDURE: Place four measures of powdered coal in a test tube and heat. Hold a cold glass rod at the mouth of the test tube. Note the substance which adheres to the glass rod. Attach delivery tube and stopper to test tube and continue heating. Ignite the gas which flows from the gas delivery tube (discontinue heating when smoking in the tube stops). Examine the substance remaining in test tube.

SUMMARY: When soft coal undergoes destructive distillation, the most important solid by-product is coke which is used as a fuel and a reducing agent. The substance adhering to the glass rod is another by-product called pitch, a tarry mixture used in road construction. The combustible gas liberated in coal gas consisting chiefly of hydrogen, methane and a little carbon monoxide.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 83

COKE AND COAL GAS

It has been known for a good many years that the heating of soft coal in the absence of air releases certain combustible gases. In fact such gas was used for street lighting for over a hundred years. Other very valuable byproducts are ammonia and a thick, gummy substance known as coal tar which can be broken down chemically into thousands of useful compounds - dyes, medicines, disinfectants and explosives.


coke oven

General Electric Co.

A by-product coke oven of the Great Lakes Steel Corporation.


In the manufacture of coal gas, therefore, not only the gas itself is obtained but also coke, ammonia and coal tar. Coke is a very important product not only as a fuel but also as a reducing agent in separating materials, like iron, from their ores.

The quantity of coke obtained in the manufacture of coal gas has never been sufficient to meet the demand and formerly there was a great deal of waste in producing the additional coke since all the by-products escaped into the air.  This wasteful process has now given way almost entirely to the use of the by-product coke oven, which makes it possible to save all the products formed.

Coke plus lime in the electric furnace gives calcium carbide, which upon the addition of water, produces acetylene gas.  Acetylene, once used in automobile and bicycle headlamps, and still used in the oxy-acetylene blow torch


84 THE STORY OF CARBON

for cutting and welding metals, has of late filled a more important role as a chemical intermediate. Acetylene gas plus hydrochloric acid are the raw materials from which neoprene - chemical rubber - is produced.

HOW CHARCOAL IS MADE

Charcoal is prepared from wood just as coke is prepared from coal and the volatile matter which is given off by the destructive distillation of wood likewise contains many valuable substances.

EXPERIMENT N0. 139 Distillation Of Wood In Absence Of Air

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Five wooden matches, test tube, test tube holder, candle or alcohol lamp, blue litmus paper, delivery tube and stopper.

PROCEDURE: Break off the match heads and place the sticks in the test tube. Heat the tube until the wood begins to smoke. Expose a strip of moistened blue litmus paper at the mouth of the test tube. Note that it turns red. Attach stopper and delivery tube and continue heating. Light the gas coming out of the delivery tube and continue the heating as long as gas forms. Allow to cool. Remove stopper and notice the charcoal remaining in the test tube.

SUMMARY: Some of the products of the destructive distillation of wood are charcoal, acetic acid, methyl or wood alcohol, road tar and acetone. The gas is combustible and can be used for heating.

COMPOSITION OF COAL TAR

Coal tar is a black substance composed of a variety of compounds, the six most important being benzine, toluene, carbolic acid (phenol), cresylic acid, naphtholene and anthracene. Each one of these materials in turn is used in the preparation of thousands of other compounds. The chart on page 85 shows the variety of materials derived from coal tar. For example, toluene is used in the manufacture of a very powerful explosive known as TNT, and it is also used in the preparation of such diverse products as saccharin and congo red. Cresylic acid is used to make disinfectants. Carbolic acid is a very important industrial chemical, indispensable in the production of modern plastic materials. Benzine is used to prepare nitro-benzine which in turn is used to manufacture aniline. All dyes derived from coal tar are known as aniline dyes.

PHENOL

Phenol, commonly known as carbolic acid, is a coal tar derivative whose principal uses are in the making of plastic materials, picric acid for explo-


LIONEL CHEM-LAB 85

coal tar products

Diagram of the variety of important products obtainable from common coal tar.


86 THE STORY OF CARBON

sives and making disinfectants. One of our experiments is to make phenol from sodium salicylate.

EXPERIMENT No. 140 Phenol From Sodium Salicylate

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium salicylate, calcium oxide, alcohol lamp or candle, test tube.

PROCEDURE: Mix two measures of sodium salicylate and an equal amount of calcium oxide in a test tube.  Heat carefully until fumes begin to come off. Discontinue heating and cautiously smell the odor present.

SUMMARY: If the fumes smell like carborated vaseline you have made phenol.

EXPERIMENT No. 141 Forming Salicylic Acid

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium salicylate, sodium bisulfate, test tubes, alcohol lamp or candle.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of sodium bisulfate in a test tube half filled with water. Dissolve one measure of sodium salicylate in another test tube half filled with water. Mix with the sodium bisulfate solution and note the precipitate which gradually appears. Heat carefully and note that the precipitate dissolves.

SUMMARY: This precipitate is salicylic acid which is insoluble in cold water but soluble in hot water.

EXPERIMENT No. 142 How To Make Chromium Salicylate

(CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Chrome alum, sodium salicylate and two test tubes. 

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium salicylate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve two measures of chrome alum in another test tube one fourth full of water. Pour into this a few drops of the sodium salicylate solution and note the red color.

SUMMARY: The red substance is chromium salicylate.

EXPERIMENT No. 143 How To Make Ferric Salicylate

(CLr-33, CL-44,I,CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium salicylate, ferric ammonium sulfate, two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium salicylate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in another test tube half full of water. Add to this a few drops of sodium salicylate solution and note the deep purple color.

SUMMARY: The deep purple substance is ferric salicylate.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 87

EXPERIMENT No. 144 How To Make Ferrous Salicylate

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, sodium salicylate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium salicylate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in another test tube one quarter full of water. Pour into this a few drops of sodium salicylate solution and note the reddish-brown precipitate.

SUMMARY: The reddish-brown precipitate is ferrous salicylate.

EXPERIMENT No. 145 How To Make Copper Salicylate

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Copper sulfate, sodium salicylate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium salicylate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve one measure of copper sulfate in another test tube one fourth full of water.  Pour into this a few drops of the sodium salicylate solution and note the green color.

SUMMARY: The green substance is copper salicylate.

candle flame

FIGURE 14

CANDLE FLAME

When hydrocarbons such as coal gas and natural gas are burned, the flame has a very interesting, although somewhat complicated, structure. A candle, composed of a mixture of paraffin and stearic acid (both of which contain carbon and hydrogen), makes an interesting subject for study.

The upper portion of a lighted candle, heated by the flame above, melts so that the top becomes a cup holding a small portion of the melted wax. This melted portion is drawn up the wick by capillary action and vaporizing forms the first cone of the candle flame. This cone is indicated in the diagram as the inner cone -A-, the dark area immediately surrounding the wick.  If we should insert a tube


88 THE STORY OF CARBON

into this portion of the flame, we could let out some of the vapor which would condense to a solid similar to the composition of the candle itself. This cone of the flame, composed as it is of unburned gases, is not very warm and, in fact, the head of a match could be placed there without igniting.

The second cone -B- in a candle flame, or the intermediate cone, consists of vapors decomposed by the heat with a small quantity of carbon which, being heated to incandescence, makes the flame visible.

The third area or cone -C- is a practically invisible narrow outer cone in which the hydrogen and carbon are burned to water and carbon dioxide respectively.

EXPERIMENT No. 146 Water Forms When A Candle Burns

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Glass and candle.

PROCEDURE: Hold a cold, dry glass over a lighted candle with the mouth just above the flame. Note the formation of moisture on the inner wall of the glass.

SUMMARY: The hydrogen from the candle reacts with the oxygen in the air to form water.

EXPERIMENT No. 147 Lamp Black

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Candle and spoon.

PROCEDURE: Light the candle. Hold a dry spoon in the flame above the wick for a few seconds. Note whether any carbon deposits appear on the spoon.

SUMMARY: The free carbon in the luminous zone will show its presence by blackening the cold spoon. The cold object chills the flame so that carbon does not burn completely. This very finely divided carbon is known as lamp black.

EXPERIMENT No. 148 Lighting A Candle By Its Gases

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Candle with long wick.

PROCEDURE: Light candle and let it burn for several seconds. Blow out the flame. Wait a moment and then relight the candle by holding a match a short distance above the wick.

SUMMARY: When a candle is extinguished, gas briefly continues to issue from the hot wick.  If, during this time, a lighted match is held as above, the gas will ignite. This experiment cannot be performed if the candle is allowed to get cold.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 89

EXPERIMENT No. 149 Extracting Gas From A Candle Flame

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Candle and glass tube.

PROCEDURE: Hold one end of the glass tube directly above the wick of the lighted candle. Slant the tube upwards. With a match, light the gas coming out of other end of the tube.

SUMMARY: The inner cone of the flame, composed as it is of combustible gases, is the source of the inflammable gas conducted through the glass tube.

CARBON GASES

In many parts of the world fuel gases, known as natural gases, issue from the ground or may be obtained by drilling wells. This natural gas is largely methane mixed with other hydrocarbons and some nitrogen.

We have already mentioned the production of coal gas carried on in retorts heated by coke. Coal gas also is chiefly a mixture of hydrocarbons. It burns with a luminous flame but is too expensive to be used commonly as a fuel. It has been largely displaced by water gas.

Water gas, or illuminating gas, is essentially a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. It is made by the reduction of steam by heated carbon, in other words, by passing steam over very hot coal or coke.  Water gas is very effective as a fuel since both the carbon monoxide and hydrogen formed by this reaction burn with a very hot flame.

CARBON DIOXIDE AND CARBON MONOXIDE

Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are the oxides of carbon, so similar in chemical formula and yet so different in physical properties. The first puts out fire, the second burns. The first is heavier than air, the second lighter than air. Carbon dioxide is in our lungs continuously and is exhaled with every breath yet carbon monoxide is the deadly poison found in automobile exhaust fumes and coal-burning furnaces which causes so many deaths by asphyxiation.

Each has a very simple formula. The one (carbon dioxide) is CO2; the other (carbon monoxide) is CO. Certainly these two formulas appear to be very similar but what a big difference results from the fact that carbon dioxide has one more atom of oxygen than carbon monoxide.

CARBON DIOXIDE

The common name for carbon dioxide is carbonic acid gas. It is colorless and odorless and it is formed whenever carbon or any fuel is burned. A popular name for it is "soda-pop" gas.


90 THE STORY OF CARBON

There is a small amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since it is essential to plant life. Some of nature’s processes tend to increase the supply while other processes tend to diminish it. For example, the processes which tend to create carbon dioxide are respiration (breathing), combustion, decay of organic material and volcanic action. When people and animals breathe in oxygen from the air, it is taken up by the blood stream, distributed to all parts of the body to combine with carbon, and then is exhaled from the lungs as carbon dioxide and water vapor. Another source of carbon dioxide is the burning of fuel and here again the same action takes place: carbon is oxidized to carbon dioxide. Other sources of this gas are to be found in the atmosphere above volcanoes and certain man-made industrial processes.

While these processes are creating carbon dioxide, other processes at the same time are using up the carbon dioxide which has been formed.  Plants growing in the sunlight absorb carbon dioxide from the air utilizing the carbon and returning the oxygen to the air. Various rock materials are continually taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and combining with it to form carbonates. The action of the sea dissolves vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the air, some of it eventually taking the form of sea shells as calcium carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 150 Preparation Of Carbonic Acid

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Test tube, red litmus paper, blue litmus paper, sodium bicarbonate, gas generator bottle, vinegar and funnel.

PROCEDURE: Place a strip of red litmus paper and a strip of blue litmus paper in a test tube half full of water. Place a half teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate in the gas generator bottle. Add enough water to cover the sodium bicarbonate. Set up the gas generator apparatus, making sure that the bottom of the funnel is below the surface of the liquid. Extend the long end of the delivery tube into the test tube containing the water and the litmus papers. Pour a few drops of vinegar into the gas generator bottle. This liberates carbon dioxide gas which passes into the test tube and changes the color of the blue litmus paper to red. Remove the delivery tube from the test tube and heat the water in the test tube until it boils. Drop a small piece of blue litmus paper in the test tube and note that this time there is no change of color.

SUMMARY: Carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid which turns blue litmus paper red. When the carbonic acid solution is heated the carbon dioxide gas becomes less soluble and is driven off. Thus, the solution is no longer acid and the blue litmus paper remains unchanged.

To test for the presence of carbon dioxide in the following experiments, a supply of limewater is required. Prepare this limewater by adding one

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 91

measure of calcium oxide to each of three test tubes three-quarters full of water. Shake each test tube well to allow the undissolved particles to settle out. Pour oil the clear liquid into three clean test tubes and use as directed in the following tests.

EXPERIMENT No. 151 Making Carbon Dioxide

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Limewater, sodium carbonate, two test tubes, tartaric acid, delivery tube and stopper.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium bicarbonate in a test tube half full of water. Add two measures of tartaric acid and promptly insert the gas delivery tube. Extend the long stem of the delivery tube into the limewater solution.

SUMMARY: Sodium carbonate reacts with tartaric acid to liberate carbon dioxide gas. This gas passes through the delivery tube into the second test tube reacting with limewater to form insoluble calcium carbonate which causes the solution to become milky.

generating carbon dioxide

FIGURE 15

EXPERIMENT No. 152 Carbon Dioxide Will Not Support Combustion

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium bicarbonate, match, glass or tumbler, teaspoon, funnel, stopper, delivery tube, vinegar, gas generator bottle.

PROCEDURE: Place a heaping teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate in the gas generator bottle and add enough Water to cover the chemical. Insert the stopper containing the funnel and delivery tube. Allow the long stem of the delivery tube to go almost to the bottom of the tumbler or glass and
place a piece of cardboard across the top, as shown in the illustration. Now slowly pour some strong vinegar in the funnel of the gas generator bottle.  When the reaction appears to be
slowing down, add a little more vinegar. Remove cardboard from tumbler and quickly insert a lighted match.

SUMMARY: The lighted match will go out almost immediately proving that a flame cannot burn in carbon dioxide gas.

EXPERIMENT No. 153 Carbon Dioxide Is Heavier Than Air

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)


92 THE STORY OF CARBON

APPARATUS: Milk bottle, candle, tumbler, sodium bicarbonate and teaspoon.

PROCEDURE: Set candle firmly upright in a tumbler making certain that the wick does not extend beyond the half-way mark of the tumbler.  Light the candle. Place two heaping teaspoonsful of sodium bicarbonate in the milk bottle and add a half glass of vinegar. Pour the carbon dioxide gas which is set free by this reaction onto the lighted candle, taking care not to allow any of the liquid to spill out of the bottle. Note that the flame is extinguished.

SUMMARY: Carbon dioxide gas goes down into the glass displacing the air around the candle and extinguishes the flame. This demonstrates that carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not support combustion.

EXPERIMENT No. 154 A Burning Candle Forms Carbon Dioxide

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33. CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Limewater, two glasses, candle, saucer and bottle.
 
PROCEDURE: Place a candle firmly upright in the center of the saucer and add an inch or two of water. Light the candle and invert the bottle over it. When flame is extinguished turn the bottle upright and pour in the clear limewater solution. Shake well and note the turbid solution.

SUMMARY: A burning candle gives off carbon dioxide, and water in the form of water vapor. When the limewater becomes turbid, it proves that the gas is carbon dioxide.

EXPERIMENT No. 155 Burning Alcohol To Obtain Carbon Dioxide

(CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Pan, alcohol lamp, bottle, limewater, two glasses.

PROCEDURE: Place alcohol lamp in the center of a pan containing an inch of water. Ignite lamp and invert the bottle over it. When flame is extinguished, turn the bottle upright and pour in the clear limewater solution. Shake well and note whether the solution becomes turbid.

EXPERIMENT No. 156 Burning Wood To Obtain Carbon Dioxide

(CL-11. CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sliver of wood, bottle, limewater, two glasses.

PROCEDURE: Light the sliver of wood and place it in the bottle. Cover top of bottle with cardboard. When flame is extinguished, remove the cover and pour some clear limewater into the bottle.

EXPERIMENT No. 157 Burning Paper To Obtain Carbon Dioxide

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Paper, jar, limewater, two drinking glasses, candle.

PROCEDURE: Add three measures of calcium oxide to a glass half full of water and stir. Allow the undissolved particles to settle out and carefully pour off the clear liquid into another glass. Light the paper

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 93

and drop it into the bottle. Cover the bottle with cardboard. When the flame is extinguished, remove the cover and pour in some clear limewater. Shake well and note whether the solution becomes turbid.

EXPERIMENT No. 158 Carbon Dioxide In The Breath

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: A drinking glass and limewater.

PROCEDURE: Insert the glass tubing into the limewater and blow through it. Note the reaction.

EXPERIMENT No. 159 Extinguishing A Flame

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Candle, tumbler, vinegar, sodium bicarbonate, eye dropper and tablespoon.

PROCEDURE: Place a candle firmly upright in a tumbler making certain that the wick does not extend beyond the halfway mark of the tumbler. Light the candle. Now place a tablespoonful of sodium bicarbonate in the bottom of the tumbler. Add a few drops of vinegar to the sodium bicarbonate.

SUMMARY: The flame begins to flicker and diminish in size as soon as the carbon dioxide is formed and finally goes out altogether.

EXPERIMENT No. 160 Another Way To Prepare Carbon Dioxide Gas

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Aluminum sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium carbonate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve two measures of aluminum sulfate in a second test tube half full of water. Add a few drops of the sodium carbonate solution to the second test tube.

SUMMARY: The gas which is liberated is carbon dioxide and the thick white precipitate formed by this reaction is aluminum hydroxide.

EXPERIMENT No. 161 Identifying The Gas From "Soda Pop”

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Limewater, rubber stopper, delivery tube, a little ginger ale or other carbonated beverage.

PROCEDURE: Attach the gas delivery tube and stopper to the bottle of ginger ale or other soda water being tested. Insert the other end of the delivery tube in some limewater solution and test for the presence of carbon dioxide gas.

EXPERIMENT No. 162 Why Bread Rises

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Flour, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), heating spoon, candle or alcohol lamp.

PROCEDURE: Place six measures of sodium bicarbonate in a cup containing a spoonful of flour. Add water, stirring constantly, until a good dough is obtained. Heat a small amount of the dough over a flame.

94 THE STORY OF CARBON

SUMMARY: When sodium carbonate is heated, it decomposes and produces carbon dioxide. As the gas bubbles through the dough, it causes the dough to rise and become porous.

IMPORTANCE OF CARBON DIOXIDE

Until a few years ago, carbon dioxide was of negligible importance commercially. It was used for no more serious business than to charge soda water and, generated by yeast or baking soda, to make bread rise.

Today, of first importance is carbon dioxide’s use to combat tire. That red, tubular tank on the running board of a police radio car contains carbon dioxide gas. Also you may have seen banks of these cylinders on the crash trucks at air fields.

A pilot, who has to parachute from a burning plane over water, inflates his life vest by pulling release cords on two tiny carbon dioxide capsules (smaller than cigars) in his vest. Formerly, when an airplane was forced down at sea, it sank to the bottom before the pilot was able to get out, now flotation bags are automatically inflated by carbon dioxide when the plane hits water and save both the plane and the pilot.

The chief use of carbon dioxide gas is in fighting fires and in this function it serves mankind well both in times of peace and war.

EXPERIMENT No. 163 An Experiment W1th Candles

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

candle experiment setup

FIGURE 16

APPARATUS: Three small candles, wire, fruit jar and cardboard.

PROCEDURE: Wire three candles together and suspend them in the jar as shown in the illustration. Light the candles. Note that after burning a few minutes the flames are extinguished.

SUMMARY: The burning candles liberate carbon dioxide. Since this gas does not support combustion, the candles slowly go out. The top candle goes out first as the warm carbon dioxide gas rises to the top of the bottle. When the gas finally reaches the bottom of the jar, the other two  candles also go out.

In line with our discussion of carbon dioxide as a fire extinguisher, the following experiments on fire control, using other chemicals, will be interesting. 


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EXPERIMENT No. 164 Carbon Tetrachloride Extinguishes Fire

(CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Heating spoon, carbon tetrachloride, candle or alcohol lamp.

PROCEDURE: Carefully heat a small amount of carbon tetrachloride in the heating spoon. Light a match and hold it above the spoon in the fumes of the liquid. Note that the flame is extinguished.

SUMMARY: The vapor of the carbon tetrachloride will extinguish the flame because it surrounds the object and prevents oxygen from reaching it.

EXPERIMENT No. 165  How To Fireproof Cloth

(CL-11, LL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ammonium chloride, candle or alcohol lamp, cotton cloth, test tube and match.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve fourteen measures of ammonium chloride in a test tube one-third filled with water, using heat, if necessary, to hasten the solution. Soak a piece of cotton cloth in the solution and then allow the cloth to dry. Hold a lighted match to the cloth to see if it will burn.

SUMMARY: As in the case of carbon tetrachloride, ammonium chloride, when heated, gives off fumes which smother flame. When heat is applied to the ammonium chloride, a decomposition of the salt takes place, resulting in ammonia gas and hydrochloric acid, neither of which supports combustion.

EXPERIMENT No. 166 How To Fireproof Wood

(CL-11, CL~22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Match and sodium silicate solution.

PROCEDURE: Dip the wooden part of a match stick in sodium silicate solution. Light the match when the solution has dried and note that it is extinguished as soon as it reaches the sodium silicate.

SUMMARY: Sodium silicate is excellent for fireproofing wood since it has a very high melting point and forms a protective coating which prevents the oxygen from reaching the wood.

EXPERIMENT No. 167 A Dry Fire Extinguisher

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium bicarbonate, tissue paper, tablespoon and tin plate.

96 THE STORY OF CARBON

fire extinguisher cutaway

How a Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher works.

PROCEDURE: Place a tablespoonful of baking soda on a small sheet of tissue paper and fold the sides of the paper together. Put this on the tin plate and ignite the paper.

SUMMARY: Sodium bicarbonate when heated liberates carbon dioxide which settles around the flame and smothers it.

EXPERIMENT No. 168 Making A Foam Fire Extinguisher

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium bicarbonate, aluminum sulfate, glass, two test tubes and glue.

PROCEDURE: Fill a test tube half full of a thin glue, then pour it into a drinking glass. Add eight measures of sodium bicarbonate and stir until a thin paste is formed. Add five measures of aluminum sulfate to a test tube half full of water, shaking well to dissolve the chemical. Pour this solution into the glass containing the thin paste and note the foam which appears.

SUMMARY: The foam formed in this reaction consists of carbon dioxide bubbles, aluminum hydroxide, and the glue. It makes an excellent fire extinguisher especially for burning gasoline and oil as the bubbles of carbon dioxide surrounded by an emulsoid film adhere to the burning surface better than free carbon dioxide.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 97

SOLID CARBON DIOXIDE

Carbon dioxide gas can not only be liquefied but it can also be “frozen". It is then known as "dry ice" and is familiar to every boy who has seen how a small piece placed in a container of ice cream prevents the cream from melting and may even freeze it as hard as stone.

Dry ice is made by purifying carbon dioxide gas and passing it through charcoal to remove the odors. It is then compressed and bottled in steel cylinders. This pure gas may be made into “snow" by rapid expansion from the cylinder. The snow is pressed and made into cakes which can be sawed apart with a band saw. We must be very careful in handling solid carbon dioxide as its freezing effect upon the tissues of the body is similar to a severe burn.

CARBONATES

When carbon dioxide gas is bubbled through water, some of it combines with the water to form the compound carbonic acid. This is a very weak and unstable acid existing only in water solution. However, it acts on bases to give solutions called carbonates.

Some carbonates are stable solids found in nature as rock formations, many of which are -of great value. Limestone is mainly calcium carbonate while white marble is the same chemically, but in crystal form and much purer. Ordinary baking soda and washing soda are also carbonates known respectively as sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate.

When a carbonate is treated with an acid, carbon dioxide is given off as a gas. However, we will consider many of the carbonates in more detail in other chapters of our book when discussing Calcium and Sodium.

EXPERIMENT No. 169 Carbonate Test

(CL-G6, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Limewater, sodium bisulfate, gas delivery tube and stopper, two test tubes, small glass, mortar and pestle, and any chemical to which you desire to apply the carbonate test.

PROCEDURE: Prepare limewater as explained on page 91. Place five measures of the substance to be tested in a test tube (grind if necessary). Add five measures of sodium bisulfate and two or three drops of water. Immediately attach the delivery tube and stopper with the long stem of the delivery tube going into the test tube of limewater. Note whether the limewater becomes turbid.

SUMMARY: An acid will liberate carbon dioxide gas from a carbonate. Consequently, by bubbling the gas into clear limewater and obtaining a turbid solution, we know that the gas is carbon dioxide and the compound a carbonate.

98  THE STORY OF CARBON

EXPERIMENT N0. 170 How A Carbonate Reacts With Acids

(CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Potassium carbonate, hydrochloric acid and test tube.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve two measures of potassium carbonate in a test tube one-half full of water. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid. Continue adding the acid until the fizzing stops. Pour the liquid into a saucer and allow to evaporate. Note the residue.

SUMMARY: Potassium carbonate reacts with hydrochloric acid to form potassium chloride and carbonic acid. The latter is very unstable and decomposes into water and carbon dioxide. Thus, by evaporating the water, we are able to recover the potassium chloride in the form of crystals. Compounds which liberate carbon dioxide gas in the presence of an acid are carbonates.

EXPERIMENT No. 171 Calcium Carbonate

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium carbonate, calcium chloride, two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium carbonate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve two measures of calcium chloride in a second test tube half full of water. Pour into this a few drops of sodium carbonate solution and note the formation of a heavy white precipitate.

SUMMARY: An exchange of elements occurs between the two compounds, resulting in sodium chloride, or ordinary table salt, and the white precipitate of calcium carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 172 Chromium Carbonate

(CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Chrome alum, sodium carbonate, two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting chrome alum for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The bluish-green precipitate is chromium carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 173 Copper Carbonate

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Copper sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting copper sulfate for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: These compounds react to form sodium sulfate and the blue precipitate of copper carbonate.

EXPERIMENT N0. 174 Manganese Carbonate

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Manganese sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 99

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting manganese sulfate for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The products formed in this reaction are sodium sulfate and the white precipitate, manganese carbonate, which settles at the bottom of the test tube.

EXPERIMENT No. 175 Ferrous Carbonate

(CL55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting ferrous ammonium sulfate for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The green precipitate formed as a result of this reaction is ferrous carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 176 Magnesium Carbonate

(CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Magnesium sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting magnesium sulfate for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: When these two chemicals react in solution, they form the compound, sodium sulfate, and the white precipitate, magnesium carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 177 Cobalt Carbonate

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Cobalt chloride, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting cobalt chloride for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The products of this reaction are the soluble salt, sodium chloride, and the insoluble cobalt carbonate which appears as a purplish-blue precipitate.

EXPERIMENT No. 178 Strontium Carbonate

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Strontium chloride, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting strontium chloride for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The interchange of elements in this case resulted in the formation of the soluble salt, sodium chloride, and the white precipitate, strontium carbonate.

100 THE STORY OF CARBON

EXPERIMENT No. 179 Potassium Carbonate From Wood Ash

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Wood ashes, tumbler, phenolphthalein solution, red litmus paper, drinking glass and stirring rod.

PROCEDURE: Place three spoonfuls of fresh wood ashes in a tumbler half full of water and stir. Allow the undissolved particles to settle out and then pour the clean solution into a glass. Dip a piece of red litmus paper into the glass and note the color change. Add a few drops of phenolphthalein.

SUMMARY: Wood ashes contain potassium carbonate, a base which turns red litmus paper blue and phenolphthalein, red.

EXPERIMENT No. 180 Precipitating Ferric Hydroxide

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric ammonium sulfate, sodium carbonate and two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Repeat Experiment No. 171 substituting ferric ammonium sulfate for calcium chloride.

SUMMARY: The yellowish-brown precipitate is ferric hydroxide.

PETROLEUM AND GASOLINE

Most people think of the petroleum industry in connection with the automobile and the airplane. But it is also true that oil today flows through all the industrial arteries of the world because of the magic of chemistry. It turns the wheels or provides the lubrication for every machine that moves. It heats many of our homes and buildings. It is the source of materials that enter into the manufacture of countless commodities that play a part in our everyday lives. The petroleum industry spends $20,000,000 a year in research which has made all this possible.

In separating petroleum into its constituents and processing them into substances which are vital to our economic life, chemistry plays almost a magic part. It begins with fractional distillation to separate the gases and light and heavy liquids which comprise crude petroleum. It continues through the new “cracking" processes which break down the heavier substances and the polymerization processes which weld light gases into liquids, which enable oil chemists to produce twice as much gasoline from a barrel of oil as used to be possible. It makes possible amazing processes whereby petroleum and its by-products are metamorphosed into the countless products from alcohol to chemical rubber which are rapidly finding their way into every phase of modern life.


LIONEL CHEM-LAB 101

refining photos

Modern oil refining requires highly specialized equipment like that shown on this page. This equipment used by the Texas Company illustrates the processes from the derricks at the oil wells to the stills and huge storage tanks where the refined oil is kept until distribution.


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