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Further Investigations: Comparison of Liquids and Compounds

  1. Remember back to Activity 2 and your investigation of electrostatic attraction to water. Investigate the electrostatic attraction of a charged item to other liquids such as alcohol, oil, or seawater. You can use a buret or a cup with a small hole punched in the bottom to produce a small stream of liquid to conduct your test. Predict what you think you would see and explain why. Remember to think about the behavior of these liquids in terms of their bond type and in terms of what substances they have dissolved in them.
  2. Experiment with using soap to mix oil and water. Are there particular kinds of soap that work better? Research the ingredients in common liquid detergents, comparing hand soap, dish soap and laundry soap. What ingredients are used to remove oil? What about other types of stains?
  3. Even though waves can disrupt and spread oil, oil spills present a big problem to the marine environment. Find out what chemical substances and techniques are used to clean up oil and to contain its spread. What makes oils spills so difficult to control? Apply what you know about the chemistry of water to explain the actions taken by experts cleaning up the water after an oil spill? 
  4. Design and carry out further experiments to answer:
    1. How does water temperature affect the solubility of substances?
    2. How is the solubility of a substance affected by other dissolved substances in water?
    3. Under what circumstances do solids precipitate out of water solutions?

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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.