Have you ever seen an old rusty car outside? Rust comes from a chemical reaction called oxidation, caused by air and water exposure. It’s the same reaction that makes coins dull over time. Grab your old pennies and nails because we will be cleaning copper and rusting nails while we learn about two opposite chemical reactions: oxidation and reduction.
Rusting a nail: Ungalvanized iron nails (or nuts, bolts, tin cans, or screws), plastic or glass containers, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, salt, measuring spoons (teaspoon), a pair of rubber gloves (or waterproof winter gloves, or plastic bags), a clean work station, paper towels or rags, a wooden stirring stick (popsicle stick or skewer), goggles or sunglasses
Cleaning copper: pennies, copper washers, or copper wire, plastic or glass containers, white vinegar, salt, measuring cups (¼ cup), measuring spoons (1 teaspoon), a pair of rubber gloves (or waterproof winter gloves, or plastic bags), a clean work station, paper towels or rags, a wooden stirring stick (popsicle stick or skewer), goggles or sunglasses
Expert: Jeanette Adjei is a PhD candidate at Western University studying the synthesis of new organophosphines towards applications in catalysis and metal coordinator.
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