Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pop-able Pollutants

Before consumers knew that their products affected the environment, many laundry detergents contained an ingredient called phosphate. Phosphate minerals remove hard water minerals, prevent dirt from clinging back to clothes, and create suds; but phosphate is bad for the environment. This experiment helps us observe the amount of phosphate that could be in the detergent by the suds buildup in the container.

*Phosphates is no longer found in laundry detergent, but there are other detergents that might still contain phosphate in their ingredients.*

(1) Three clear containers of the same size with a lid 
(jars or water bottle)
(2) Three detergents (with various percentage of phosphate)  
(3) Water
(4) Scissors, ruler, permanent marker, teaspoon, and paper
[Step 1] 
Take a blank piece of paper and a ruler.  Draw points in 1 centimeter increments. 

[Step 2]
Cut out a strip to use as a bendable ruler.

[Step 3]
Place the marked paper against the bottle.  Make sure  0 centimeters is aligned with the bottom of the bottle or jar.

[Step 4]
Mark the centimeter increments on the the bottle or jar using the permanent marker.

[Step 5]
Fill the bottles with water to the halfway mark. 

[Step 6]
Fill each bottle with a teaspoon or proportionate amount of  specific detergent.
For these 14 oz. bottles we added half a teaspoon or less of detergent. For 16 oz. bottles it is suggested to use a teaspoon of detergent.

[Step 7]
Seal the bottle and shake the solution. 
For the experiment there should be 3 trials.
Trial 1:  Shake for 1 minute.
Trial 2:  Shake for 5 minutes.
Trial 3:  Shake for 10 minutes.

[Step 8]
After mixing the solutions, observe the amount of bubbles that have been created.

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