Organic solvents are typically used in the traditional experiments for measuring colligative properties, such as freezing point depression. This experiment uses fatty acids and oils to avoid the use of organic solvents.
Dr. Matthew Fountain at SUNY Fredonia has revised their General Chemistry II labs to results in a drastic reduction in waste and the use of hazardous chemicals. By utilizing the waste from one experiment in the following experiment, there has been almost a 90% reduction in waste. The laboratory sequence is described in this case study.
Model laboratory manuals are used as examples of traditional laboratory experiments. This case study highlights 6 alternative green chemistry experiments that can be used in the general chemistry laboratory, providing options for faculty. Labs include Beer’s Law, Hess’s Law, Qualitative Analysis, Identification of an Unknown Organic Compound, Molar Mass Determination, Determining a Rate Law.
Titration experiments are commonly performed in general chemistry courses to demonstrate technique and to understand acid/base chemistry. Typical titration experiments involve the titration of an acid with a standardized solution of a base. Acids can be benign, such as acetic acid, or more toxic, such as oxalic acid. The experiment outlined in this case study is designed to replace experiments utilizing oxalic acid, an acid with high human health hazards. The wood ash titration also allows students to consider using renewable feedstocks for chemical reactions and processes.
Clock reactions are traditionally performed in the general chemistry laboratory with a variety of reagents, including bisulfites, formaldehyde, mercuric ions, and thiosulfates. This greener alternative uses vitamin C tablets and eliminates the use of many of the traditional chemicals used for this reaction. This case study includes an analysis of the economic and waste benefits for the greener lab being used at Syracuse University.