Beyond Benign

Higher Ed

General Chemistry

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Case Study: A Laboratory Sequence for Reducing Waste in the General Chemistry Laboratory

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.

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Case Study: A Laboratory Sequence for Reducing Waste in the General Chemistry Laboratory

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Case Study: General Chemistry Replacement Labs

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.

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Case Study: General Chemistry Replacement Labs

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Case Study: Titration of Wood Ash

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.

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Case Study: Titration of Wood Ash

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Case Study: Vitamin C Clock Reaction

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.

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Case Study: Vitamin C Clock Reaction

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Lab: Formula of a Hydrate

In this laboratory experiment, students will determine the percent water in an unknown hydrate and use that information to determine the formula of a hydrate. Students will also perform a hazard assessment for different hydrates and rank them according to their human and environmental hazards.

Initiated by Saskia van Bergen, developed from Green River College and supported by WA State Department of Ecology

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Lab: Formula of a Hydrate

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