For elephant toothpaste utilize your scientific expertise to impress your pals with this time-honored activity by causing a large foaming reaction. Using only a few items, you can create something that resembles foamy toothpaste squeezed from a tube, but the completed product will be so huge that it almost seems elephant-sized.
About the experiment of elephant toothpaste
You may be aware of hydrogen peroxide as an antiseptic, which means it is used to treat cuts and scrapes by destroying infection-causing bacteria. However, what exactly is it? Atoms of hydrogen and oxygen unite to form this liquid material (its chemical formula is H2O2). It is available in various strengths, sometimes called concentrations. In most instances, its concentration will be three percent (although higher concentrations are available, they are more dangerous and must be handled carefully). Additionally, it degrades when exposed to light, which is why it is often stored in dark brown bottles.
Oxygen (O2) and water are the byproducts of hydrogen peroxide’s breakdown (H2O). In normal circumstances, this type of collapse occurs extremely gradually. Nevertheless, you have the option to speed up this reaction! How? By adding a catalyst. Yeast is a living organism that has the particular chemical catalase. This chemical can act as a catalytic agent, facilitating hydrogen peroxide decomposition. Catalase is an enzyme that aid living creatures in breaking down hydrogen peroxide, and it is present in virtually all alive organisms and contact with oxygen.
It suggests that hydrogen peroxide will rapidly turn into water and oxygen gas when yeast is added to a hydrogen peroxide-based synthesis. The presence of oxygen gas causes the development of bubbles. In most instances, the bubbles would separate from the liquid and immediately explode. However, adding a tiny bit of dish soap increases the surface tension, allowing bubbles to become trapped and producing a large volume of foam. This foam resembles a giant tube of toothpaste and is large enough for an elephant to swim through.
Materials needed for elephant toothpaste experiment
- An empty plastic bottle.
- Yeast flour (found in the baking section of the grocery store)
- Warm water
- Liquid dish soap
- 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
- Measuring cups
- Spoons for measuring measurements
- Eye protection apparatus
- A large bucket or tray for collecting foam
- Location for the activity that may tolerate spills (of hydrogen peroxide and possibly food coloring), such as a kitchen or lavatory; alternatively, an outdoor location.
- coloring agents in liquid form (optional)
- There are bottles and glasses of various forms (optional)
Preparation steps for elephant toothpaste experiment
- Because hydrogen peroxide may irritate your eyes, you should wear protective eyewear before partaking in this activity. Here, to be mentioned that even if the outcome of this activity resembles toothpaste, it is not and should not be used!
- It would help if you gathered your supplies where you will conduct the activity. Placing your plastic bottle on the tray or in the tub will make it much easier to remove any collected foam.
- Step-by-step directions Pour a half cup’s worth of hydrogen peroxide into the bottle with caution.
- After adding a good amount of dish soap to the bottle, please give it a quick shake to blend the components.
- Add a few drops of food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide and gently shake the bottle to blend the colors if you desire a uniformly colored foam. Place the droplets along the inside lip of the bottle’s mouth if you want your toothpaste’s foam to have stripes like other brands. They should drip down the inside of the bottle but should not be combined.
- In a measuring cup, combine one tablespoon of yeast with three tablespoons of warm water until the yeast is dissolved. Stir for approximately thirty seconds.
- After quickly leaving the vicinity, pour the yeast mixture into the container and monitor the reaction from a distance. What transpires? How long does it take for the reaction to complete?
- Try the exercise without dish soap as an alternative. What transpires? What was unique about the result?
- Try utilizing containers of varied sizes and shapes for this practice. What happens when you use a bottle with a neck that is either narrower or wider than typical or a cylindrical drinking glass with no neck?
Observations in addition to outcomes
During this activity of elephant toothpaste, you probably saw a tremendous number of foam and bubbles. What causes the formation of foam? When yeast and hydrogen peroxide come into contact, the hydrogen peroxide starts to break down into water and oxygen. Since oxygen is a gas, it wants to escape the liquid in which it is dissolved. Adding dish soap to the process causes these gas bubbles to become trapped, resulting in foam production. The reaction will continue if there are trace levels of yeast and hydrogen peroxide. When one of these components is gone, new foam formation will end. If you participated in the experiment without dish soap, the reaction would likely still generate bubbles but no foam.