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Hydrogen Peroxide and Yeast

based on 19 ratings
Author: TaniaDakka

Chemistry produces some of the most amazing compounds. You’ve probably used vinegar and baking soda to make a volcano. You’ve definitely made your own foam with soap and water.

Foam is usually created by chemical reactions occurring between two or more liquids. And when you put the right two solutions together, you don’t just get foam—you get MEGA-foam!

This mega-foam is made with hydrogen peroxide and yeast. But not all mega-foams are created equal! Some will be more “mega” than others, depending on the kind of peroxide you use.

Problem:

Which peroxide will make the biggest Mega Foam?

Materials:

  • 2 soda bottles
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide 3%
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide 6%
  • 8 drops of food coloring of choice
  • liquid dishwashing soap
  • 2 small dishes
  • 1 spoon

Procedure:

  1. Label soda bottles “6” and “3.” Bottle 6 is for the 6% hydrogen peroxide and bottle 3 is for the 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Add ½ cup of the appropriate type of hydrogen peroxide to each empty bottle.
  3. Add a squirt of dishwashing soap to each bottle.
  4. Add 4 drops of food coloring to each.
  5. In 2 small dishes, add to each 1 teaspoon of yeast to 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  6. Stir to dissolve.
  7. Add a yeast mixture to each peroxide mixture.
  8. Stand back and watch to see which peroxide produced the biggest Mega Foam!
  9. Record what you saw happen.

Results:

The 6% hydrogen peroxide solution should have given you the biggest Mega Foam, but you still should have gotten some impressive results with the 3% solution, too.

Why?

Hydrogen peroxide is breaks down into water and oxygen. That’s why it’s stored in dark containers: to slow this process down. Adding the yeast to the hydrogen peroxide helps this breaking-down process occur much faster. As the process progresses, the dishwashing soap catches the oxygen that is released by the peroxide. The final result is tons of bubbles.

Digging Deeper

How can you take this experiment further? Find different ways to speed up the reaction. Try using different dish washing detergents. What if you changed the temperature of the solutions before mixing them? There are hundreds of ways to get some cool insights from this colossal foam. Just remember: change only thing at a time, and record your results!

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