Science Fair Project:

Comparing Acidity in Battery Acid, Candy, and Soda

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Research Questions:

  • How do you define an acid? A base?
  • What are some other acids and bases you found around the house?
  • Why is pH important to life?

We use pH to measure how acidic or basic a solution is. The scale ranges from 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. Seven is neutral: it is neither basic nor acidic, and stands for distilled water. An example of an acidic solution would be any kind of citrus juice. An example of a basic solution would be baking soda or soap.

In this experiment, please be careful with the battery acid, and have an adult present at all times. Do not consume it and do not get any in your eye and handle with gloves, as it can cause burns!

Materials:

  • Warheads candy
  • Soda, such as Coke or Pepsi
  • Battery acid
  • pH paper
  • Glass beakers
  • Hot distilled water
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Rubber gloves

Experimental Procedure

  1. In a beaker filled with hot distilled water, put a few pieces of warheads candy inside. Leave them inside until the “sour coating” comes off. Take out with kitchen tongs. Dip a piece of pH paper inside. Record the color shown on the paper.
  2. Now we will test the pH of the battery acid. Pour a little into a glass beaker. Remember to wear protective rubber gloves, as this can burn exposed skin. Dip a piece of pH paper inside the battery acid. Record the color.
  3. Finally we will test the pH of the soda. Pour a little into another beaker. Dip a piece of pH paper inside and record the color. Compare the colors shown on the pH paper with the pH indicator guide to find out the pH number.
  4. Record which solution had the greatest pH. Did the acidity of any of the “edibles” exceed that of the battery acid?

Suggested Chart

Color Shown on pH Paper

Equivalent pH Value

Sour Warheads Candy

Soda

Battery Acid

Terms/Concepts: pH scale, acidity and basicity

Author: Sofia PC
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