Hydrogen peroxide knows a lot about multitasking😉
The “Super Homemade Elephant Toothpaste” experiment: In a glass, combine a few drops of food coloring with a 100mL 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Add a “yeast mixture” (10g yeast with 30 mL water). Observe the formation of a large amount of foam. The “Home Dry Cleaning” experiment: Use a ballpoint pen to write or draw something on a piece of white cotton fabric. Blot the inscription with a saturated potassium permanganate solution in 70% acetic acid. After the “stain” changes from purple to brown, blot with a cotton swab dipped in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. The inscription should disappear!
The “Super Homemade Elephant Toothpaste” experiment: Yeast secretes the enzyme catalase quite actively in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This accelerates the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, which makes the liquid mixture foam.
The “Home Dry Cleaning” experiment: Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizer and breaks bonds in the ink molecules. The dye’s structure changes, and it becomes colorless. Manganese(IV) oxide, however, leaves a brown stain. Remove the brown spot using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, which restores the unreacted pink potassium permanganate and brown manganese oxide(IV) to colorless manganese acetate(II). And acetic acid assists in this reaction by creating the needed acidity.
Hydrogen peroxide is used as an antiseptic in medicine, as a bleach in papermaking, and companies that employ aseptic packaging technology (such as Tetra Pak) use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant.
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