Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Equipping the Laboratory

From: Hands-On Chemistry ©Prentice Hall


Chemical Formula Source/Description
acetic acid CH3COOH Vinegars vary between 4-5.5% acetic acid; more concentrated acetic acid (28%) may be purchased at photography supply stores.
acetone CH3COCH3 Nail polish remover is generally acetone ; fiberglass cleaner is also generally made of acetone and is available at boating supply stores.
aluminum Al Aluminum foil; aluminum turnings are available as scrap from machine shops.
potassium aluminum sulfate KAl(SO4)212H2O Alum is available at most drug stores. It is used as an astringent to shrink mucus membranes.
ammonia NH3(aq); NH4OH Household ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) is an aqueous solution of ammonia. Note: this often has additives.
ammonium nitrate NH4NO3 Nitrate of ammonia fertilizer is available at most garden supply stores.
amylose (C6H9O5)n Corn starch is available at most markets and is used extensively in cooking.
anthocyanin Anthocyanin solution can be prepared by cutting, boiling and filtering red cabbage.
ascorbic acid C6H8O6 Vitamin C tablets sold at the market are primarily ascorbic acid.
bromthymol blue C27H28Br2O5S Aquarium pH test kits often employ bromthymol blue because it changes color in the 6.0-7.6 range.
butane C4H10 The lighter fluid in hand-held fire starters or cigarette lighters is usually liquid butane.
calcium carbonate CaCO3 Chalk, limestone and marble chips are good sources of solid calcium carbonate; some antacids are largely calcium carbonate.
calcium chloride CaCl2 Much of the road salt (de-icer) used to de-ice roads in cold climates is calcium chloride.
calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 Some antacids are primarily calcium hydroxide; slaked lime is calcium hydroxide and is used in lime-softening water treatment and in plastering.
calcium hypochlorite Ca(ClO)2 Bleaching powder and some swimming pool disinfectants contain calcium hypochlorite. Available from cleaning or swimming pool supply companies.
calcium oxide CaO In the past quicklime was a material plasterers used in making plaster. It is now difficult to obtain from hardware stores.
carbon C Charcoal used in cooking, activated charcoal used in fish tank filters and graphite used in pencil leads are good sources of carbon.
carbon dioxide CO2 Dry ice is available from party stores, refrigeration supply companies and ice cream companies.
carbonic acid H2CO3 Soda water is simply carbonated water, a dilute solution of carbonic acid.
copper Cu Electrical wire, copper pipe, and copper sheeting are available at hardware stores; American pennies (minted 1944-1946, 1962-1982) are 95% copper and 5% zinc.
copper sulfate pentahydrate CuSO45H2O Basicop or Bluestone algaecide used to kill algae and other aquatic pests contain copper sulfate.
ethylene glycol CH2OHCH2OH Some engine antifreezes are primarily ethylene glycol.
glucose C6H12O6 Dextrose (glucose) is available in many drug stores; some specialty throat lozenges are dextrose.
glycerol C3H8O3 Glycerin is an emollient used to soften skin by delaying the evaporation of water. It is available at most drug stores.
gold Au Gold jewelry is generally not pure gold. Gold is generally alloyed with other metals to increase strength.
helium He Helium can be obtained from party stores or wherever helium balloons are available.
hydrochloric acid HCl Muriatic acid (the common name for HCl) is used in swimming pool maintenance. It is also sold as masonry cleaner and is available at the hardware store. Percentage concentrations vary.
hydrogen peroxide H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide antiseptic (3%) is available from the drug store. Clairoxide hair bleach by Clairol is much more concentrated and is available from beauty supply stores.
iodine I2 Tincture of iodine, a topical antiseptic used for treating wounds, is a solution of iodine dissolved in ethyl alcohol. It is available at most drug stores.
iron Fe Steel wool, iron nails, iron bolts, nuts, screws are good sources of iron. You can get iron filings by dragging a strong magnet through sand.
ferric oxide Fe2O3 Ceramic rust is used to add a red color to pottery and can be purchased at ceramic stores.
kerosene CnH2n+1 (n=12-16) Lamp oil or kerosene is sold in the paint departments of most hardware stores.
lead Pb Lead shot and lead sinkers are used by fishermen and are available at sporting goods stores.
magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)2 Milk of Magnesia is an antacid used to settle sour (acidic) stomachs. Some antacid tablets also contain magnesium hydroxide.
magnesium silicate Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 Talcum powder comes from talc, the softest of all minerals, and is used as a dusting powder for babies. It is available in the bodycare section of the drug store.
magnesium sulfate MgSO47H2O Epsom salt is sold at most drug stores and is used as a laxative or as an anti-inflammatory soak.
methanol CH3OH Methanol is sold as a solvent in paint supply stores under the names "wood alcohol" or "methyl alcohol."
methylene blue C16H18ClN3S Methylene blue (Methidote antiseptic) is used to treat small injured fish and is available at pet stores.
mineral oil complex mixture of hydrocarbons Mineral oil is sold in drug stores as an emollient. Some baby oils are essentially mineral oil and fragrance.
nickel Ni Pre-1985 Canadian nickels are made of nickel. Note: American "nickels" are composed of 25% nickel and 75% copper.
oxygen O2 Portable welding oxygen tanks are available at welding shops and some hardware stores.
paraffin CnH2n+2 (n>19) Candle wax is made of paraffin. Some grocery stores sell paraffin as a sealant for home canning.
phenolphthalein C20H14O4 Ex-Lax laxative contained phenolphthalein prior to 1997. In that year it was determined phenolphthalein might cause cancer, and the thus the ingredients were changed.
phosphoric acid H3PO4 Some pH reducers (available at pet stores) used in fish tanks are simply dilute solutions of phosphoric acid.
potassium bitartrate KHC4H4O6 Cream of tartar is available at the market and is used to stabilize delicate foods like meringue toppings and other baked egg-white products.
potassium carbonate K2CO3 Some agricultural supply companies sell potash to farmers who need to increase the potassium content in their soils.
potassium bromide KBr Potassium bromide may be purchased from photography stores where it is used in photographic development.
potassium chloride KCl Lite Salt is used as a salt substitute by people who must limit their sodium intake, and is available at most markets.
potassium iron (ii) hexacyanoferrate(iii) KFe[Fe(CN)6] Mrs. Stewart's liquid laundry bluing is used to whiten clothes and may be found in the detergents section of the market.
potassium nitrate KNO3 Saltpeter or quick salt is used to cure home made sausages and corned beef and may be available at some butcher shops.
potassium permanganate KMnO4 Clearwater is a solution of approximately 50% potassium permanganate and is used to remove odors and cloudiness from water to be used in aquariums.
propane C3H8 Gas barbecue fuel is generally made of propane and is available at many gasoline stations or picnic supply stores.
2-propanol CH3CHOHCH3 Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) is a concentrated solution (generally 70%) of 2-propanol and may be found in most drug stores.
silicon dioxide SiO2 Quartz sand is relatively pure silicon dioxide and is available at most building supply stores.
silver Ag Older non-clad American dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars are 90% silver and 10% copper.
sodium acetate NaC2H3O2 Re-Heater and other hand-warmers are available at sporting goods stores.
sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate and may be found in the baking section of the market.
sodium carbonate Na2CO3 Washing soda is used to treat wool fibers and is available at spinning, weaving, and art supply stores.
sodium chloride NaCl The table salt used in cooking is sodium chloride. Iodized salt contains a trace of sodium iodide.
sodium hydroxide NaOH Known also as caustic soda and lye, sodium hydroxide is used in many commercial drain cleaners.
sodium hypochlorite NaClO Household bleach is generally a 5% solution of sodium hypochlorite.
sodium phosphate Na3PO4 Tri-sodium phosphate, commonly known as TSP, is available at hardware stores and is used to clean walls prior to painting.
sodium tetraborate decahydrate Na2B4O710H2O Borax , such as Twenty Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster is sodium tetraborate decahydrate.
sodium thiosulfate Na2S2O3 Photographer's hypo is used in photograph development and is available at photography supply stores.
sucrose C12H22O11 Table sugar is available at grocery stores in large or small bags.
sulfur S Flowers of sulfur is sold at some garden stores to treat certain plant diseases.
sulfuric acid H2SO4 Battery acid, also known as oil of vitriol, is sulfuric acid and may be obtained at some auto supply stores.
tungsten W The filament in incandescent light bulbs is made of tungsten.
zinc Zn Recent American pennies (1982-present) are 97.5% zinc with a 2.5% copper coating.