A sweet reaction

Y11 mixes sugar and acid to build a carbon tower

Y11 mixes sugar and acid to build a carbon tower

In Year 11 Chemistry, we have been applying our knowledge of percentages from Mathematics to determine the chemical makeup of everyday compounds. As a class, we are now able to calculate that sugar is 42.11% carbon by mass.

We conducted a demonstration of the carbon content by placing regular table sugar in a beaker and pouring highly concentrated sulfuric acid on top. The reaction was slow to start but once it began, a ?sweet? tower of coal black carbon started to rise out of the beaker!

Due to the large amount of heat and gas released, and the likelihood that the column was still coated in sulfuric acid, students were not allowed to touch, but several selfies were taken with the syrupy pile.

Look at these students reacting to the reaction!

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