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Household Chemical Reactions

May 18, 2013

Chemical Reactions: Process that transforms a set of chemical substances to another is called a chemical reaction. Those reactions that require no energy input are called spontaneous chemical reactions and those that require energy input like heat, electricity or light are called non-spontaneous chemical reactions. Substances that initiate a reaction are called reactants and the chemical reaction that takes place involves a chemical change that yields one or more products, possessing properties different from that of the reactants. A desired substance can be achieved by a set of combination reactions and by applying external energy inputs one can achieve any kind of chemical reactions. There are many household chemical reactions that, as the name suggests, can be performed in our houses with only a few safety measures. Following is an example of a household chemical reaction.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice cream –

Liquid nitrogen can be used to make instant ice cream at home, which is going to be fun. This household chemical reaction is phase change demonstration that can be achieved in minutes. It is an averagely difficult recipe of strawberry ice cream. One can experiment with chocolate syrup or vanilla essence instead of strawberries.

Ingredients and other tools required:

1. 5 liters of liquid nitrogen

2. 4 cups of whipped cream

3. 2 cups of sugar

4. Half a kg of fresh strawberries

5. Around 2 cups of half and half

6. Gloves and goggles is mandatory

7. A big salad bowl

8. A blender or a wire whisk

9. A big wooden spoon

Procedure –

To make half a gallon of strawberry ice cream, first we need to mix cream and sugar in equal quantity in a bowl using a wire whisk till the sugar melts completely. In a separate bowl take fresh strawberries and mash them so that a pulp is obtained. The pulp has to be made in such a way that few pieces of strawberries is left. If vanilla essence or chocolate syrup is being used then add it to the whipped cream and keep whipping till the flavor has mixed well with the cream. Then wear your gloves and goggles and pour a small amount of liquid nitrogen directly into the bowl and continue to stir. Add a bit of more liquid nitrogen and keep stirring. Then add the mashed strawberries as soon as the cream base starts to thicken. Stir vigorously so that all the ingredients mix well. Switch to a wooden spoon once the ice cream becomes too thick for the whisk. As it becomes thicker, take away the wooden spoon and simply add a little more of the liquid nitrogen. Before serving it on a plate, allow the excess liquid nitrogen to evaporate. Your instant homemade strawberry ice cream is ready to serve which is the end result of a household chemical reaction.

Tips and Safety Measures: Since we are not experts, in order to perform household chemical reactions there are a few things that have to be kept in mind. Following are the tips and a few measures of safety:

– Do not touch liquid nitrogen

– Store it in an air tight container

– To pour the liquid nitrogen either use a large plastic mug with a handle or wear gloves if you are using a metal container.

– A mix of whipped cream and half-and-half will help to make a very creamy ice cream with small frozen crystals

– If the ice cream starts melting even before serving everybody then adding a little bit of liquid nitrogen will do the job

– If you have an electronic blender or a cordless battery operated blender then it is definitely a better option than a whisk or a wooden spoon.

liquid nitrogen icecream

A few more examples of household chemical reactions are as follows –

1) Boiling of eggs involves cross linking and denaturing of protein.

2) Use of bleach is oxidation of colored material by hypochlorite ion.

3) Iron made products starting to form rust.

4) Dry ice experiments.

5) Fermentation.

6) Mixing bleach and ammonia creating toxic fumes.

7) Conversion of milk into curd.


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