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ELEPHANT TOOTHPASTE

Produce a huge heap of foam in this exothermic reaction

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

The fight against elephant tooth decay is on! In this science experiment, you will produce a huge amount of steaming foam that sort of looks like the toothpaste an elephant might use:

Topics covered

Exothermic reaction, Catalyst, Potassium iodide, Hydrogen peroxide

What will I need?

  • HYDROGEN PEROXIDE SOLUTION (30%)
  • LIQUID DISHWASHING DETERGENT
  • FOOD COLOURING
  • POTASSIUM IODIDE (KI) SOLUTION
  • 500ml CYLINDER OR GLASS BOTTLE
  • SAFETY MATCH
  • SAFETY GLASSES & GLOVES

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

The special foam or ‘toothpaste’ you made in this science experiment contains foam bubbles, each filled with oxygen. The Potassium iodide is used as a catalyst to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide and the dishwashing detergent is responsible for capturing the oxygen in bubbles. This reaction happens very fast and lots and lots of bubbles are created in the process, producing a huge heap of foam.

This experiment is an example of an exothermic Reaction, meaning that heat is created during the process. This experiment is sometimes called ‘Elephant’s Toothpaste’ because it looks like toothpaste coming out of a tube, but do not place the foam in your mouth or brush your teeth with it!

Like the sound of it?

Why not check out the full worksheet in one of our popular e-books?

This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

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