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Use turmeric and alcohol as an indicator to test if a substance is a base

Suitable For

Grade 3



Time Required

 <24 Hours



What’s it about?

The world is full of substances that are either an ‘acid’ or a ‘base. ‘Indicators’ are substances that are used to tell whether a chemical is an acid or base. Acids and bases are opposites and cancel each other out or ‘neutralizes’ when mixed together. A mixture of turmeric and alcohol can be used as an ‘indicator’ to test if a substance is a base, as shown in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Chemical reaction, Acid, Base

What will I need?


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.

When a chemical ‘indicator’ is mixed with a substance that is an acid or a base, a chemical reaction occurs, causing the indicator to change colour. The turmeric/alcohol solution is a chemical indicator in that it changes colour depending on the type of solution added to it.

In this science experiment, mixing the slightly acidic turmeric with alcohol, and then adding something alkaline, like a bar of soap to the solution, results in a colour change to red. Add something acidic to the solution, and the swab remains the same yellow-orange colour.

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