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science fair project

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william Stevenson

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of science fair project

Abstract fire extinguisher This experiment was a simple reproduction of a household fire extinguisher. Through the use
of variables it was easy to determine an appropriate safe distance with the correct mixture of vinegar and baking soda to smother a minor household fire. Through experimental procedures, the final product was the use of 1 cup of vinegar with 2 tsp of baking soda. This produced the farthest distance from the fire while smothering the fire at the same time. The method of disbursement used was a 2 liter soda bottle with a small hole in the lid. All of these items can be maintained in a pantry within a house if a fire extinguisher is not available. The primary solution in reducing the risk of death to family members is safety in the house. Fire extinguishers are part of that safety. Hypothesis If baking soda is added to vinegar then a chemical reaction will happen and cause carbon dioxide which will be able to put a fire out because carbon dioxide smothers oxygen in the fire. If the amount of baking soda is changed then the force with which the mixture is sprayed will change because the chemical reaction will be different. matierials and procedures Making a homemade fire extinguisher one will need a box of baking soda; vinegar; glass jars or plastic 2 liter soda bottles (with a hole in the lid). This should be done with parental supervision not by one’s self. The steps are as follows: first fill the jar or plastic bottle with 1 cup of vinegar. Next add about a tablespoon of baking soda in to the bottle (at this time the mixture should bubble for a few minutes). Then start to shake mixture and point away from you to measure the distance the mixture will shoot. This is the base point for the homemade fire extinguisher spray distance. The next steps will be repeating the above steps but adjusting the amount of baking soda added to the vinegar as well as the pressure used to shake the bottle. By adjusting the amount of baking soda it will change the distance the spray will shoot. The formula used for the “the Ideal Gas Law” is PV=nRT. P is the pressure in the bottle (strength used to shake the mixture); V is the volume of the bottle (amount of vinegar in the bottle); n is the number of moles of gas in the bottle (amount of baking soda used); R = Ideal Gas Constant (this never changes); T = temperature in this formula one will solve for P or pressure which is: P = nRT/V.
What does this mean? First reducing the volume of the container either using a smaller amount of vinegar or smaller container does not make the distance improve. What needs to happen is to increase the amount of baking soda and the pressure in which the chemicals are mixed. This will allow the distance of the mixture to shoot farther. Background Information In the late 1800’s the fire extinguisher was invented to help put out fires. The inventor was Almon Granger and it contained a combination of bicarbonate and sulphuric which forms carbon dioxide gas (science.discovery.com). Fires are dangerous and can cause a lot of damage as well as cause loss of life. Household fires are a common incident in the US. Through the years 2006-2010 there were an average of 371,700 household fires (Ahren, 2012). Out of these household fires, cooking equipment is found to be the most common. A common way to put out a fire that has started on the stove is to use a fire extinguisher, put baking soda, salt or a lid on it. What does this do? Fire needs oxygen to thrive and continue to grow but without oxygen it will die.
Vinegar is considered a weak acid when it is mixed with baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate, the two chemicals will come together and make carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. Fires need oxygen to thrive so when the carbon dioxide mixture is put onto the fire, the fire will be smothered. Carbon dioxide is heavier then oxygen which smothers the oxygen so the fire cannot spread.
What is in a fire extinguisher that will smother a fire? The fire extinguisher we use today does not spray water but instead it sprays a “foamy mixture of chemicals” (science.discovery.com). Are these chemicals hard to come across? No, the chemicals that can be mixed to create a carbon dioxide gas are vinegar and baking soda. When vinegar and baking soda are mixed together it causes a chemical reaction which when pointed towards a fire will put help put the fire out. When the formula is changed it can affect the pressure within the container and cause the mixture to shoot farther or shorter. This is where “The Ideal Gas Law” comes into use. The Ideal Gas Law relates “the variables of pressure, volume, temperature, and number of moles of gas within a closed system” (sciencegeek.net).
When creating a homemade fire extinguisher, using a larger bottle can make it easier to spray the fire but it does not mean it will shoot father. In order to create more pressure to shoot the chemicals farther, the formula needs to be adjusted. Most of the time the vinegar in the bottle is the correct amount and adding more or less will not necessarily affect the distance of the spray. If the amount of baking soda is changed, whether more or less, it can affect the distance of the spray. Since the amount of baking soda is important, one can conclude the strength one shakes the two chemicals will affect the pressure within the container. discussion Fires are dangerous, destructive and deadly. When dealing with fires, it is important not to under estimate the fire. Fires are often talked about as having a life of their own which is because people cannot predict what they will do next. During this experiment, vinegar was mixed with baking soda to create a liquid that could suffocate a fire. The vinegar was the constant variable and was not changed from 1 cup of vinegar with each attempt. The baking soda was the independent variable and was changed with each attempt. The distance was the dependent variable because it depended on the amount of baking soda used to determine the distance mixture would be able to shoot.
During the experiment, each mixture formula used was attempted 3 times. Each time the outcome was slightly different from the other. The first amount of baking soda was 1 tsp for 1 cup of vinegar this mixture was able to put the controlled fire out in an average of 20 seconds. The first attempt put out the fire in 20 seconds, the second attempt took 19 seconds, and the third attempt was 21 seconds. The second amount of baking soda was 2 tsp for 1 cup of vinegar this mixture was able to put the fire out in an average of 14.66 seconds. The first attempt put the fire out in 15 seconds, the second attempt took 13 seconds, and the third attempt took 16 seconds. The third amount of baking soda was 3 tsp for 1 cup of vinegar this mixture was able to put the fire out in an average of 25 seconds. The first attempt to put the fire out took 25 seconds, the second attempt took 26 seconds, and the third attempt took 24 seconds. After looking at the results it is concluded the most effective mixture to put fires out the fastest is 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 cup of vinegar.
Next the length the spray shot was measured for each attempt. The first was 1 tsp baking soda and 1 cup vinegar mixture which the average distances was 4.75 feet. The attempt distance was 4.5 feet, the second attempt was 5 feet, and the third attempt was 4.75 feet. The next was 2 tsp baking soda and 1 cup vinegar which the average distances was 9.25 feet. The first attempt distance was 10 feet, the second attempt distance was 8.75, and the third attempt distance was 9 feet. The last was 3 tsp baking soda and 1 cup vinegar which the average distances was 1.83 feet. The first attempt distance was 2 feet, the second attempt distance was 1.5 feet, and the third distance was 2 feet. After looking at the results it is concluded the mixture of 2 tsp baking soda and 1 cup vinegar would be the most effective mixture to use from a further distance. Whats in a fire extinguisher
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