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Mixing Sugar and Vinegar

Purpose:  The science of chemistry has long centered around mixing two substances together and observing what happens.  This week Scientific AmeriKen will attempt such and experiment as a high energy carbohydrate is mixed with a volatile acid.

Hypothesis:  If an acid is strong enough to break carbon bonds in the sugar as to isolate solid carbon a violent reaction may be observed.  Therefore it is believed that the mixing of sugar with concentrated acetic acid will result in such a manner.

Equipment:  Needed for this experiment was granulated sugar,  vinegar (left out for several days to allow water to evaporate),  and a test tube.

Procedure:  Place sugar in a test tube and pour a goodly amount of acetic acid into the test tube. Observe any changes over time.

Results:  Immediately after acetic acid was added to the sugar nothing happened.  Nothing continued to happen up until 2 weeks from the start of the experiment. At this point sugar crystals were observed in the test tube.
*Note:  No top was placed on the test tube.

Conclusions:  Based on the result it would appear the the addition of vinegar to sugar did not result in any observable reaction.  The sugar crystals found were most likely a result of a saturated vinegar solution which was slowly being evaporated, causing sugar crystals to fall out. The results therefore refute the hypothesis and provides a sense of security for those freely mixing vinegar with sugar.  Although this experiment provided no notable observations, it demonstrates that not all scientific experiments have to be exciting to provide useful information.


Scientific AmeriKen



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