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July 1, 2020

Materials

  • 1 tbsp self-rising flour*
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • A bit of water
  • Food coloring
  • Q-tips (to paint)
  • Cardboard/Thick paper

*Self-rising flour recipe: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt

Procedure

  1. Combine your flour and salt in a bowl
  2. Add water and stir until you get a smooth, thin paste (the consistency of stirred yogurt or cake batter).
  3. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring and mix.
  4. Paint! (using your Q-tips)
  5. When you are finished creating your masterpiece, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

How It Works

Self-rising flour contains baking powder, which is a leavening agent (used in many foods to help rise such as bread, cake, and other baked items). Baking powder has four main components:

  • Bicarbonate soda has lots of CO2 locked up in it
  • Cream of tartar is the acidifying agent (lowers the pH of a substance)
  • Calcium Aluminum Phosphate is another acidifying agent
  • Starch is the drying agent (removes water from a substance). It is usually mixed into baking powder because it keeps the baking powder from reacting too early.

Mixing the self-rising flour and water together results in carbon dioxide (CO2) being released. The cream of tartar in the baking powder and salt increase the amount of carbon dioxide produced.

Baking Powder + Water —mix—> Cream of Tarter becomes Tartaric Acid
Tartaric Acid + Bicarbonate Soda —react—> CO₂ Gas
Sodium Bicarbonate + Salt + Water —react—> CO₂ Gas
Calcium Aluminum Phosphate + Heat ——> CO₂ Gas

Applications

  • Baking
  • Volcano reaction (baking soda + vinegar)
  • Cut grease
  • Deodorizer
  • Boost Laundry Detergent

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