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Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste (Developed by SEPUP)

kit #441S

Students learn that wastes from many industrial processes contain toxic or valuable substances that can sometimes be reclaimed then recycled or disposed of safely. Working in groups, students reclaim copper from a liquid "waste" containing dissolved copper chloride. They measure the effectiveness of three different metal replacement reactions at removing the copper from the "waste". They then compare the effectiveness, cost, and safety information for each replacement reaction and decide which metal would be the best to use for removing the copper from the "waste".


  • Toxic waste is harmful to living organisms and must be disposed of according to strict guidelines
  • Toxic elements can be reclaimed from waste through chemical reactions
  • One property of a metal is its reactivity with other substances
  • Different metals react differently, in some cases replacing one another in solution
  • Identifying and controlling variables is essential to good experimental design
  • Making decisions about complex issues often involves trade-offs

Content List in Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste (Developed by SEPUP) is as follows:

Quantity Description
1 Teacher’s Guide with MSDS
28 Student Worksheets and Guides
13 Chemplates®
12 Aluminum washers
12 Iron washers
12 Zinc washers
6 Waste copper chloride solution, 15-mL drop control bottles
6 Plastic spoons
1 Dropper
1 Transparency: Wastewater Discharge Limits
Recommended number of students
24 maximum per class
Number of groups
6 groups per class
Number of classes
4 (with 6 groups per class)

To complete this kit requires one to two ~50-minute class periods.

Title Item # Price Quantity
Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste 441S $113.25
ADD A GROUP for Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste 441SEL $20.55