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Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste

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".

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates 4 classes, each with 6 groups of 4 students
  • Consumables service 96 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP
  • Requires a water source

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Using Chemical Reactions to Reduce Waste

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Scientific Concepts

•Toxic waste is harmful to living organisms and must be disposed of according to strict guidelines.
•One way to reduce the amount of toxic waste is to reclaim toxic elements through metal replacement reactions.
•One property of a metal is its reactivity with other substances. Different metals react differently, in some cases replacing one another in solution.
•Making decisions about complex issues often involves trade-offs. 

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 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

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