How to make Carbon Dioxide (The Old-Fashioned Way)

Before bottled gas was delivered, chemists would make their carbon dioxide with a Kipp’s Apparatus.
Dr Samantha Tang (with Neil, of course) dusted off the one stored on Professor Poliakoff’s window sill.

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From the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham:

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Thanks Andres Tretiakov for the bomb bag!


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  1. The chemical bond between cupper and the sulfate is stronger then cupper with carbonate so norhing happens when you lead CO2 through it. Carbonate bond is stronger then hydroxide so it replaced OH by CO3 in the limewater.

  2. Still used at Universidad de Concepción for biochem and chemistry students. Funny enough, the career takes 6 years because we take 13 courses of chemistry and a lot of biochem and clynical chemistry with the necessary enzyme knowlesge of course.

  3. This is such a cool apparatus! I would use this all the time.. Lol. However, it seems like you need a lot of HCl before it fills up enough to reach the CCaO3 in the middle bulb, so when youre done, theres a lot of HCl that gets wasted. Maybe this could be resolved by just filling up the bottom bulb with a bunch of solid material that wouldn't react with the HCl (glass, steel bearings, etc), but merely take up enough volume to help the HCl get up to the CCaO3 in reasonable quantities.

  4. Usually if you want to make carbon dioxide you need the blow hard,s in the senate and congress open a session on global warming . Then when it's done let them fly private jets to their favorite vacation spots !

  5. Well kids, what have we learned today? Be humble, as Professor Poliakoffs, and think by yourself instead of blindly believe in what your adviser says to you. As humans, we all commit mistakes, even our most admired Professors. 🙂

  6. in my opinion sulphur dioxide was generated by the reaction of HCl and CaCO3 – moistened litmus paper would have clearly turned red and not yellow indicating the presence of a stronger acid within the 'gas' than what one would find in CO2 with litmus paper turning yellow! Also precipitation didn't occur in my opinion because both the copper sulphate and lead nitrate are salts (unsure about middle test tube) whereas limewater is not a salt and was able to allow the salt within the SO2 to precipitate!

  7. Used to love Kipps apparatus. We had one at school and also in the first laboratory I worked in a histology lab. Also had them in several schools I worked in later, we also used one for generating hydrogen sulphide.

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