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Video Demo: Rainbow pH

This demo comes from Flinn Scientific. Flinn provides a Chem Fax! service, which are free demos that Flinn emails you. This demo demonstrates the changing color of an indicator when pH changes. Here is the procedure:

1. 100 ml of a 0.1 M NaOH solution is added to 350 ml of distilled water in a 500 ml graduated cylinder.
2. 10 ml of universal indicator solution is added, which turns the solution dark purple, indicating a highly basic solution.
3. An Alka-Seltzer tablet is added, which results in carbon dioxide bubble being produced. The carbon dioxide gas causes carbonic acid production, thus lowering the pH (more acidic). The solution starts turning green, then to yellow.
4. When the Alka-Seltzer tablet rises to the top (due to the attached carbon dioxide gas bubbles lowering the tablet’s density), add 10 ml of vinegar to the solution. This will cause a bright red color to be produced at the top, indicating high acidity (low pH).

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