The Shell Seeker: What is the Quantity of Shell in the Lido di Venezia Sand? A Calibration DRIFTS Experiment

This experiment uses a novel approach to introduce students to the method of standard additions. To approximate the contribution of shell fragments in sand collected from a beach (in this case, from the seashore at Lido di Venezia, Italy). After obtaining DRIFT spectra of the sand and a powdered seashell (a cockleshell in this case), students identify peaks that serve as markers of the shell’s principle component – CaCO3. Students then measure the response for the sand and the sand spiked with known quantities of the powdered shell.

The full citation is here: De Lorenzi Pezzolo, A.  J. Chem. Educ. 2011, 88, 1298–1303 and a link to the article is provided below (subscription to the journal required).

Quantitative Investigations of Biodiesel Fuel

In this experiment students complete four tasks: monitoring the production of biodiesel by a transesterification of a commercial oil; quantifying mixtures of biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel; using a Karl-Fisher titration to determine the impact of water on the quantification of biodiesel; and determining the figures of merit for several IR sampling platforms.

The full citation is here: Ault, A. P.; Pomeroy, R.  J. Chem. Educ. 2012, 89, 243–247 and a link to the article is provided below (subscription to the journal required).