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Chapter: Biology Practicals: Laboratory Equipment

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List of Chemicals - Biology Laboratory Practicals

The following is a list of chemicals you will need in the biology laboratory.

Sources of Chemicals

The following is a list of chemicals you will need in the biology laboratory. For each we note local sources of these chemicals, low cost industrial sources of these chemicals, methods to manufacture these chemicals at your school, and/or functional alternatives to these chemicals. We also list information like other names, common uses, and hazards. Chemicals are generally listed alphabetically by IUPAC name.


Citric Acid

 

IUPAC Name: 2-hydroxypropane-1, 2, 3-tricarboxlyic acid

Formula: C6H8O7 = CH2(COOH)COH(CHOOH)CH2COOH

Local Name: Ndimu ya unga

Description: White crystals soluble in water

Use: All purpose weak acid, manufacture of Benedict's solution

Hazard: Keep out of eyes

Source: Markets, Supermarkets

Copper Sulfate

 

IUPAC Name: Copper (II) Sulphate pentahydrate

Formula: CuSO4

Local Name: Mruturutu

Description: white (anhydrous) or blue (pentahydrate) crystals

Use: Manufacture of Benedict's solution, test for Proteins

Source: Local medicine supply shops

Gentian Violet (GV)

Description: Purple Liquid

Uses: Staining xylem cells

Sources: Pharmacies or hospitals

 

Glucose

Formula: C6H12O6 Description: White powder

Uses: Food test

Sources: Shops or pharmacies

Note: For food tests, the vitamins added to most glucose products will not cause a problem.

 

Iodine

Formula: I2(s) Description: Brown liquid

Uses: Food test for starch and lipids

Sources: Pharmacies Note: Pyrodine iodine tincture without ethanol is the best option. An iodine tincture containing ethanol might not work for some uses.

 

Sodium Carbonate

Formula: Na2CO3

Local name: Soda ash, washing soda 

Description: White powder completely soluble in water

Use: Manufacturing Benedict's solution

Hazard: Caustic, corrosive

Source: Commercial and industrial chemical supply companies or Batik manufacturers

 

Sodium Hydroxide

Formula: NaOH

Local name: Caustic soda

Description: White deliquescent crystals

Uses: Food tests for protein, absorbs carbon dioxide in photosynthesis ex-periments

Hazard: Corrodes metal, burns skin, and can blind if it gets in to the eyes Source: Industrial supply shops, supermarkets, hardware stores (drain cleaner)

 

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

Formula: NaHCO3

Local name: Baking soda Description: White powder

Uses: To add CO2 in photosynthesis experiments

Hazard: Corrodes metal, burns skin, and can blind if it gets in to the eyes Source: Industrial supply shops, supermarkets, hardware stores (drain cleaner)

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