Day 2

Second Day (25 May, Wednesday)
  • What did you do today?
Today we did the extraction and identification of artificial colours from M&Ms. We used wool to extract the artificial colours as wool has a lower pH value so the artificial colours will be able to bind more easily. Firstly, we took a piece of wool and prepare a test tube containing 10ml of 5% acetic acid. We did this 4 times as we are working with 4 colours of M&Ms. We then heated the test tubes in a beaker of boiling water for 5min. Next, we removed the test tubes from water bath and wool from the test tube. We discarded the acetic acid solution, then rinsed the test tubes. We then placed the wool on a paper towel and waited for it to dry. We chose 4 colours of M&Ms and put 5 of each colour into a test tube each. Next, we poured 5% acetic acid solution into test tube until it covered the candies. Next, we placed the test tubes in the boiling water bath until the M&Ms turned white and the colour dissolved. Then, we poured the colouring into another test tube, leaving the chocolates alone.(decanting). Next, we placed the dried pieces of wool into the test tubes of each colour. We heated the tubes in a boiling water bath for 5mins. Next, we removed the wool and rinsed them with deionized water. We let the wool dry on a paper towel. Next, we placed the wool pieces into clean test tubes and added 3ml of 1M aqueous ammonia solution into each test tube. We heated the tubes in a water bath until the colour of the wool had faded. Then, we transferred the solutions into 25ml conical flask and concentrated them on a hot plate. Lastly, we used the different dyes and did chromatography. Then, we did chromatography for each colour dye.

  • What did you learn today?
I learned that:
  1. How to extract artificial colours from M&Ms
  2. How to identify the colours/dyes in each artificial colouring.
  • How do you feel about today’s activities?
The activities done today were really fun as well, but the experiment done today was simpler and more easy to do compared to the experiments done on the previous day. I really enjoyed seeing how the artificial colouring was absorbed into the wool, and the whole experiment was quite fascinating.

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