Chemistry is all around us. It’s even in the great outdoors!
Adventurers, explorers, kids, and kids-at-heart are enjoying their favorite season by spending as much time outside as possible. Let’s see how many ways the industries of chemistry are providing for that summer fun.
Citronella oil, derived from several species of lemongrass, is a popular insect repellent for mosquitoes, stable flies and louse. It’s a must for camping, hiking, outdoor sports, and cookouts!
The ceylon type consists of (18 – 20%) geraniol, (9 – 11%) limonene, (7 – 11%) methyl isoeugenol, (6 – 8%) citronellol and (5 – 15%) citronellal.
If poison ivy creeps into your boot, calamine will become your best friend. Calamine lotion treats itchiness, insect bites, and sunburn. Calamine is a combination of zinc oxide (the astringent) and ferric oxide (the antipruritic or anti-itch). To make the lotion, you add in phenol, carbon hydroxide and other ingredients. Calamine lotion has been used as far back as 1500 BC.
What campfire is complete without roasted marshmallows? You likely never think about the chemical process that makes those ooey gooey treats when you’re enjoying them!
A mixture of gelatin, sugar and water, it undergoes hydrolysis before becoming a spongy treat when the collagen in gelatin comes in contact with water.
Ancient Egyptians are the first known civilization to produce and enjoy marshmallows.
Sleeping Bag Insulation
With advancing technology, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different materials in sleeping bags to accommodate for every season, terrain and comfort level.
Synthetic filled insulation is an economical alternative to down, an also a good option for those opposed to using animal sourced products. Though less compressible, these sleeping bags are better at keeping you warm when wet. They dry quickly and are non-allergenic.
How do they work? These sleeping bags are made of either long or short fill fibers which trap warm air particles between them and create a nice sleeping temperature!
Charcoal is pure carbon. It’s created in low oxygen environment by burning wood until only black lumps and powder remain. This releases all the volatile compounds in the wood like water, methane and hydrogen.
On your grill, ignited charcoal combines with oxygen in the air to form carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water, gases, and a whole lot of energy! It burns steady and hot with not much smoke making a great choice for burgers and dogs!
Stay tuned to LabNotes for more ways to find chemistry outside this summer!