- What did you do today?
- Basically,we extracted (almost pure) caffeine from green tea leaves.I was surprised to find out that caffeine was actually white.Some other groups got yellow as well.After extraction and scanned by the IR spectrophotometer,we found out that our group (green tea) actually came pretty close to the pure caffeine!Here is an image of our caffeine powder:
Caffeine powder that is stuck to the walls of the flask
after evaporation in the rotary evaporator
- What did you learn today?
- I learnt about caffeine.I learnt about the different types of caffeine and the harmful effects of it if too much is taken in.It will lead to addiction,headaches,hallucinations and worst case scenario,death.But for you to die from drinking coffee,you must drink 80 cups daily.But no one will drink that many cups of coffee unless they are really addicted to it.Some key concepts from Secondary 1 chemistry are also applied in today's experiment,for example acid + base = salt + water.We had to apply this when mixing calcium carbonate with the freshly 'brewed' green tea,as we wanted to create water and salt because it is easier to separate.
The calcium carbonate mixed with the green tea,giving it a very
light brown colour,similar to milk.
- How do you feel about today’s activities?
- I felt that today's activity was a huge success,although unlucky things happened to me (best not to mention,it is regarding a crow during lunchtime),at least I accomplished something today.I feel that this activity was also very interesting,as it challanges us to think out of the box when performing specific tasks.We also got to handle many machines and chemicals not found in our school.