Pre-camp - 25/5/15


Students will spend half a day on Project 2A and the other half of the day on Project 2B.
Project 2A Title:        Extraction of Caffeine from Beverages
Project Source:
         School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS)
Project Supervisor:  Dr Alessandra BonanniTeacher Advisors:    Mr Ng Guohui <>
Descriptions:Students will learn about caffeine which is a type of alkaloids. Caffeine is a stimulant found naturally in tea, coffee and kola nuts. Other examples of alkaloids include cocaine (a drug of abuse), strychnine (a poison), morphine (a pain killer), piperine (found in black pepper) and quinine (used to treat malaria and added to tonic). Clearly some alkaloids are beneficial and others extremely harmful. In this project, students will learn how to extract caffeine from different beverages.

Project 2B Title:        Extraction and Identification of Artificial Colours
Project Source:
         School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS)
Project Supervisor:  Dr Alessandra Bonanni
Teacher Advisors:    Mr Ng Guohui <>

Some questions:
  • What sounds interesting about this project?
I feel that it could be very interesting,and if possible (but rarely) be applied in real life situations.For example,the knowledge of separating food colouring is useful when working in real life.
  • What do you think you can learn from this project?
I can learn about how much caffeine is in our everyday tea,so I can learn how to avoid them as it sometimes will not be able to make us sleep,thus making us sleep in,causing us to be late for any activity.I can also learn the harmful effects of food colouring so that I will not eat too much food colouring and harm my body.
  • Any immediate questions regarding the project?
As our project is regarding caffeine,one question that came up in my mind is how pure caffeine tastes like and does it react differently from dissolved caffeine.Another question is how the amount of food colouring can harm the body.There may be more questions as I progress through this programme,but I hope to at least answer these 2 questions by the end of the programme

  • Basic research done before programme

Büchner filtration
Solvent extraction

Distillation using a rotary evaporator

Detection using IR Spectrophotometer

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