Try This at Home: Plastic From Milk
A chemical reaction creates products that are chemically different from the reactants.
What You Need
360 mL (1 1/2 cups) milk, preferably skim
20+ mL (4+ teaspoons) vinegar
1 microwavable bowl
What To Do
Make sure you have an adult with you to supervise this experiment.
Pour the milk and vinegar into the bowl. Stir.
Make a hypothesis! What do you think will happen when the milk and vinegar are heated up?
Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Did the mixture separate into a solid part and a liquid part? If the reaction doesn't occur, add a little more vinegar and microwave again.
Strain the liquid from the mixture and rinse the solids with water.
When cool enough to touch, form the solids into a blob and investigate its properties. What does the product feel like? How is it different from the reactants? Was your hypothesis correct?
Clean up. Solids should be discarded, not washed down a drain.
In this chemical reaction, the reactants are casein, a protein found in milk, and the acid in the vinegar. The product formed from this reaction is a type of plastic. Plastics are polymers which are made of many small pieces bonded into long chains. There are many varied types of plastics including Styrofoam, chewing gum, and polyester fabrics.
Chemicals reactions happen inside your body all the time! They help you digest food, keep your body warm, and give you energy.