What do I need for a home lab?

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Summary:

I am thinking of starting a home lab (8th grade)
Im in Pakistan if that helps with any regulations
Ok so I am an 8th-grader in Pakistan and I am highly interested in chemistry.
I am also thinking about majoring in chemistry for 9th-grade.
I watched some of NileReds videos about some chemical experiments like the chemical traffic light (chemical oxidization) and others. But I don't know where to even start as I don't have access to a lab in school or near me.
Any help would be appreciated.
cats
 

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  • #2
bob012345
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Summary:: I am thinking of starting a home lab (8th grade)
Im in Pakistan if that helps with any regulations

Ok so I am an 8th-grader in Pakistan and I am highly interested in chemistry.
I am also thinking about majoring in chemistry for 9th-grade.
I watched some of NileReds videos about some chemical experiments like the chemical traffic light (chemical oxidization) and others. But I don't know where to even start as I don't have access to a lab in school or near me.
Any help would be appreciated.
cats
Your teacher would know best. But there are ways to learn and do chemistry experiments virtually now. Here is one such virtual chemistry lab that gives you access to all the tools and chemicals to do experiments without having to buy anything. Sure, it's not the same as physically doing it but it's better that just watching someone do it on a video since you set up and control the experiment. You can immerse yourself in a virtual lab to do almost any experiment. Click on the introductory video to orient yourself and then have fun...

http://www.chemcollective.org/vlab/vlab.php
 
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  • #3
symbolipoint
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Home Chemistry Laboratory?
Earn an undergraduate degree, at least, in Chemical Engineering (preferably) or Chemistry. Be sure to have a room with a lab bench or lab desk; have or install/construct a fume hood with protective sliding up/down door. Be sure the room is equipped with gas, air, and water lines. Place a cabinet in an approvable place to keep hazardous materials or solvents (might need more than one cabinet). Your local authorities may need to conduct an environmental risk analysis. Some important points may have been left out of this posting. Maybe like how will you manage your generated waste?
 
  • #4
bob012345
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Home Chemistry Laboratory?
Earn an undergraduate degree, at least, in Chemical Engineering (preferably) or Chemistry. Be sure to have a room with a lab bench or lab desk; have or install/construct a fume hood with protective sliding up/down door. Be sure the room is equipped with gas, air, and water lines. Place a cabinet in an approvable place to keep hazardous materials or solvents (might need more than one cabinet). Your local authorities may need to conduct an environmental risk analysis. Some important points may have been left out of this posting. Maybe like how will you manage your generated waste?
Are you basically suggesting this student should not experiment outside of school until they graduate college with a chemistry degree?
 
  • #5
berkeman
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Are you basically suggesting this student should not experiment outside of school until they graduate college with a chemistry degree?
I think we are mostly worried about needing an exhaust hood for chemistry experiments when you are that young and inexperienced. I think we are all glad to see such enthusiasm in a young person, so hopefully they can do a more limited setup that will let them get chemistry experience with much less danger. The only times I've used a hood for chemistry stuff is when I'm working with really nasty stuff, so it's a bit worrisome that the OP may want to try some of that stuff right now...

EDIT/ADD -- I think I got my first chemistry set when I was about 10 years old... :smile:
 
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  • #6
TeethWhitener
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@dcybroz Look into a chemistry set if you can afford one. MEL chemistry makes some decent cheaper ones, and Thames & Kosmos makes some good (but somewhat more expensive) sets nowadays. They won't be as exciting as the old school sets (no uranium ore) but there are a good number of sets that aren't completely boring fluff.

The only times I've used a hood for chemistry stuff is when I'm working with really nasty stuff, so it's a bit worrisome that the OP may want to try some of that stuff right now...
Technically, all chemical work is supposed to be done in a hood. Even if you're just dissolving salt in water. If the safety crew at my job sees me working with a liquid outside a hood, I could be fined or terminated and my lab could get shut down. Doesn't matter what liquid.

I'm more worried about instilling chemophobia in impressionable young minds. Attitudes like this:
Home Chemistry Laboratory?
Earn an undergraduate degree, at least, in Chemical Engineering (preferably) or Chemistry. Be sure to have a room with a lab bench or lab desk; have or install/construct a fume hood with protective sliding up/down door. Be sure the room is equipped with gas, air, and water lines. Place a cabinet in an approvable place to keep hazardous materials or solvents (might need more than one cabinet). Your local authorities may need to conduct an environmental risk analysis. Some important points may have been left out of this posting. Maybe like how will you manage your generated waste?
are ridiculous. It's like saying you need an electrical engineering degree before you can tinker with electronics. After all, in the US only 30-50 fatalities occur from chemical inhalations per year (source), while 400 electrocution deaths occur per year (source). All it does is scare kids away from chemistry. It's like parents telling their kids how much they hated math in school.
 
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  • #7
berkeman
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I'm more worried about instilling chemophobia in impressionable young minds. Attitudes like this:
are ridiculous. It's like saying you need an electrical engineering degree before you can tinker with electronics. After all, in the US only 30-50 fatalities occur from chemical inhalations per year (source), while 400 electrocution deaths occur per year (source). All it does is scare kids away from chemistry. It's like parents telling their kids how much they hated math in school.
No, I think @symbolipoint agrees with what I posted (and that's based on PMs between us). I think we both agree that encouraging young folks' interest in STEM is a great thing, but we are both worried about safety issues surrounding such a young learner and his desire to install a fume hood for chem experiments in his home.

Please consider this EE analogy: "I am a young person interested in electricity and electronics. I'd like to do some experimenting in my home with designing my own CRT monitor from scratch. I'd like to learn more about how to plug into the AC mains outlet and generate the 25kV that I need to drive my home-made CRT. I do have glass blowing experience, but I need advice for the other aspects of my project. I hope to submit it as my 8th grade science fair project next year. Thanks."

I think you know how the Mentors would react to that type of post.

Again, my reaction may be based on the fact that the only times that I've needed to use a chem hood were when I was using *very* dangerous stuff. As a working chemist, I can understand your professional procedure of using a hood under many circumstances as a habit -- that seems like a good policy. I've had rubber protective gloves dissolve as I've tried to use chemicals under a hood though, so "hood" and "danger" kind of go together for me... o0)
 
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  • #8
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I would add that the first most important on a safety items is protective eye wear.
One can at least "run" away from fumes, but not from an exploding test tube.
 
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  • #9
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First off I would just like to thank everyone for feedback on my post. I would look into some chemistry kits as soon as possible because as my dad says 'if it's for science or school, then sure do it.' also I do tinker with electronics and actually have done successful electroplating. I have also been shocked by 220v dc (it's not as bad as you think) I was talking to my grandma. I told her about getting premises to make a lab in. She said that if I have an interest she would take me for a tour of a chemistry university in Karachi and maybe get me some equipment and premises to work in.

I am not an idiot just because I'm in 8th grade. I know for most of these chemicals like fuming acids or hcl even you definitely need a fume hood. It's just that I can't get one due to cost. I mean these things are like thousands of dollars! And that's just the fume hood. Things like hot plates, heating mantles, and chemicals are easy to get where I am. This site (https://www.homesciencetools.com/chemistry/chemicals/) also ships to Pakistan and has (what I believe) are very good prices.
 
  • #10
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NileBlue made a good video on this.

Chemistry, like all other things, have a learning curve. At college, you will have to formulate a laboratory manual for every independent experiment you do. I suggest doing the same (in greatest detail possible) for anything you do and get it cleared by people who know what they are doing.

Edit: Also, don't even consider making drugs or explosives. The precursors are usually dangerous and the process can be really dangerous, not to mention that the end products are usually dangerous and illegal. I'm saying this because I was also a teenager who wanted to do this at a point.
 
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  • #11
256bits
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I have also been shocked by 220v dc (it's not as bad as you think)
Au contraire, it is as bad as I think.
If you were lucky enough once to not have had as bad an experience that 220 v can deliver, the second time ( let's just hope there is no second time ).

Put that experience down as " I will give safety the utmost importance and perform with diligence so as to not harm myself or anyone else"

There is a saying in carpentry
Measure twice.
Cut once.

I would recommend you first try with household mixing of reactants found at home first and become adept at that measuring quantities correctly and accurately, recording the reactions, and hone that first before moving on to more potent chemicals.
You have lots right there
vinegar
baking soda
ammonia
bleach
table salt
oil(s)
water
protein
sugar
soap
gelatin
lemon juice
...
And some of those are toxic, even if they are readily available, and widely used.
Chemistry is not just about making flashes and smoke, or stinky smells, and the ohh, aww.

Take for example the oils in your kitchen.
Lots to do there.
Which oil is lighter than the other, and will float on the top.
Why.
What is its density, and how do I find out.
At what temperature, when heated does the oil start smoking.
Is wax more dense then the liquid oil.
if you really get into it, that would take you months of experimentation.

Get some litmus paper and check items for acidity or alkalinity.
Is tea or coffee an acid or a base.
What about other beverages, lemon juice, milk, tap water.


You really don't have to go out and buy stuff right off the mark.
As @Mayhem mentioned keep records of everything you do, for future re-consideration.

Also,
Check the MSDS of each chemical you will be using.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet
Sometimes they go overboard will the hazard relevant to certain chemicals, but at least the information does give one a sense of what to do for spills and proper handling as per the manufacturer.
 
  • #12
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Ok I see your point, HOWEVER, I do not have access to most of these things here such as
vinegar
baking soda
ammonia
bleach
protein
Also for religious reasons, I cannot use gelatine
Also seriously I am not a child anymore and do not want to be treated as such.
I have taken basic chemistry courses and am well familiar with density and such.
I will buy some litmus paper but that could take a week or so due to customs and shipping
Thank you
-dcybroz
 
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  • #13
Vanadium 50
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Also seriously I am not a child anymore
so I am an 8th-grader in Pakistan
Which is it? Or is 14 years old the age of adulthood in Pakistan?

If you don't have access to something as innocuous as vinegar, what do you need with a fume hood?
 
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  • #14
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Ok, I do have access to vinegar but not currently. I have to go buy it. Also yes 14 is the age of adulthood in Pakistan. Also its the age of adulthood in Islam. Also, what is a good way to get single chemicals from home chemicals?
 
  • #15
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NileBlue made a good video on this.

Chemistry, like all other things, have a learning curve. At college, you will have to formulate a laboratory manual for every independent experiment you do. I suggest doing the same (in greatest detail possible) for anything you do and get it cleared by people who know what they are doing.

Edit: Also, don't even consider making drugs or explosives. The precursors are usually dangerous and the process can be really dangerous, not to mention that the end products are usually dangerous and illegal. I'm saying this because I was also a teenager who wanted to do this at a point.
Ok first off I absolutely do not consider making drugs or explosives because I am Muslim and those are very bad in my religion. So I apply religion to chemistry
 
  • #16
symbolipoint
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A quick internet search and checking in Wikipedia, if this can be trusted, says that the age for adulthood in Pakistan is 18 (for MALES, only) or for females, 16.
 
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Ok NO, that cannot be trusted because firstly I don't trust Wikipedia for anything. Secondly just because the government said you need to be 18 to do these things in Pakistan is complete nonsense. They don't follow their own rules and you can literally do anything. Also, the age of adulthood in Islam is around 13-14. also today I and my cousin wanted to try our 'first' experiment known as the pharaohs snake. Nothing too crazy just sodium bicarbonate and sugar. so i guess what we learned is Wikipedia is an awful source for info and should be removed asap.
 
  • #18
symbolipoint
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that cannot be trusted because firstly I don't trust Wikipedia for anything.
so i guess what we learned is Wikipedia is an awful source for info and
Not surprising, since many people give reminders that Wikipedia should not be used as a primary, authoritative informational source.
 
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Not surprising, since many people give reminders that Wikipedia should not be used as a primary, authoritative informational source.
Yes. I completely agree.
 
  • #20
Dr. Courtney
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Both my sons took an online chemistry course through a local college a few years back. The lab portion of the course was completed in an area of the basement. It was the first two semesters of a "General Chemistry" course for science majors. They had a kit we ordered with all the needed supplies for the planned experiments.

I also designed a high school physical science lab series intended for home use that included a number of chemistry experiments.

But the main thing a student needs for at home chemistry experiments is expert guidance - which my sons had through their online chemistry professors and which I provided through the relatively simple experiments in my video lab series.
 
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So are there any good online courses I can take in these trying times?
 
  • #22
Dr. Courtney
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So are there any good online courses I can take in these trying times?
The ones I know of are offered by US colleges and universities and require 1) admission to the school 2) normal tuition costs 3) purchase of the lab kit for several hundred dollars.

You're probably looking for an online chemistry lab course that is 1) available to an 8th grader in your home country 2) free and 3) requires minimal materials costs with supplies that are easy for you to get. That's a tough ask.
 
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  • #23
DrDu
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I had my own home lab as a teenager and studied chemistry afterwards. So I am very supportive of doing experiments at home. Basic ingredients are safety googles and the advice to never ever do pipetting by mouth.
Instead of starting to set up an all pupose laboratory, I would rather recommend to look for a project and then consider what you need to perform it. In university, you usually begin with inorganic chemistry qualitative analysis. E.g., you could try to get some minerals and try to determine their composition.
 
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  • #24
DrDu
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Also for religious reasons, I cannot use gelatine
Come on, there's also halal gelatine from cattle.
 
  • #25
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Come on, there's also halal gelatine from cattle.
Are you also a Muslim? Also, the Halal status is debated. If it's not cut in God's name then it's not halal.
 

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