Safe handling of gas generating experiments using disposable plastic syringes

Enoch Ming Wei Ng, Zhixiong Song, Chin Doong Yau, Oi Wah Liew, Tuck Wah Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The reaction between hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate to produce carbon dioxide gas is a popular and engaging experiment to illustrate chemical reactions that result in the production of gases. It also provides a useful model for teaching concepts related to the effects of concentration on reaction rates. Although a prepared hydrochloric acid solution is generally diluted from its concentrated stock, it remains corrosive, and any inadvertent physical contact with it can result in harm. In this work, the use of disposable plastic syringes to facilitate the safe conduct of this reaction in experiments is described. The use of an inverted buret to determine the carbon dioxide gas generated more accurately is also depicted. The use of plastic disposable syringes here constitutes an example of applying safer alternatives in experiments. This approach should be pursued where possible, apart from student participation in awareness education, to improve overall safety in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Sep 2020


  • Acids/Bases
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Gases
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Laboratory Instruction

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