Monday, September 13, 2010

The Properties of Honey

For my chemistry blog, I chose to do honey. Honey is sweet, sticky and everyone knows what it is, but no one really knows what its like. People know that honey can make breakfast more fun and cleaning more messy, but what is it like outside of the culinary arts? 

Physical Properties

  1. Viscosity - Honey has a low viscosity. It is much thicker than water, but besides being sticky, it moves rather quickly.
  2. State - Honey is liquid at room temperature. (What a surprise)
  3. Transparency - Honey is transparent! Though it has a dark shade of color, it is not an opaque liquid.
  4. Color - Honey has a brownish-gold color.
  5. Density - Honey has a density of 1.4 kg/L.
Chemical Properties
  1. Heat - For my first experiment, I decided to test the effects of heat on honey. Below you should see a picture of me attempting to boil honey. notice the lighter colored, opaque, precipitate forming above the honey. When this precipitate formed, the remaining substance had a lower viscosity.   
  2. Flammability - I am sorry to report that honey is NOT flammable. Actually it is barely affected by fire. When I attempted to set honey a blaze, I was unsuccessful. The honey closest to the flame didn't even harden or brown like creme brulee. It just sat there. The most the flame did, was heated it up to have a lower viscosity.
  1. Acid - My next experiment tests the effects of acid on honey. To represent acid I used vinegar from my own kitchen. Yes, vinegar is acidic, but don't worry. You will not die the next time you have tuna. Below you should see a picture of the vinegar I poured into a bowl of honey. Notice how the vinegar is all grouped together. The honey showed no reaction to the vinegar, other than forming a two phased heterogeneous mixture.
  2. Alcohol - I then tested the effects of alcohol on honey and got results similar to that of acid. When I poured the rubbing alcohol into the bowl of honey, I expected some kind of chemical reaction to occur, but to my dismay all that happened was the alcohol resting on top of the honey. Below you shall see a picture of a two phased heterogenous mixture of alcohol and honey.
  3. Windex - For my big finale I decided to test the effects of windex on honey, assuming with so many chemicals in a substance, an interesting reaction was bound to occur. Well the windex certainly beat the alcohol, but I'd have to give the award to Heat for most interesting results. When the windex was poured into the honey, it seemed to makes its way through the honey, as if a crevice was forming. But the honey then closed itself back up, leaving a line as if a scar had formed. It was not as interesting as it sounds. 
(The pictures are arranged in order they are mentioned in the list above)