The juice from an orange peel causes a balloon to pop. When I first saw this effect I immediately thought to myself, “what is the chemistry involved in this experiment?” After quickly searching the web, I found several claims that a compound in orange peels called limonene (Figure 1) is responsible for this effect. Limonene is a hydrocarbon, which means that molecules of limonene are composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Limonene is responsible for the wonderful smell of oranges, and it is a liquid at room temperature.
Last year I came across a link on Twitter regarding an art installation by Roger Hiorns in England titled “Seizure.” Some of you may have seen it too – a condemned flat in London was essentially sealed off and filled with more than 75,000 L of supersaturated copper sulfate solution.
A New Year with a New Volume of Resources The January 2015 issue marks the start of the 92nd volume of the Journal of Chemical Education and is now available online at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/1. This issue features colorful chemistry; using stories and writing to learn; demystifying chemistry literature; cost-effective activities and materials; experimenting with chromatography and natural products.