It's amazing what happens to simple packing peanuts when they come in contact with
the
solvent acetone. They  vanish like magic! Well kinda, what really happens is the
Styrofoam reacts with the solvent illustrating that Styrofoam is made from styrene
molecules loaded with air pockets. When the reaction takes place we have vanishing
Styrofoam or more accurately dissolving Styrofoam. Lets do the Vanishing Styrofoam
Experiment.


Materials
- Styrofoam Packing Peanuts
- Styrofoam cups.
- Glass Bowl
- Acetone Solvent (adult supervision recommended and keep away from flames as
Acetone is flamable).
- Spoon

Watch Video: Vanishing Styrofoam Experiment


















Procedure Vanishing Styrofoam Experiment:

1) Pour your bottle of Acetone into the glass bowl.

2) Take one of two Styrofoam packing peanuts and add them to the bowl.

3) Watch as the packing peanuts vanish before your eyes. Actually they are dissolving
before your eyes.

4) Now lets try more. Take a handful this time and add to the bowl. Use the spoon to
give things a quick stir.




The Science Behind Vanishing Styrofoam Experiment:
Solvents such as acetone can be used to illustrate that polystyrene packaging materials
contain mostly air. The solvent / acetone makes short work of dissolving the polystyrene
body. As that dissolves quickly the
air pockets inside vanish leaving almost nothing of
the original Styrofoam. Notice that only a small amount of residue remains. The
Styrofoam peanuts are dissolving (not melting) in the acetone solvent. We would need a
heat source to melt them. Now go grab some friends and try the Vanishing Styrofoam
Experiment.
Vanishing Styrofoam www.weirdsciencekids.com
Vanishing Styrofoam www.weirdsciencekids.com
Vanishing Styrofoam www.weirdsciencekids.com
Vanishing Styrofoam www.weirdsciencekids.com
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