Though most folks take it for granted, chemistry is everywhere in our daily lives. We tend to think of it only as bottles of powders and liquids in a science lab since that was how we were introduced to the subject. Yet we use chemicals every day without giving it much thought.
The most common chemical in our daily lives is water. It consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Water is also unique because it expands when frozen.
Salt is another chemical which we find in processed foods and in sea water. It consists of one sodium atom and one chlorine atom. The amazing thing about salt is that it’s made of a flammable metal and a poisonous gas. Yet our bodies need it to work properly.
Common table sugar is a more complex molecule, yet we wouldn’t want to live without it. Sugar consists of twelve carbon atoms, twenty-two hydrogen atoms, and eleven oxygen atoms. It’s one carbohydrate which our bodies need as an energy source. It also keeps dentists employed. 🙂
Do you know the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Baking powder is made of one sodium atom, one carbon atom, and three oxygen atoms. Baking powder is actually baking soda with cream of tartar (one potassium atom, four carbon atoms, five hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atoms).
Have you ever used ammonia to clean with? It consists of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms. Though it’s a gas, manufacturers contain it in water for easier use. Some brands of window cleaners use ammonia in their formulas to add grease-cutting ability to the mixture.
Many folks use natural gas to cook their food and heat their homes. This gas is almost pure methane, consisting of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. Some people use propane. which is a byproduct of natural gas.
Vinegar is another common chemical we use daily for cleaning or on salads. It’s basically five percent acetic acid which is three hydrogen atoms, one carbon atom, an oxygen atom, and a molecule of one oxygen and one hydrogen atom. The other 95 percent is water.
I could write so much more but I’m sure this is enough to pique your interest in common household chemicals. It certainly is interesting to learn about these facts. As a child, I loved chemistry and it still fascinates me today.
I mentioned my love of chemistry in my Deliverance from Jericho memoir. This story of my life in a school for the blind is available from the Bruce Atchison’s books page. My memoir about living with house rabbits is also there.
As for my new book called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute both the paperback and e-book versions.