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How to work with Required Practicals: Part 6 and 7

One of the required practicals you need to revise if studying GCSE Chemistry is all about neutralisation. However, before you start learning all about it – why don’t you find out a little about acids, alkalis and other chemicals in animals.

In the animal kingdom, acid and other irritating chemicals can be extremely useful defence mechanisms. There are many insects which spit out chemicals in some way, one of which is the Bombardier beetle. These small ground beetles are found on every continent except Antarctica. In order to protect itself, this beetle has developed the ability to fire a mixture of boiling, irritating chemicals out of its abdomen. Two glands, containing different chemicals, are located at the tip of the abdomen. If the beetle feels threatened, it mixes these together in a reaction chamber – resulting in an exothermic reaction. Almost instantaneously the boiling chemicals are forced out  the tip of the abdomen, in a series of continuous pulses. You can even hear the pop – and some of them have a very good aim!

Many ant species have a poison gland in their abdomen, where they produce acid. Some species will use stingers to inject acid into their prey, others will spray it instead. One species, the redwood ant, lives in huge colonies, of up to half a million ants. Rather than defending themselves individually, when threatened they act as a team. Thousands of them will spray acid into the air simultaneously. Some ants even drink the acid  in order to kill pathogens in their food. However, it is not only the ants who benefit. Some birds have discovered the acid can help them remove ticks and mites. Therefore, they will deliberately step on the ants to force them to release the acid.

Part 6 includes:

Rates of Reaction, Chromatography, Water Purification

Part 7 includes:

Neutralisation, Identifying Ions

You will find a brief description of what you need to know about each practical, and key questions you may be asked. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
Click below to see the guides.
Required PracticalRequired Practicals 7



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