CO2 experiment for daughter's science fair

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by RickD, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    She has chosen to see what happens to plants when CO2 is added to their environment.

    A little yeast. Some sugar. Five weeks of fun and note taking.

    [​IMG]

    I sure would like to know the concentration of CO2 in that test bucket. Atmospheric is supposed to be around 350ppm. Some web sites suggest 1,500 ppm is great for growing (weed, in many cases :supergrin: ).

    What are some inexpensive methods to measure that?
     
  2. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

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    Im no expert but I am into aquariums. Heres a few that have a co2 pump feeding them.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    They grow pretty green and Pretty fast!!!
     

  3. MooseJaw

    MooseJaw NRA Lifer CLM

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  4. tadbart

    tadbart duuuuude.

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    there are CO2 detectors used in emergency medicine to attach to the breathing tube of a person who has been intubated. but they are just color-change yes/no devices, not measuring devices...
     
  5. bluenoise

    bluenoise

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    Make sure you're purchasing Carbon Offsets for all that evil greenhouse gas!




    j/k :tongueout:


    That's a cool experiment. I don't have anything to offer as per your question, but I enjoy hearing about kids getting involved in science projects and helpful parents. Good luck to your daughter.


    Those are beautiful aquariums, DR. HOUSE.
     
  6. boozer

    boozer

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    Oh! So that's why my neighbor has those tanks of CO2. He told me it was for his herb garden. Thats nice how it makes those plants so green.

    I'll have to ask him for some fresh basil.
     
  7. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    Wow !! That's green.

    Every couple of nights I have her explain her experiment to her friends.

    So far she's got the "plants need CO2 to make sugar." Other things are lost on translation. Tonight she actually told her cousin, "Chlorophyll has a molecule in it that splits water." Dang.

    [​IMG]

    She also remembered about the light cycle and dark cycle.

    Progress. :cool:

    I've also detected that she want's her hypothesis to be proven. When one of her CO2 plants didn't grow faster than the "Air" plants, she was bummed.

    I told her that science is about recording what happens, not taking sides. I told her that we're not only testing the CO2 growth factor, but we're also testing whether this contraption actually works.

    She'll get it, eventually, I guess.
     
  8. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

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    Very nice RickD. I would be proud of her. :supergrin:
     
  9. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

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    Buy a high times magazine. Its amazing what those guys can do with some co2.
     
  10. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    When I googled CO2 and plants, half the hits were aquariums, the other half were pot forums. :upeyes:
     
  11. certifiedfunds

    certifiedfunds Cosmopolitan Bias

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    Those are really beautiful. Nice work.
     
  12. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

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    They are very nice tanks. I cant take the credit for them though. Those are just some examples. Mine are smaller, without co2.
     
  13. hatrix

    hatrix

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    are you sure your daughter isn't secretly making wine?
     
  14. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    All of the internet forums suggest that I'm a loser if I don't drink it in a few weeks.
     
  15. SilverBullet_83

    SilverBullet_83 NRA member

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    remember, when dealing with CO2 in tanks there is going to be some need for more/ higher intensity lighting and fertilizers.

    Dont know how one would go about using CO2 for plants outside the water tho. :wavey:
     
  16. moeman

    moeman

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    You are probably making alcohol... (yeast+sugar...)
     
  17. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    Interesting, I am interested in the results (assuming you think the experiment was useful).

    Do plants grow better with more CO2?
    Would this help balance the CO2 we are producing?
     
  18. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    Yeah, I'd say definitely making alcohol which will probably start to kill the yeast eventually.

    Hmm.... Lots of dead yeast cells plus whatever bacteria takes hold in lukewarm water for 5 weeks. I hope you have her doing this in the garage?
     
  19. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    If you don't mind me chiming in: Yes and sorta. One of the major climate predictions models (about 1.5 yrs ago) was continually overpredicting warming and atmospheric CO2 levels. Long story short, they didn't take into account that warmer/longer growing season plus abundant CO2 makes leafy plants grow faster and take CO2 out of the air faster. If I recall correctly, they also forgot to account for the fact that the US is actually still increasing its forested land since we're still recovering from the clear-cutting which was done as the US was settled.

    Very interesting how every model has a hard time predicting out past a few years. There are a myriad of feedback and feedforward loops which exist in our climate that haven't even been discovered yet.
     
  20. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    It's tough to see in the photo, but underneath the apple juice on that wooden structure is a mini bread pan full of sugar, flour (for protein), water, and yeast with a teaspoon of baking soda for pH buffering. Three more like it in the bottom of the tub.

    There was a light bread smell (along with the rosemary plants), the first few days but we've apparently gotten used to it. Can't smell it anymore.

    The apple juice is frothing nicely and there were two golf ball-sized bubbles on the surface this morning. It should last about three weeks (or until the bubbles stop). Then another jug for the end. I was thinking of buying a small bottle of CO2, but, naaaah.

    I have no idea how much CO2 is being produced, but I think the experiment is lacking something if I don't take a measurement. $25 + shipping for two [CO2] measurements makes me all miffed and stuff.