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Using Greener Gels To Explore Rheology

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Publication details

DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2017
DatePublished (current) - 11 Apr 2017
Issue number4
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)500-504
Early online date20/01/17
Original languageEnglish


A laboratory experiment was developed to investigate the rheological properties of a green calcium-cross-linked alginate gel as an alternative to the traditional borax-cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol) gel. As borax is suspected of damaging fertility and the unborn child, a safe, green alternative is necessary. The rheological properties of a sodium alginate solution were examined as a function of temperature using capillary viscometry. Gelation and degelation processes were followed using rotational viscometry. The non-Newtonian shear-thinning properties were also exemplified by determining the viscosity as a function of spindle speed using the rotational viscometer. Students making the transition from a first- to second-year undergraduate chemistry program within a natural sciences degree have successfully conducted this laboratory experiment.

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© 2017 The American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Colloids, Green Chemistry, Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives, Materials Science, Physical Properties, Polymer Chemistry, Second-Year Undergraduate

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