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Background: Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose, fructose, and galactose and disaccharides include sucrose, lactose, maltose and trehalose. In this experiment, you will discover that the sugar types used will produce a variety of color changes, some quick while others will be slow depending on the concentration of the KMnO4 solution versus the amount of the Liquid Drain cleaner that is used. You could also use more or less sugar to increase or decrease the chemical reaction. More or less of either of those items is up to you.
What’s the SCIENCE BEHIND this experiment? These experiments work because the KMnO4 reacts with the sugar and NaOH in the liquid drain cleaner to form an oxidation-reduction reaction. The manganese dioxide (MnO2) precipitates. If you let the solution sit long enough, the manganese dioxide will sink to the bottom of the flask, leaving you with a clear liquid.