What color in water will be absorbed by celery the fastest?

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What color in water will be absorbed by celery the fastest?

Postby nspires » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:39 am

My daughter has a science project on the above subject. We have been attempting to research the size of color molecules assuming that the smallest molecules will be absorbed the fastest. We haven't had any luck. Any ideas on other avenues for research? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Project Question: What color dye will be absorbed by celery the fastest
Project Due Date: October 24, 2008
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Re: What color in water will be absorbed by celery the fastest?

Postby ScienceExpert123 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:06 am

Dear nspires,

Thank you for contacting science buddies' ask an expert. Regarding your project, in order to dye/stain (turn the celery another color) you will need to add different solutions with different dyes. Dye solutions are usually composed of water, or some other type of solvent, and different crystals. I don't think that it is possible or is very hard, especially for an elementary school student, to quantify how well celery can be dyed. The only conclusion I could make of this experiment is that celery would turn a different color better if the concentraion of solute (the different colored crystals) to solvent (usually water) was high. Don't worry, there are plenty of other ideas for a science fair. I reccomend that you search science buddies' project ideas section to search for different project questions and experiments.
These are links to science buddies' project idea section:
http://sciencebuddies.org/science-fair- ... deas.shtml
http://sciencebuddies.org/science-fair- ... gister.php

good luck,
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Re: What color in water will be absorbed by celery the fastest?

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:44 am

Hi Nspires,


Science expert 123 has a good point about the celery experiment with food dyes. The problem is that most food dyes are all about the same size, so it is difficult to see any difference in the time it takes for the celery stalks to transport the dye molecule to the top of the stalk. Scientists measure the size of molecules in molecular mass or Daltons. I think this would be an excellent project if you could use molecules of different sizes. Here are some examples that might work:

1. Cobalt II (complexed with 6 water molecules) makes a red solution: 135 Daltons
2. Allura Red: this is the Red Dye # 40 in red food coloring: 496 Daltons
3. Carminic Acid: another red food coloring extracted from insects: 492 Daltons
3. Phycoerythrin: a very large fluorescent red molecule: 240,000 Daltons

The cobalt is somewhat toxic, so you would need to supervise carefully if working with this element or any other colored metal ion.

You would need to obtain the cobalt and phycoerythrin from companies that supply scientific supplies.

You can probably think of other colored molecules to use in this experiment. You can find the size of the molecule by searching for "molecular weight of X."

Your daughter would need to understand the concept of molecule, molecular mass, and transpiration at her level.

I hope this helps.

Donna Hardy
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