More than 1,000 students attended the 99th annual Engineering Expo at the University of Kansas on February 19. CEBC graduate students used hands-on activities with dry ice and purple cabbage to explain the impact of rising levels of carbon dioxide on the environment.
When purple cabbage is soaked in hot water, pigments in the cabbage turn the water blue. This “juice” dramatically changes color depending on the pH of the liquid. Kids discovered that their exhaled carbon dioxide changes the color of the juice from blue to purple, making it more acidic. This demonstration shows how carbon dioxide can make oceans more acidic and disrupt the growth of plants and animals.
These activities highlight CEBC’s major research efforts to shrink carbon dioxide emissions from high-volume chemical manufacturing processes, such as those used to make the ingredients for plastic.