Metal for Breakfast

Did you know that there are actually tiny bits of metal in the cereal you eat? You probably can’t [Fe]el them or taste them, but there are traces of iron (Fe) in cereal!  It is even possible to extract the iron and turn it into a liquid metal!

What you need:

  • Stirring utensil
  • 1 box of Cereal (100% fortified with iron)
  • Blender
  • Water
  • Magnet

Let’s extract metal from cereal!

  1. Pour an entire box of cereal into a blender and cover.
  2. Blend the cereal until it appears to have a sand-like consistency.
  3. Pour the contents of the blender into a large bowl and add enough water to wet the cereal. Mix well.
  4. Place a strong magnet into the mixture and stir.
  5. Remove the magnet to observe the metal that was collected.

Now let’s make a liquid magnet!

Materials

  • Iron extracts from the cereal
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Strong Magnet
  • Dropper

What to Do

  1. Place the extracted iron from the cereal into a small dish.
  2. Using the dropper, add drops of vegetable oil to the iron extracts until the contents appear  to have the same viscosity as honey.
  3. Have fun! Use the magnet on the outside of the dish to mix, rearrange, or move the substance, your own liquid iron!

Why does this work?

Consuming metal is actually healthy! Foods like cereals however, contain traces of the mineral iron, so we don’t have to eat a bar of metal for breakfast. It is recommended for both children and adults to consume about 10-18 miligrams of iron a day.  Once iron enters the body, it reacts with hydrochloric acid to benefit the hemoglobin molecules in our red blood cells. The hydrochloric acid is required to transform the metallic form of iron into a usable state for the body. When the magnet was placed into the cereal mixture, the iron was attracted because of the alignment of the electrons in the iron atoms, causing a physical change.

To make a liquid magnet, we added vegetable oil to create a substance called Ferrofluid. This substance is a colloidal liquid with a surfactant that holds the iron from the magnet and the oil together. The property surface tension allows the substance to shape shift with the magnet!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: