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Plastic from Milk

Produced by Solar Spark, this activity allows students to make their own plastic from vinegar and milk. Milk contains casein in a form that is soluble in water. Making the milk acidic by adding vinegar makes the casein insoluble so the milk separates into a solid and a liquid known as curds and whey. Removing the water by filtering and drying in an oven leaves the casein as a brittle plastic. Although plastics are often made from polymers obtained from crude oil, polymers do exist naturally and could perhaps be adapted to work in new technologies such as solar cells. This activity can be used to illustrate: * chemical change * properties of materials

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