Higher Chemistry CfE

Higher Chemistry

Some General Information about the course (detailed information further down):

Course outline for CfE Higher Chemistry
SCQF: level 6 (24 SCQF credit points)

Course Content:
Chemical Changes and Structure (Higher)
Nature’s Chemistry (Higher)                   
Chemistry in Society (Higher)               
Researching Chemistry (Higher)

The course assessment has three components:
Question paper 1   Multiple choice 25 marks    40 minutes
Question paper 2   95 marks                              2 hours and 20 minutes
Assignment            20 marks (scaled mark 30)  8 hours

There is an emphasis on experimental techniques and you will carry out an assignment based around an experiment. The final exam is Multi choice for 40 mins then 2 hours 20 minutes of extended answer section.

The CfE Higher Chemistry Data Booklet: Remember to make full use of your data booklet during the exam - there is lots of information in it that can be used!

What you need to know - detail from SQA of the Higher Course Specification - very useful and useful for revision.

BBC Bitesize Revision

Past Papers
Always useful for Revision
Chemcord books
Revision Questions and Answers to Revision Questions for Higher Chemistry are good books and give you lots of practise questions on each topic - see http://chemcord.co.uk/


Photographs of Each Element Periodic Table

A fabulous periodic table to investigate - photographs of each element - definitely take some time to browse this !

Royal Society of Chemistry
Periodic Table - https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/

Bonding in Elements

Low Melting and Boiling Point
Carnation in Liquid Nitrogen experiment:

The Story of the Discovery of Buckminster Fullerene :
Click here to read
and make a model of the 60 Carbon molecule buckminster fullerene - there are gaps for the pentagons in the model - it should look just like a football - click here

Explore 3D structures of Carbon - diamond, graphite, fullerene C60 etc

Graphene - nice short video on here:

The 10 Strongest Materials Known:

Good discussion of the bonding in Graphite here:

Royal Society of Chemistry - Periodic Table Trends

Very good information - very visual - particularly the trends of electronegativity and first ionisation energy are really clear here :

Yet another Excellent Periodic Table to Investigate

This is fabulous and would also take you through into University level Chemistry with all the information on here.

Noble Gases -
Density - periodic table trends

Periodic Table Trends
Including Metallic bonding in Group 1 explanation :

Ionic Radii 
Comparing the sizes of atoms and their ions - look at the image on this page which shows the difference between
  • the elements on the right hand side of the table which form negative ions by gaining electrons, compared to, 
  • the ions on the left side of the table which lose electrons to form positive ions :

Alkali Metals

Watch these Youtube videos of alkali metal reactions then explain what you are seeing using the terms "order of reactivity" "electron shells", "electronegativity" etc



Caesium and Fluorine 

Captured for the first time on television !  The moment when these most opposite of elements react ! Largest difference in electronegativity in the periodic table !

Van der Waals Forces - Intermolecular Forces
LDFs, Dipole to Dipole and Hydrogen Bonding

Viscosity Experiment
Watch this video from 0.53 mins to 5.00 mins:


Behaviour of Water

Water is quite unusual - even though it forms covalent molecules, the bonds within the molecules are polar covalent and this is what leads to an attraction between water molecules which we call Hydrogen bonding. This causes surface tension so you can see globules of water sitting on a desk rather than going flat and you can see a meniscus in a measuring cylinder because of surface tension. But what do you think happens if water is taken into space - how will it behave if you were to wring out a facecloth or washcloth ? Will the surface tension affect it ? See what happens when Chris Hadfield, an astronaut in the International Space Station tried this :

and 36 drops of water on a penny - pretty remarkable behaviour of water - caused by what type of bonding ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O8PuMkiimg from MrTopherProductions YouTube account

Spot the Bonding Exercise - From Royal Society of Chemistry
(keep for Revised Higher as is relevant)
Oxidation and Reducation Displacement reactions
Zinc (the more reactive metal) reacting with Copper Sulphate solution - can you predict what happens when these students add fragments of zinc metal to copper sulphate solution?
- please note this is a crazy video - no way should you do this with batteries but it does give a great result - if he had used less copper sulphate mix what colour would the liquid have ended up as?

Using Aluminium and an electrolyte solution to clean Silver sulfide from silverware https://bearse.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/cleaning-silver-with-redox-reactions/
REDOX - Video about displacement of metal - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MawIDT5DFU ______________________________________

Unit 2 : Nature's Chemistry

Naming Rules - Alkanes - Haloalkanes etc
Follow link

Some information about Esters

Infographic of the fruit flavours you get from the different esters you might have made in your experiment: https://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/infographic-table-of-esters-and-their-smells/

An experiment to make esters :

Fats and Oils

Fats and oils are made up from fatty acids and glycerol
Here is some examples of fatty acids - the main ones you hear about at Higher Chemistry are Oleic Acid and Stearic Acid - see what you can find out about them here :

Hydrogen Bonding
With three different alcohols with different amounts of Hydrogen bonding !


Primary Alcohols/Secondary Alcohols /Aldehydes/Ketones Chart

Aldehydes and Ketones

Tollens Silver Mirror Test for Aldehydes - nice video with clear explanation


Relaxing video of someone making ocean wave swirl soap (no chemistry mentioned!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ3IUEaBN_Y

Here is an excellent resource about reactions of hydrocarbons etc in Unit 2 - Nature's Chemistry
Fill in the blanks

Chemistry of Food

How we Taste and Smell Food - CfE New Higher Chemistry

Flavour molecules

Vanilla / vanillin dissolves in water 9g per litre B.Pt 285 deg C
zingerone (the odour in ginger) dissolves only sparingly in water, B.Pt 141 deg C
The higher GFM of zingerone in combination with the polar side-chain carbonyl group makes zingerone molecules attract each other more strongly than vanillin molecules do. As a result, zingerone is less volatile than vanillin.


New Higher Chemistry CfE - Cooking
Heston Blumenthal explains about cooking Asparagus in Oil or Water in a video here - find out how to cook various vegetables well and the science behind that :

New Higher Chemistry CfE - Emulsifiers
Soy Lecithin - why its important in Chocolate etc.

Emulsifiers in Ice Cream

Emulsifiers and Fats in Ice Cream ! http://www.compoundchem.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ice-Cream-Chemistry.png

Emulsifiers (lecithin in egg yolk) when making mayonnaise
With chef Gordon Ramsay

Stopping Fruit going Brown
A simple food experiment you can even do at home - while making a healthy fruit salad or a smoothie!
Pictures of various foods going brown and some of the chemistry behind it :
Does the lemon inactivate the enzyme ? or is it acting as an anti-oxidant ? Hmm !!

Measuring Vitamin C in fruit or plants experiments - various links
Food / Scents etc - chemistry of molecules 

Background reading about flavourings and food - interesting - though mostly just for interest https://scienceandfooducla.wordpress.com/category/science-food/flavor-of-the-month/

New Higher Chemistry CfE - Terpenes
Spices - flavours and essential oils include cloves, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, limonene, ylang ylang, lavendar, lemon oil

Terpene - Myrcene - the smell of hops in Beer making
and another related terpene involved in beer aroma http://beersensoryscience.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/linalool-fresh-and-floral-hop-aroma/

Cloves and Eugenol - https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/food/extraction-of-eugenol-from-cloves-lesson-plan-for-chemistry-educators/

A quick test on UV, skincare, terpenes, essential oils etc from BBC Bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zchnn39/test

The H2 and Cl2 gases in this test tube start to react when UV light is shone on them - they react with a free radical chain reaction - see what happens in this video:

Unit 3

Might be interesting - I havent watched yet - chemical plant virtual tours ... https://www.abpischools.org.uk/topic/labpilotplant

Atom Economy/Green Chemistry etc worksheet from Royal Society of Chemistry

Reaction Rates

Temperature Effects
Simple experiment with water to show movement of particles in different temperatures:

Visualise particles moving in a smoke cell - would be good to do at different temperatures,,,

Concentration Effects
Clock Reactions 
Good video aimed at teachers but good still to watch - about the reaction between different concentrations of Sodium Thiosulfate and Hydrochloric Acid:

Effect of Temperature on Reaction Rate 

Particle Size
Increasing surface area leads to increased reaction.
An extreme example here with powdered custard ...


Some Industrial Accidents from incorrect handling /storage of flour, custard etc:

Photochemical reactions are speeded up by the presence of light. In these reactions, the light energy helps to supply the activation energy, i.e. it increases the number of particles with energy equal to or greater than the activation energy.
In this video, for example, a mixture of chlorine and hydrogen gases are activated by U.V. light, and a rapid and explosive reaction occurs (chain reaction):   H2(g)   +     Cl2(g)  → 2HCl(g)

Free Radical Chain Reaction between Hydrogen and Chlorine:

And another one - H2 and Cl2 reacting using burning Mg to start them off -https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=103&v=dBF3cfsPPOM&feature=emb_title

Activation Energy etc
Good website with animations

Energy diagrams - good wee animation

Some sample questions - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z3tydxs/revision/1


An easy to understand video explaining the terms "Dynamic Equilibrium" and "Open" and "Closed Systems" :

Effect of Pressure on Equilibrium 
Here is a very short video showing the colour change with pressure on the 
N2O4 (colourless) --->  2NO2 (dark brown) experiment.
High pressure will favour the yellow side and low pressure favours the dark brown side.

A video of three examples of dynamic equilibrium where increase in concentration of reactants, temperature or pressure affect the position of equilibrium.
At the beginning of the video you can find out how adding or removing a reactant H+ affects the position of equilibrium with a dichromate reaction (see page 80 of Bright Red Higher Chemistry book)
At 1 min 45 secs into the video you will see the example of temperature affecting position of equilibrium in N2O4 to NO2 from page 84 of the Success Guide "Higher Chemistry" book (or page 81 in the Bright Red Higher Chemistry Book) :

A further explanation : http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/equilibria/lechatelier.html


Nice Video about Haber Process

This video is quite slow to start with but definitely worth watching to the end :

Very clever sliders to experiment with conditions of temperature and pressure in the Haber process: http://www.sciencepass.com/2011/02/haber-process-including-simulation-and.html#.XHmto-jxLct

Fritz Haber and the Haber Process

Some interesting historical information about the history of Fritz Haber, World War 1, and how the Haber Process, when it was invented, had the potential to be very beneficial or to cause great harm !


some more history - http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=58157

REDOX Reactions

The Thermite Process uses a Redox reaction to lead to molten iron.

The molten iron that is produced is used to fill in the cracks in railway lines as you can see in this video from Sweden:


Further good example of Coursework if you are looking for some different revision examples. Nice layout of questions :


Some Higher Chemistry Interactive Puzzles


Interactive Laboratory

This is very useful at University level or even for Advanced Higher students. It shows interactive diagrams and photographs of laboratory apparatus by the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield and Southampton.
Higher pupils may find the Distillation diagrams useful and interesting.


The Chemistry Olympiad :


I 'm Jen Wilson and I tutor  Chemistry, Biology and Human Biology  at Higher and Advanced Higher  in Scotland.    Tutoring Subjects ...