Category Archives: Chemistry Phenomenon

Chemistry Phenomenon: Methane, an Air Pollutant is Flammable

O-Level Chemistry Tuition Class - Methane

Source: Yahoo Singapore News on 28th Jan 2014

KABOOM! Yes, methane is highly flammable!

Balanced Chemical Equation for combustion: CH4(g) + 2O2(g) –> CO2(g) + H2O(g)

Besides that, methane, CH4 is also listed as one of the air pollutants (other common pollutants are: carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, unburnt hydrocarbons and ozone) in our atmosphere.

It is colourless and odourless gas, which is produced when plant and animal matter decay.

Sheep and cows give off methane due to the digestion of food so we will have high concentration of this gas in farming areas.

Methane is also produced from the decay of rubbish in landfills.

Scientists are studying closely the concentration level of methane in our atmosphere because it is a potent greenhouse gas which causes global warming and their levels has doubled over the last 150 years because of human activities like fossil fuel use and intensive farming.

The possible consequences of global warming are:

  • Unusual weather conditions such as warm spells, droughts, unexpected storms, floods and tsunamis
  • A decrease in world-wide crop yields
  • Melting of large quantities of ice in north and south poles which will cause sea levels to rise and flood low-lying countries such as Netherlands and Singapore


Air pollution is tested in the GCE O-Level Chemistry Examination in Singapore and is very common. You can find out more information from the two recommended textbooks in Singapore, namely: Marshall Cavendish Education’s Chemistry Matters and Pearson’s All About Chemistry. Refer to the topic called Atmosphere or Air.

Hope you find the above useful and informative.

PS: Feel free to share it with your friends. Keep Sharing; Keep Learning!


Chemistry Phenomenon: Educational Trip to Northern Vietnam – Nov 2010

Youtube video:

Hello everyone!

I reckoned some of you would have finished your major exams (GCE O-Levels, IP, IB and IGCSE). Congrats! It’s time for your to enjoy your holiday before you embark on the next stage of your academic and knowledge pursuance.

It has been a while since you last hear from me. We (Winners Education Group) just came back from our educational trip to Northern Vietnam (Hanoi City, Sapa and Halong Bay, etc) and we have learned alot about their:

  • Educational system for Primary, Secondary, High School and Universities
  • Educational levels as compared to other developed and developing nations
  • History and Literature
  • Language and Economy

And, of course – i saw several interesting Chemistry Phenomenon – Chemistry reactions and actions that are related to our everyday life!

Halong Bay – an UNESCO World Heritage Site has 2000+ limestone structures that are formed due to the wave and wind erosion of one huge island, over thousands and thousands of years.

Halong Bay - Unesco World Heritage

We also saw villagers selling home-made Corn Wine along the streets! This corn wine has 50% v/v alcohol (ethanol) content!

Tribal Lady selling Corn Wine

And apparently some villagers used it to power and run their cars and motorbikes! Chemistry students! Ready for actions?

Chemistry Phenomenon: Fullerenes as Semi-Conductor Materials for Electronics

Eden Project_Geodosic Domes(Geodesic Domes @ Eden Project in Cornwall. Photo Credit)

In Chemical Bonding chapter of Basic Chemistry Syllabus (O Levels, etc), you have learned about the term Allotropes as well as Macromolecules.

To be more exact, you learned that Allotropes = Compounds with the same element with different structure.

The two examples you learned are Diamond and Graphite, which are Allotropes of Carbon.

Now, i would like to introduce to you another allotrope of carbon that have found so many applications into our daily modern lives. Think of Apple, iPod, iPad, Macbook, iPad, Blackberry, Nokie, smaller and thinner electronics consumable products.

This is FULLERENE. C6o – highly symmetrical spherical football-shaped molecule – which was obtained by firing a powerful laser at a sample of graphite at a temperature of 10, 000 degree Celsius. It was named as Buckminsterfullerene in honour of the architect R. Buckminster Fuller, who used to be the principle of the geodosic dome in many of his buildings.

Fullerene_C60Molecular Model of C60, Fullerene (Photo credit St Stev)

Look at the molecular structure and you will realised that the alternating 5- and 6-membered rings in C60 gives a bonding pattern similar to the struts in a geodosic dome.

In fact, from the point C60 was found and honoured, other fullerenes such as C70, C76, C78, C90, etc has been synthesized and i expect many more to be synthesize to open up more exciting new areas of Chemistry and its application in the modern world.

As stated earlier on, fullerenes found its many application in the semi-conductors industry.

Now, time for you to put on your thinking caps:


Is fullerene a good or non-conductor of electricity? Explain with reference to its structure and bonding properties.

(Clue: Refer to structure and bondings in Graphite (Good Conductor) and Diamond (Non-Conductor))

PS: I would love to hear from you. Think about it and leave your comments below. It is actually very easy. =)