Science Video: Chemistry of Easter Egg Dyeing

With millions of eggs about to have their annual encounter with red, green, blue and other dyes this holiday weekend, the American Chemical Society (ACS) today released a new video that will egg people on in discovering the chemistry that underpins the process. The video is at http://www.BytesizeScience.com.

Produced by the ACS Office of Public Affairs, The Chemistry of Egg Dyeing features Diane Bunce, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at The Catholic University of America. Bunce explains, for instance, why vinegar is so important for eggshells to take up dye. Eggshells consist of calcium carbonate, the same chemical that makes up marble chips. But try to dye a white marble chip. No way! So what is it that makes eggshells dye-friendly? The video explains that eggshells have a “protein cuticle,” which reacts with vinegar-based dyes in a way that allows dye to bond to the exterior of the egg. Find out more in the video.

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