08 Analytical Laboratory

This event is limited to the first 24 entries

2018 Topic: Determination of Caffeine in Energy Shots

OBJECTIVE & BACKGROUND

Energy shots are caffeinated drinks that are being marketed as an alternative to morning coffee or as a pick-me-up.  Many students and workers turn to energy shots promising to give a burst of energy and increase productivity.  In the last 17 years, the growth of energy drinks has increased by 5000% and is a 27.5 billion dollar per year business and growing.

These energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine.  Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant  to aid in alertness, but it also can cause insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations and other negative effects. The objective of this event is to design and test a procedure to extract and measure the amount of caffeine in widely available energy shot beverages.


Materials Provided by NJIT on the Day of the Event:

  • 25 mL of an unknown energy shot beverage.
  • Analytical balances will be provided.*

Materials & Methods Brought by Team to the Competition: 

  • EACH TEAM SHOULD Bring whatever IS NEEDED to perform the experiment.
  • Make sure TO BRING enough deionized water.
  • Students are not permitted to use chloroform or dichloromethane (no chlorine-containing organic solvents permitted).
  • Prior to starting, each team must provide the judges with a typed step-by-step description of the methods they intend to use to address the objective of this experiment.
  • During the competition, students’ product will be weighed by a neutral 3rd party.

INSTRUCTORS NOTES ON SPECIAL SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS:  

  • Laboratory should be supervised by instructor/coach at all times.  
  • Review all procedures for safety concerns.  
  • Teams will be permitted to perform their experiment only if their procedure is approved by the judges in accordance with safety protocols.
  • Safety protocol must be addressed in the team's procedure submitted for evaluation prior to event.
  • Teams must practice procedure prior to event day. Judges reserve the right to dismiss unprepared teams the day of the event.


Required Activity Prior to the Event:

  1. Research, design, and execute a procedure for an extraction of caffeine that can be done without chlorine containing solvents.
  2. You must practice your procedure. Judges may disqualify entrants who are not confident about their procedure, and thus pose a safety risk.  Review, be familiar with and be prepared to follow all safety guidelines associated with your chosen method.
  3. Test your procedure and record three extraction data points of an energy shot of your choosing. Submit these data points in a clearly organized data table and include hand-written calculations of your percent yields and percent errors based on the energy shots you choose. You must include the brand name and the caffeine content from the label on the can/bottle (you may add an image of the bottle/can).
  4. Submit step-by-step description of the methods and safety protocol and recorded tests and calculations to the NJCO Event Coordinator by the deadline indicated in the Requirement Overview (link to follow very soon!).

 

On the Day of the event:   

  • Follow your team's laboratory procedure to collect and record data for a minimum of two trials.
  • Final product will be weighed by a neutral 3rd party on provided analytical balances.  
  • Clean up.


Time Limit:   75 minutes 


JUDGING CRITERIA

  • Description of methods, 30%
  • Description of safety concerns addressed within procedure, 10%
  • Presentation of Data and Calculations, 25%
  • Accuracy of concentrations of caffeine in the sample, 25%
  • Time, 10%

Notes:

  • In the event of a tie, the team that completes this session in the shortest period of time will win the tie.
  • Teams must clean up and remove all materials that they bring to this event and return them to their own schools.  

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BRING (APPROVED) GOGGLES, GLOVES AND APRON OR LAB COAT, AND USE THEM AT ALL TIMES DURING THE COMPETITION.  STUDENTS MUST ADHERE TO BOTH GENERAL LAB SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND THOSE SPECIFIC TO THEIR CHOSEN PROCEDURE.