20 Ideas for your IB Chemistry: Peak Study Resources

IB Pros Blog
February 23, 2024
20 Ideas for your IB Chemistry: Peak Study Resources

You are at the end of your chemical internal assessment (IA) phase. As much as most IB chemistry students you find this challenge hard. You have a great passion for your job. B. It's feasible if you have enough time available. I'm sure this will give you some inspiration for chemistry. Please check the following 20 IB Chemistry IA ideas. These ideas came from the textbook Chemist Internal Assessment Standard (A.M.) & higher level which was written by veteran instructor David Allen.

What is IB in chemistry?

IB Chemistry

IB Chemistry is a practical discipline in organic chemistry which is important for experimental sciences. The method is based on investigating structure, composition, molecular structure, chemical properties, and interactions between a compound with others and with other components of a compound.

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How do you write an IB Chem IA?

This nine-part Chemistry IA test checklist is for completing papers. Candidates numbers. Write your candidate numbers on every page of your IA. ... Investigating title. ... Research prompts & background information. . Introductions, paragraphs. ... Explore hypotheses. ... The method (the process of implementation). Analyses for investigations. ... Bring out the conclusions.

What are the criteria for IB chemistry SL IA?

Those five criteria describe personal interaction, exploration external assessment, evaluation, and communication.

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IB chemistry IA Help

IB Chemistry IA

Need Help with an IA in Chemistry? Trying to decide on a subject for your IB Chemistry IA when you only have access to a school lab and a short deadline might be challenging. In order to avoid complications while still allowing for an in-depth investigation that will secure those personal engagement marks, the best IAs typically take a simple method and explore it from a unique perspective. Check out the samples of IA themes that are guaranteed to meet or exceed the IA standards that follow!

Is IB chemistry hard?

Chemical HL is a popular science subject for students and has been widely known as challenging as it is recognized by universities.

How difficult is IB chemistry SL?

IB Chemistry SL ranks above the IB Class. If you've learned science, then no problem studying IB Chemistry. The Chemistry IB course is very difficult unless you've struggled to study science.

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Is Online Tutoring Effective?

Is The IB Program Worth It

Life After IB

Mastering IB Maths: Unlocking Your Potential

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Chemical Kinetics

Calculation of energy in chemical reactions. Examine PKas from many natural indicators. Hydrolysis for aspirin - research. Analyses the underlying conditions that cause Lipase degeneration. Test various chemical reactions with a spectroscopy machine. Investigate how fat stability is measured with unsaturated fat products. Discover common reactions with Williamson Ether Synthesis. Investigating the product nitration of different aromatic substances using Infra-Resolution spectroscopy.

Special 20 Ideas for IB Chemistry ias for you

The following examples will introduce a fundamental experimental principle and then provide guidance on how to modify the experiment or approach it from a new angle. Find topics that you can relate to a part of your life or an interest of yours to meet the personal engagement requirement.

If you’re interested in getting additional support for your IA, we have a team of Chemistry IA tutors that can help you plan, structure and execute your assignment.

Solving the Mystery of an Unknown Salt's Molecular Formula


Thermal breakdown processes and redox titrations may be used to determine the molecular formula of an unknown hydrated salt.
To determine which produces more reliable results, you could examine both of these approaches side by side.
Another option for testing the derived formula is to vary the reaction circumstances. Altering the titration temperature, or increasing the thermal decomposition reaction temperature or duration, are two such examples.


VSEPR theory predicts the shape and bond angles of molecules depending on the number of bonding and non-bonding pairs of electrons around the central atom. However, it does not account for the influence of the identities of the atoms and groups attached to the central atom.


The form and bond angles of a molecule might be studied in relation to the atoms and groups that surround the center atom. Is there a correlation, say, between the size of the alkyl group attached to the central atom and the resulting effect?
This website allows you to model and measure the angles of molecules, and it’s free to use!
Analysis of Bond Enthalpy Database Trends


When considering gaseous molecules, the enthalpy of a bond is defined as the average amount of energy needed to break one mole of the bond. It is the nature of the other bonds in a molecule that determines its bond enthalpy value.


You might look at why and how a bond's enthalpy value changes based on the molecule as a whole. How does the C-H bond enthalpy change with alkane length, for instance?
The variation in bond length between molecules of the same type could also be studied. You could examine the relationship between bond enthalpy and bond length. Can you describe your relationship type?

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If you want accurate results, you need to find databases that are both reliable and comprehensive. Another alternative would be a modelling program or website that can give you the bond enthalpy/length for individual bonds inside a molecule.
Fuels' relative energy density


A calorimeter is used to compare the energy density of various fuels. The quantity of heat energy delivered to the fluid in the calorimeter may be used to calculate the enthalpy of combustion for various fuels in an experiment.
It is possible to compare the energy density of various fuels. What causes the enthalpy of combustion to vary with carbon chain length in a homologous sequence, and how, is an example. Alternatively, how does the nature of the intermolecular bonds of a fuel influence the enthalpy of combustion?
Calorie counts in food and drink may also be determined with the use of a calorimeter. You might examine the effects of cooking and preparation procedures on calorie content, comparing the experimental results with the real values.
Rate of Reaction as a Function of Reactant Concentration and Pressure


The rate of a chemical reaction increases as the number of collisions between reacting particles increases, which happens when the concentration of a reactant (or the pressure of a gaseous reactant) is raised. The amount to which the rate rises relies on the sequence of reaction with regard to each component.
The rate expression and the rate constant for a reaction may be calculated by increasing the concentration of the reactants and observing the impact on the rate. Additionally, a reaction mechanism for the reaction might be predicted and checked against previous research.
There are many different techniques to assess the rate of reaction based on the individual reaction. Changes in mass, gaseous output, solution color, pH, and conductivity are just a few examples. Here we see how a change in mass can be used as a proxy for the rate of a reaction.


How a Reagent's Surface Area Affects Its Reaction Rate


Having more particles in touch with one other at once increases the rate of reaction for solid reactants, and hence the surface area.


You might explore the link between surface area of a reactant and the rate of reaction.
Given that catalysts have a role in influencing the pace at which reactions proceed, it stands to reason that increasing the surface area of solid catalysts would have the same effect. The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is catalysed by the enzyme catalase, which is found in potatoes. Is it possible that the rate of reaction depends on how the potato is sliced or mashed?
Changes in Reaction Rate as a Function of Temperature


Because particles with higher temperatures collide more often and more forcefully, the rate of reaction rises with temperature.
You could look into whether there is an optimal temperature for a reaction, and how the rate of reaction increases with temperature. The denatured temperature of an enzyme may be determined for processes catalyzed by that enzyme.

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Finding the Activation Energy of a Reaction


The activation energy for a process might be determined by examining how its rate changes as the temperature rises. Finding this value is as simple as plotting 1/Temperature against the natural log of the rate constant (k) and calculating the gradient. More information about this is provided below.
The activation energy for a catalysed versus an uncatalyzed reaction can be compared, to see by how much the catalyst lowers the activation energy. One could, for instance, inquire as to the extent to which urea hydrolysis into ammonia and carbon dioxide is facilitated by the enzyme urease. Urea is a common fertilizer because the enzyme urea synthetase is present in most soils.


How Effective Are Tablets for Indigestion?


Tablets for indigestion, which are used when stomach acid causes discomfort, work by neutralizing this acid. A simple acid-base titration may provide light on this. The crushed up indigestion tablet solution is titrated with hydrochloric acid to calculate how much acid the tablet can neutralise, as can be seen here.
Indigestion tablets come in a variety of brands, each with its own unique combination of active components.
Fermented foods and beverages, including sauerkraut and kombucha, may also be tested for acidity using acid-base titrations. You could investigate how factors such as the length of fermentation affects the pH of the substance.

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Iron Tablet Iron Content Calculation


Lots of people are anaemic and have to take iron tablets as a result. A redox titration can be done to see how much potassium manganate(VII) solution is needed to titrate a solution of crushed up iron tablets, and therefore work out how much iron there is in the tablets. This is an example of a redox reaction as the iron ions are oxidised and the potassium manganate(VII) solution is reduced. Detailed directions for the experiment may be found here.
You might compare the experimental value with the advertised value, and look at other brands of iron pill.


Calculating the quantity of Iodine in Iodinated salt


The manufacture of thyroid hormones is critical for metabolic regulation, and iodine in the diet plays a key role in this process. In this redox titration, iodine is reduced to iodide ions by titrating with a sodium thiosulfate solution, allowing the iodine content in the iodinated salt to be determined.
You might investigate various salts and sources, conducting experiments to verify the claimed properties.
Does the iodine released from the salt depend on the temperature at which the titration is performed?

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Read More About: IB Chemistry IA (Internal Assessment)


Vitamin C Content Evaluation of Commonly Consumed Items


Determining the vitamin C concentration in food and drink is another use of redox titration. When iodine solution is added to a solution whose vitamin C concentration is unknown, a redox reaction occurs, oxidizing the vitamin C and reducing the iodine to iodide ions. It is possible to calculate the vitamin content by comparing the quantity of iodine solution needed for full oxidation of the vitamin C to the given amounts. This page contains a more detailed procedure.
Vitamin C may be found in a variety of forms, from pills to orange juice to whole foods.
It has been reported that the vitamin C content of vegetables changes depending on how long they are cooked for and what method of cooking is used; this could be explored further.


Factors influencing Electroplating


Electroplating is a method of using electrolysis to deposit a thin coating of metal onto a metal item by reducing metal cations in solution with an electric current. Its primary functions are aesthetic or defensive. This article explains how to do a simple electroplating experiment.
You might look at the effects of voltage, electrolyte concentration, metal ion charge in solution, and current duration on the thickness of the resulting metal layer.

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Read More About: Best IB Chemistry IA Ideas


Polarimetric Analysis of Isomerism


A polarimeter is a tool for determining the degree to which an optically active fluid rotates polarized light. The degree of rotation may be used to compute the concentrations of solutions.
For instance, the catalyzed decomposition of sucrose into glucose and fructose is an optically active reaction whose kinetics could be studied with polarimetry. You could look into the effects of changing the temperature or the concentration of the products or the catalyst on the reaction rate.


For example, glucose and lactose are two forms of the same anomer that coexist in an interconvertible equilibrium. Since the change in equilibrium causes a change in the optical rotation termed mutarotation, polarimetry might be used to learn how temperature influences the constant of equilibrium between the two forms. In this study, the authors investigate the dynamics of glucose mutarotation.

Read More About: IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK)


Making a Chemical from Nothing


If there is a certain chemical of interest to you, you may be able to create it via laboratory synthesis. You might try your hand at medical chemistry by synthesizing common pain relievers like aspirin and paracetamol.


The percentage yield might then be calculated by comparing the experimental yield to the predicted value.


As one of your independent activity options for IB Chemistry, you may look into how changing variables like temperature or heating technique affects the outcome of the experiment.


Influences on the Saponification Process



Fat, oil, or lipids can be saponified to produce soap, the salt of a fatty acid. The reaction needs both heat and aqueous alkali to take place.
You could look into how various variables affect soap production yield. The alkali concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time are all variables that could affect the saponification process.


The'saponification values' of various fats is another option. An indicator of the relative molecular masses of fats, this is the amount of base needed to saponify a fat sample.
This reference provides an explanation of saponification and various methods for evaluating soap quality.

Read More About: Understanding IB TOK Essay and How to Write It


Colorimetric Analysis of Soil



Plants need phosphorus for the biosynthesis of amino acids and, by extension, proteins. Phosphate interacts with ammonium molybdate to generate a colored complex, and this reaction may be used to quantify the phosphate content of soil samples. The phosphate concentration can be determined by the degree of discoloration of the resulting solution.
The quality of the soil may be studied over a transect, or soil from several brands could be sampled and compared.


Experiments may also be used to detect other crucial components in soil, such nitrogen and iron.


Mineral Content Analysis


Water, milk, and other liquids and solids may all be analyzed for their calcium and magnesium levels using complexometric titration with EDTA.


Water hardness may also be measured by complexometric titration, allowing you to compare the mineral content of various brands of water or see whether the hardness of water changes with temperature or pH.

Read More About: Overview of the IB Spanish Program


Finding the Percentage of Oxygen in Water


The oxygen concentration of water in lakes or reservoirs may be determined using the Winkler technique, which is detailed here. Sodium thiosulfate is used in a redox titration to accomplish this.
Water quality is quantified by the biological oxygen demand (BOD), which can be determined by monitoring oxygen levels for five days.


Possible topics for your IB Chemistry Independent Investigation include the relationship between oxygen concentration and temperature, pH, or salinity.
Formulation and Characterization of Pigments and Colorants


Industrial applications for pigments include the coloring of textiles and personal care items like makeup and clothing. Alternatively, dyes can be transformed into pigments through precipitation with a metallic salt, despite their liquified or soluble states.


It is possible to create certain pigments and dyes in a lab. You could look into how variables like temperature and pH influence the pigment color or reaction yield.
The pigment curcumin in turmeric, for example, changes color at specific pH levels and can thus be used as an indicator. Using spectrophotometry, you can calculate the pKa and pH tolerance of natural indicators.


Paper or thin layer chromatography might also be used to examine the pigments present in specific commodities like cosmetics or colored meals.
We appreciate you taking the time to browse our IB Chemistry IA examples; we hope they will serve as a springboard for your own work.

We have a staff of Chemistry instructors available to assist you with your IA in every way, from brainstorming and outlining to proofreading and editing. Click here to see them if you're interested.


Need Help with an IA in Chemistry? Trying to decide on a subject for your IB Chemistry IA when you only have access to a school lab and a short deadline might be challenging. In order to avoid complications while still allowing for an in-depth investigation that will secure those personal engagement marks, the best IAs typically take a simple method and explore it from a unique perspective. Check out the samples of IA themes that are guaranteed to meet or exceed the IA standards that follow!

The following examples will introduce a fundamental experimental principle and then provide guidance on how to modify the experiment or approach it from a new angle. Find themes that you can relate to a portion of your life or an interest of yours to meet the personal involvement requirement.

If you’re interested in gaining further guidance for your IA, we have a team of Chemistry IA tutors who can help you organize, arrange and execute your assignment. Have a look at them by clicking here!

Solving the Mystery of an Unknown Salt's Molecular Formula


Thermal breakdown processes and redox titrations may be used to determine the molecular formula of an unknown hydrated salt.
To determine which produces more reliable results, you may examine each of these approaches side by side.
Another option for testing the derived formula is to vary the reaction circumstances. Altering the titration temperature, or increasing the thermal decomposition reaction temperature or duration, are two such examples.
Validation of the VSEPR Hypothesis (Computational Simulation)


The number of bonding and non-bonding pairs of electrons around the central atom may be used by VSEPR theory to predict the shape and bond angles of molecules. However, it does not account for the influence of the identities of the atoms and groups linked to the central atom.
The form and bond angles of a molecule might be studied in relation to the atoms and groups that surround the center atom. Is there a correlation, say, between the size of the alkyl group linked to the central atom and the resulting effect?
You may use this site to model molecules and get accurate angle measurements without spending a dime.


Analysis of Bond Enthalpy Database Trends


When considering gaseous molecules, the enthalpy of a bond is defined as the average amount of energy needed to break one mole of the bond. It is the nature of the other bonds in a molecule that determines its bond enthalpy value.
You might look at why and how a bond's enthalpy value changes based on the molecule as a whole. How does the C-H bond enthalpy change with alkane length, for instance?
The variation in bond length between molecules of the same kind might also be studied. You could examine the relationship between bond enthalpy and bond length. Can you describe your relationship type?
If you want accurate results, you need to find databases that are both reliable and comprehensive. The bond enthalpy and bond length of individual bonds inside a molecule may also be determined with the help of molecular modeling software or a website.


Fuels' relative energy density



A calorimeter is used to compare the energy density of various fuels. The quantity of heat energy delivered to the fluid in the calorimeter may be used to calculate the enthalpy of combustion for various fuels in an experiment.
It is possible to compare the energy density of various fuels. What causes the enthalpy of combustion to vary with carbon chain length in a homologous sequence, and how, is an example. Alternatively, how does the nature of the intermolecular bonds of a fuel influence the enthalpy of combustion?
Calorie counts in food and drink may also be determined with the use of a calorimeter. You might examine the effects of cooking and preparation procedures on calorie content, comparing the experimental results with the real values.


Rate of Reaction as a Function of Reactant Concentration and Pressure



The rate of a chemical reaction increases as the number of collisions between reacting particles increases, which happens when the concentration of a reactant (or the pressure of a gaseous reactant) is raised. How much of a boost in rate may be expected is determined by the relative order of each component in the reaction.
The rate expression and the rate constant for a reaction may be calculated by increasing the concentration of the reactants and observing the impact on the rate. Additionally, a reaction mechanism for the reaction might be predicted and checked against previous research.
The rate of a reaction can be measured in a variety of ways, each optimized for a specific type of reaction. Changes in mass, gaseous output, solution color, pH, and conductivity are just a few examples. Here we see how a change in mass can be used as a proxy for the rate of a reaction.


How a Reagent's Surface Area Affects Its Reaction Rate


Having more particles in touch with one other at once increases the rate of reaction for solid reactants, and hence the surface area.
The surface area of a reactant could be studied in relation to the reaction rate.
Given that catalysts have a role in influencing the pace at which reactions proceed, it stands to reason that increasing the surface area of solid catalysts would have the same effect. Catalase is an enzyme found in potatoes that catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Is it possible that the rate of reaction depends on how the potato is sliced or mashed?
Changes in Reaction Rate as a Function of Temperature


Because particles with higher temperatures collide more often and more forcefully, the rate of reaction rises with temperature.
You may look at if there is an optimal temperature for a reaction, and how the rate of reaction rises with temperature. The denatured temperature of an enzyme may be determined for processes catalyzed by that enzyme.
Determining the Reaction's Activation Energy


The activation energy for a process might be determined by examining how its rate changes as the temperature rises. Finding this value is as simple as plotting 1/Temperature against the natural log of the rate constant (k) and calculating the gradient. More information about this is provided below.
Catalyzed reactions can have their activation energies compared to those of uncatalyzed reactions to determine how much of a reduction the catalyst provides. One may, for instance, inquire as to the extent to which urea breakdown into ammonia and carbon dioxide is facilitated by the enzyme urease. Urea is a common fertilizer because the enzyme urea synthetase is present in most soils.


How Effective Are Tablets for Indigestion?


Tablets for indigestion, which are used when stomach acid causes discomfort, work by neutralizing this acid. A simple acid-base titration may provide light on this. Here, the solution of crushed indigestion tablets is titrated with hydrochloric acid to see how much acid it can neutralize.
Indigestion tablets come in a variety of brands, each with its own unique combination of active components.
Fermented foods and beverages, including sauerkraut and kombucha, may also be tested for acidity using acid-base titrations. Consider looking at how fermentation time impacts the final product's acidity level.


Iron Tablet Iron Content Calculation


Many individuals need to take iron supplements because they suffer from anemia. The amount of iron in crushed iron tablets may be determined by performing a redox titration to determine how much potassium manganate(VII) solution is required to titrate the solution. This is an example of a redox reaction as the iron ions are oxidised and the potassium manganate(VII) solution is reduced. Detailed directions for the experiment may be found here.
You might compare the experimental value with the advertised value, and look at other brands of iron pill.


How Much Iodine Is in Iodinated Salt?


The manufacture of thyroid hormones is critical for metabolic regulation, and iodine in the diet plays a key role in this process. In this redox titration, iodine is reduced to iodide ions by titrating with a sodium thiosulfate solution, allowing the iodine content in the iodinated salt to be determined.
You might investigate various salts and sources, conducting experiments to verify the claimed properties.
Does the iodine released from the salt depend on the temperature at which the titration is performed?
Vitamin C Content Evaluation of Commonly Consumed Items


Determining the vitamin C concentration in food and drink is another use of redox titration. When iodine solution is added to a solution whose vitamin C concentration is unknown, a redox reaction occurs, oxidizing the vitamin C and reducing the iodine to iodide ions. It is possible to calculate the vitamin content by comparing the quantity of iodine solution needed for full oxidation of the vitamin C to the given amounts. This page has a more detailed process.
Vitamin C may be found in a variety of forms, from pills to orange juice to whole foods.
It has been reported that the vitamin C content of vegetables changes depending on how long they are cooked for and what method of cooking is used; this could be explored further.


Influences on Electroplating


Electroplating is a method of using electrolysis to deposit a thin coating of metal onto a metal item by reducing metal cations in solution with an electric current. Its primary functions are aesthetic or defensive. This article explains how to do a simple electroplating experiment.
You might look at the effects of voltage, electrolyte concentration, metal ion charge in solution, and current duration on the thickness of the resulting metal layer.
Polarimetric Analysis of Isomerism


A polarimeter is a tool for determining the degree to which an optically active fluid rotates polarized light. The concentration of a solution may be determined by its degree of rotation.
For instance, the catalyzed decomposition of sucrose into glucose and fructose is an optically active reaction whose kinetics could be studied with polarimetry. You may look at the effects of changing the temperature or the concentration of the products or the catalyst on the reaction rate.
For example, glucose and lactose are two forms of the same anomer that coexist in an interconvertible equilibrium. Since the change in equilibrium causes a change in the optical rotation termed mutarotation, polarimetry might be used to learn how temperature influences the constant of equilibrium between the two forms. In this study, the authors investigate the dynamics of glucose mutarotation.


Making a Chemical from Nothing


If there is a certain chemical of interest to you, you may be able to create it via laboratory synthesis. You might try your hand at medical chemistry by synthesizing common pain relievers like aspirin and paracetamol.
The percentage yield might then be calculated by comparing the experimental yield to the predicted value.
As one of your independent activity options for IB Chemistry, you may look into how changing variables like temperature or heating technique affects the outcome of the experiment.


Influences on the Saponification Process



Fat, oil, or lipids may be saponified to produce soap, the salt of a fatty acid. The reaction needs both heat and aqueous alkali to take place.
You might look at how various variables impact soap production yield. The alkali content, reaction temperature, and reaction time are all variables that might affect the saponification process.
The'saponification values' of various fats is another option. An indicator of the relative molecular weights of fats, this is the amount of base needed to saponify a fat sample.
This reference provides an explanation of saponification and various methods for evaluating soap quality.


Colorimetric Analysis of Soil


Plants need phosphorus for the biosynthesis of amino acids and, by extension, proteins. Phosphate interacts with ammonium molybdate to generate a colored complex, and this reaction may be used to quantify the phosphate content of soil samples. The phosphate content may be determined by the degree of discoloration of the resultant solution.
The quality of the soil may be studied over a transect, or soil from several brands could be sampled and compared.
Experiments may also be used to detect other crucial components in soil, such nitrogen and iron.


Mineral Content Analysis


Water, milk, and other liquids and solids may all be analyzed for their calcium and magnesium levels using complexometric titration with EDTA.
Water hardness may also be measured by complexometric titration, allowing you to compare the mineral content of various brands of water or see whether the hardness of water changes with temperature or pH.


Finding the Percentage of Oxygen in Water


Here, we detail the Winkler technique for determining the oxygen concentration in water samples taken from lakes and reservoirs. Sodium thiosulfate is used in a redox titration to accomplish this.


Water quality is quantified by the biological oxygen demand (BOD), which may be determined by monitoring oxygen levels for five days.
Possible topics for your IB Chemistry Independent Investigation include the relationship between oxygen concentration and temperature, pH, or salinity.
Formulation and Characterization of Pigments and Colorants


Industrial applications for pigments include the coloring of textiles and personal care items like makeup and clothing. Alternatively, dyes may be transformed into pigments by precipitation with a metallic salt, notwithstanding their liquified or soluble states.
It is possible to create some pigments and colors in a lab. You might look at how variables like temperature and pH influence the pigment color or reaction yield.
The pigment curcumin in turmeric, for example, changes color at certain pH levels and may therefore be used as an indication. Using spectrophotometry, you may calculate the pKa and pH tolerance of natural indicators.


Paper or thin layer chromatography might also be used to examine the pigments present in specific commodities like cosmetics or colored meals.
We appreciate you taking the time to browse our IB Chemistry IA examples; we hope they will serve as a springboard for your own work.

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