Kitchen Chemistry: Water

The chemistry behind water



When you think of chemical substances, you might imagine coloured liquids in test tubes bubbling away. Well, here’s a chemical you might have forgotten!

Water! You could say it’s the most important chemical of all. All animals need water to live – and for us humans it makes up 70% of our bodies! Every cell contains water and it does lots of important jobs like carrying oxygen, transporting waste and helping us stay cool.

Its chemical name is H2O because each of its molecules is made up of one Hydrogen atom and two Oxygen atoms. Like all chemical substances, it can be in three different states – solid like ice, liquid from the tap, or a gas when the kettle boils.

There’s more to some water than meets the eye –water from a tap or bottle isn’t always pure – it often contains dissolved minerals like sodium and fluoride. Something to think about next time you turn on a tap!

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