The high cost of sensitivity commercial calorimeters may represent an obstacle for many calorimetric research groups. This work describes the construction and calibration of a batch differential heat conduction calorimeter with sample cells volumes of about 400 μL. The calorimeter was built using two small high sensibility square Peltier thermoelectric sensors and the total cost was estimated to be about US$ 500. The calorimeter was used to study the excess enthalpy of solution of binary mixtures of liquids, as a function of composition, for the following binary systems of solvents: water + 1,4-dioxane or + dimethylsulfoxide at 298,2 ± 0,5 K.
Usually, the concepts of the Sol-Gel technique are not applied in experimental chemistry courses. This work presents a feasible experiment for chemistry instruction, which involves the synthesis of luminescent materials - Zn2SiO4, with and without Mn2+ as a dopant - by the Sol-Gel technique. The obtained materials were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, X-Ray diffraction, IR spectroscopy and luminescence measures by UV-vis spectroscopy. The results allow the students to confirm the luminescent properties of the zinc orthosilicate luminophores as well as the structural features expected from literature data.