Flexible Experiment Introducing Factorial Experimental Design
Although experimental design is important in many fields and industries, most undergraduate students do not get exposure to this in a standard lab curriculum. This work describes a student-designed, multiple-week, flexible chemistry experiment with environmental applications that include factorial experimental design and analysis of variance statistical analysis. Through the experiment, students attempt to gain a better understanding of activated carbon adsorption of dyes under a set of factors, which could include type of dye, type of carbon, pH, salinity, hardness, and time of contact, each at multiple levels. The experiment is easily adaptable for a range of student enrollments and uses only common laboratory glassware and any visible spectrometer.
Snetsinger, P. & Alkhatib, E. (2018). Flexible experiment introducing factorial experimental design. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(4), 636-640. doi: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00431