Peep Wars: Revenge of the Mole

Although scientific and health research has been conducted on Peeps, most notably that appearing on the Peep Research website (see, we have noted an absence of research focusing on destructive analysis of Peeps for the sake of destruction. To address this lack, we invited the Mole to perform experiments and otherwise abuse Peeps in the Leighty-Tabor Science Center at Millikin University in celebration of Mole Day, October 23, 2005. The theme of Mole Day 2005 was "Mole Go 'Round." Follow the links below to see the Mole go 'round the building hurting Peeps.

The Mole Arrives at the Laboratory and Begins Its Work

Meet the mole.
The mole arrived at the chemistry laboratory in a customary manner, as evidenced by the photograph above, in a labcoat and safety glasses.
The mole inspects the peeps.   The mole begins his work with a physical inspection of Halloween Peeps.

Beginning Solubility Testing

Solubility testing
The Mole began by trying to reproduce the results reported at under the Solubility category. This work was difficult, though, because the concentrations of the solutions were not included in the original work. Thus, the Mole attempted to dissolve the Peeps in water, 5% aqueous sodium hydroxide, 5% aqueous hydrochloric acid, and acetone. Water and acetone had no observable effect. On the other hand, both the sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid solutions took on an orange color, indicating that the coating was being dissolved. This result was contrary to what was found at, but it should be noted that this experiment involved Halloween Peeps whereas the previous work was performed on Easter Peeps.

more solubility testing
The Mole decided to test the solubility of Peeps in 5% aqueous sodium bicarbonate. Again, the solution took on a bright orange color.

Advanced Solubility Testing

The page reported that Peeps did not dissolve in sulfuric acid, which comes as a surprise because of the sugar content of Peeps, but the concentration of the acid was not indicated. So, the Mole decided to test a Peep in concentrated sulfuric acid. Note that the Mole conducts these experiments in the fume hood.

Peep solubility in sulfuric acid Peep solubility in sulfuric acid
The edges of the Peep begin to turn dark brown.

Peep solubility in sulfuric acid
The reaction proceeds to affect the areas of the Peep not submerged in acid.


Peep solubility in sulfuric acid

The acid begins to erode the coating of the Peep.

Peep solubility in sulfuric acid

Attempted Peep Synthesis

The Mole tried to re-constitute the Peep by mixing the sodium bicarbonate solution with the sulfuric acid solution. Alas, this attempted synthesis of the Peep failed.

Attempted Peep synthesis
Attempted Peep synthesis

Other Laboratory Testing

Pressing the Peep into service Taking an IR of the Peep
IR Spectroscopy: The Mole prepares the Peep for IR spectroscopy by placing it on the hydraulic press. Once the appropriate thickness is achieved, the Mole places the peep in the laser of the IR spectrophotometer.

Polarimetry on the Peep
Polarimetry: The Mole prepares to measure the optical rotation of the Peep.

Purification: The mole removes volatile impurities from the Peep by successively heating the Peep on a hotplate, concentrating the Peep by rotary evaporation, and applying low-pressure vacuum to the Peep. Peep on the hotplate
Peep on the rotovap
Peep under vacuum

Completing the experimentation

The conclusion of the experimentation involved oven-drying the Peep and storing it in a dessicator.

Oven-drying the Peep Peep in the dessicator

Peep in the dessicator


The Mole decided to conduct some experiments in other departments. Following the example of countless others who ignore federal law, state law, and the requirements of insurance policies, the Mole decided to not wear safety glasses. Here are some examples from physics lab.
Peep under force
Peep under force
Peep under force
Peep under force

The Peep did not resist force well.

The Mole moved to the Genetics lab in order to anesthetize the Peep.
Anesthetizing Peeps
Centrifuging Peeps

The Mole then prepared to centrifuge Peeps.
Feeding the Peep to critters

Here, the Mole is getting ready to feed the Peep to some critters.
Mole-assisted suicide

Is this a case of Mole-assisted suicide? (And are the arms holding the Mole back or goading it?)
No mercy

Apparently, any mercy was short-lived, as the Mole is now simply preparing to push the Peep down the elevator shaft.
Reporting the results

As any good scientist, the Mole reports the results of all the work in a seminar.

This page created October 2005.

MU ACS Home:
©2005 Millikin University Chapter of Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.

About this project:
This page was created in celebration of Mole Day, October 23, 2005. Any similarity in either content or format to other pages is purely coincidental.

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October 23, 2005

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