Chemistry IA Ideas (30+ Topics) - Topic Description & Analysis Included!

30+ New IB Chemistry IA Ideas. These Chemistry IA Ideas Will Help You Get A High Grade In Your Chemistry IA.

Adya Sharma
13 OCT 2021
chemistry ia ideas

The struggle involved in the making of one’s IB Chemistry IA is real and is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging IAs to score in. The trouble stems from the inadequacy of information that is available, relevant to the IB Chemistry syllabus. And just when you’ve landed on an IB Chemistry IA idea of your interest, the question of whether your research topic is strong and original starts shooting up your stress levels! Topics ranging from a field as vast as Organic Chemistry to anything associated with Chemical Kinetics, opting the right IB Chemistry IA topic can take quite a toll on one’s working capacity. 


The good news, however, is that tens of thousands of IB Chemistry students like yourself go through the same process of topic hunting for their Chemistry IA. Besides, no one expects you to come up with a brand new groundbreaking research idea on your IB Chemistry IA; all you’ve got to take care of are the following essential points:

  • Your IB Chemistry IA will be evaluated based on - Personal Engagement, Exploration, Analysis, Evaluation and Communication. Among these, Personal Engagement refers to your choice of IB Chemistry IA idea and how well are you able to understand and engage with the same.

  • Your IB Chemistry IA topic should be relevant to IB Chemistry curriculum but not an easy peasy research question you can look up quickly in your textbook either. Being a scientific assessment that it is, your background research is expected to be solid and that which can set a benchmark. It doesn’t have to be a marvel in the respective field, but the approach should be unique and not plain or copied. 

  • Why does, then, selecting your IB Chemistry IA topic wisely become so important?

  • Your research question sets the base for your overall performance as it states the aim and context of your IA. Your IB Chemistry IA research question, in turn, can only be effectively framed once the topic you pick for your IA is one which is inspired by past experiments and investigation ideas.   

  • Your IB Chemistry IA idea should help you aim at a specific research question and help you develop a proper methodology for your investigation.  


Your IB Chemistry IA is the ideal chance for you to put your knowledge and investigation skills to work without having to face the pressure of the written exams. Your topic need not be unique; all that is required of you is to go for a standard, tested IB Chemistry IA topic but approached your research from a fresh, personal perspective. It indeed isn’t a piece of cake, rather a process that needs your time and efforts. What is required of you is to meet the criteria of IB IA’s science requirements; you needn’t invent a new IB Chemistry IA idea, you must investigate an existing idea with a fresh perspective.  


To help you on this tedious IB Chemistry IA topic hunting, here we are with 30+ Chemistry IA ideas to give you a direction in your respective IB Chemistry IA journeys! Every idea listed below allows you to put on your thinking cap and cover a basic experimental idea and then possibly modify it according to your take on the particular concept. 


Here’s an assortment of 30+ IB Chemistry IA topics, classified by the broader field of the subject it falls under: 

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Stoichiometry 

  1. Determining the value of Absolute Zero

    1. Description:

      1. Determining how the volume of a gas changes with change in temperature to calculate Absolute Zero. 

  2. Explore the drug content in tablets. 

  3. How does the concentration of ethanoic acid-present in vinegar as determined by acid-base titration - get affected by a change in temperature while cooking?

  4. Investigate Vitamin C content of different food products.

    1. Description:

      1. By redox titration, one can determine the amount of iodine solution required for complete oxidation of the vitamin C and thereby infer the vitamin C content. 

      2. Also, the amount of time taken for different food products to cook and the method used too is reported to affect the vitamin C content. 

  5. Investigate the amount of Iodine content in Iodinated Salt.

    1. Description:

      1. By redox titration, one can determine the amount of sodium thiosulphate required to reduce iodine to Iodide ions. One can further investigate what effect does temperature have on the iodine content calculated via titration. 

  6. Explore the percentage of Copper content in Brass.

    1. Description:

      1. Redox Titration (Iodometric Titration- Copper(I) Iodide and Sodium thiosulphate solution) to determine the percentage Copper in different types of Brass.


  1. Explore Water of Crystallisation.

    1. Description:

      1. Acid-Base Titration to determine water of crystallization. 

  2. Investigate the synthesis of sweetener Dulcin from Paracetamol. 

  3. Analyze different EDTA contents of several shower cleaners.

  4. Calculating Molar Volume of Hydrogen.

    1. Description:

      1. To calculate the standard molar volume of hydrogen, opt a barometric method by making use of Dalton’s Law. The reaction between Zinc and Hydrochloric Acid will help determine the same. 

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Calorimetry 

  1. Investigating Enthalpy changes.

    1. Description:

      1. Analyzing the enthalpies of combustion of say - ethanol, ethanoic acid and ethanal using Calorimetry.

  2. Determine the relationship between the enthalpy of hydration, enthalpy of the solution and lattice enthalpy by applying Calorimetry and Hess’ Law. 

  3. Make use of Calorimetry, verify that the enthalpy of neutralization of different acids and alkalis is 55KJ mol^-1.

  4. Explore how calories are affected by cooking in saturated and unsaturated vegetable oils, making use of Calorimetry. 

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Chemical Kinetics

  1. Calculating the Activation energy of a Chemical Reaction.

    1. Description:

      1. Determine the rate of the chemical reaction at various temperatures and then calculate the Activation energy by making use of an Arrhenius plot. 

  2. Explore the pKa values of several natural indicators.

  3. Hydrolysis of Aspirin - Investigation and Analysis.

    1. Description:

      1. How does the rate of hydrolysis of Aspirin change with change in pH and temperature?

  4. Analyzing several conditions under which lipase is denatured.

    1. Description:

      1. Investigating effects of pH, temperature and light to verify which factor has maximum impact. 

  5. Investigate speeds of several chemical reactions using a Spectrometer. 

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Organic Chemistry

  1. Investigating the stability of unsaturated fats.

    1. Description:

      1. Measuring Iodine numbers of common vegetable oils to determine how factors such as light and temperature affect their stability.

  2. Explore common reactions such as Williamson Ether Synthesis. 

  3. Investigate the products of nitration of various aromatic compounds using Infrared Spectroscopy. 

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Periodicity

  1. Determine the relationship between charge density and the thermal stability of different carbonates. 

  2. Explore VSPER theory.

  3. Make use of microscale chemistry to explore the solubility behaviour of halides to devise a trend. 

  4. Use Spectrophotometry to analyze the fluorescence of chlorophyll and other different pigments. 

  5. Investigate the effect of atomic radius and halogen electronegativity on halogenoalkanes using simulation software.

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Equilibrium

  1. Making use of gas chromatography to calculate the Gibbs Energy for esterification reaction between ethanol and propanoic acid.

    1. Description:

      1. Determine the equilibrium constant Kc for the reaction by measuring the concentration of ester in the esterification mixture.

IB Chemistry IA Ideas - Electrochemistry

  1. Investigating the optimal conditions involved in the electroplating of metals, taking into consideration various factors.

  2. Establish a relationship, if it exists, between Gibbs energy change and Ionisation Energy using voltammetry for Electrochemical cells. 


And that’s not all! 

Listed below are a few more miscellaneous IB Chemistry IA ideas to help you sort your interests and frame a research question on a topic of your choice, keeping in mind the personal engagement criterion to give your IA a unique perspective:

  1. How does roasting coffee affect its caffeine content?

  2. Explore the calcium content of several milk brands. 

  3. Investigate fertilizers for their nitrogen levels/content. 

  4. Investigate bond enthalpy trends.

    1. Description.

      1. Examine how bond-enthalpy(amount of energy needed to break one mole of the bond in gaseous molecules) varies with bond length and how the bond length varies across different molecules. Modelling/simulation software can be used. 

  5. Examine the effect of the surface area of a reactant on the rate of the reaction. 

  6. Calculate the amount of oxalate in different food products like spinach using redox titration.

  7. Investigate the Oxygen Content in Water.

    1. Description:

      1. Using the Winkler method (redox titration using sodium thiosulphate), the oxygen content from several water samples can be calculated.

      2. Further investigate the effect of temperature, pH on oxygen content. 

  8. Examine the endothermic reactions optimal for use in cooling packs, using simple Calorimetry. 

  9. Examine the kinetics and thermodynamics of “Heater meals”. 

  10. Investigate and explore the effectiveness of various brands of salts for snow removal.

  11. Analyze the effect of changing temperature on the formation of rust on different steel objects.

  12. Examine the effect of increased carbon dioxide on the acidification of saltwater.

  13. Determine how different boiling durations affect the amount of ascorbic acid in yellow bell peppers. 

  14. Examine the material properties of the different allotropes of Carbon, say- Diamond and Graphite (common ones).

  15. Determine how the pH of water affects the adsorption extent of activated charcoal. 

  16. Calculate the moles of chalk needed for you to write down your name on the board. 

  17. During the combustion of aliphatic mono-alcohols, how does the enthalpy change with the change in the number of carbon atoms? 

  18. Make use of thermal decomposition to determine the formula of an unknown metal salt.

  19. Make use of Polarimetry to investigate, examine and analyze Isomerism.

  20. How do the energy contents of several packaged foods differ from the printed values?


And that’s a wrap for now! 


We listed for you, a couple of tested, specific IB Chemistry IA ideas that can assist you massively while fighting the fear of appearing original on your assessment! 


We can’t stress this enough: 


You don’t have to research a novel idea; you have to go about your project research, in an original way!


Choosing the perfect IB Chemistry IA topic seems like a monumental task, and even though you’ve got to be efficient as you browse through ideas, the complete process can be a lot easier if you approach it methodically. Once you have a great IB Chemistry IA topic in your hand, evaluate your existing research, examine the loopholes and before you conduct your research on a topic, do go through the following key points. 


Key Takeaways for obtaining a full grade on your IB Chemistry IA are compiled below:

  • You need to ask yourself the question, “Is my Chemistry IA topic closely related to my IB Chemistry syllabus?” 

  • You need to figure out for yourself if the Chemistry IA topic genuinely interests you or not. 

  • Make sure that the scientific context of your project is specific, explicit and supported by your background research. 

  • The apparatus, skills and techniques required should be determined beforehand. 


Nail IB is the go-to resources providing platform for all the students who will be taking their IB exams in future! We understand how difficult it is to look for and then finally settle on an IB IA topic as it makes for a great deal of your final score. 


Are you having trouble selecting IB IA topics for other subjects? 


Check out our blogs and resources for different subjects to grab those IA marks with ease and ultimately excel on your IB! 


For a clearer perspective on the entire IA assembling process, check out more blogs on Nail IB and hustle towards success! 

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