Water sensitive flash powder

Everyone should know, that it is not wise to extinguish every fire with water. Special hazards need special care. We can demonstrate this with an interesting pyrotechnic mixture: Negative X. This is a metal-catalyzed, strongly exothermic redox reaction which is initiated by nascent hydrogen (formed from ammonium ions of the acidic hydrolyzing salts and the… Continue reading Water sensitive flash powder

Magnesium nitride

It is said again and again that nitrogen reacts chemically “like a dead dog”. No wonders, why it is used as a protective gas in the food and chemical industry. Most often, it is used to prevent the entry of highly reactive oxygen. If you still want to persuade it to react, you have to… Continue reading Magnesium nitride

Experiments with acetylene

Addition of bromine to ethyne We put bromine water in a cylinder filled with acetylene gas and close it again. We make sure that only a little dilute bromine water is added. Then we shake well. Only a small amount of bromine is added. This is surprising, since a high level of bromine consumption is… Continue reading Experiments with acetylene

Acetylene from Calcium carbide

Almost the entire organic chemistry of the GDR was based on acetylene. However, after the fall of the Wall, they really only cared about petrochemistry. Acetylene chemistry was disposed with many others. Acetylene, or better ethyne, is still a fascinating substance. So today we want to experiment a little with it. It is made by… Continue reading Acetylene from Calcium carbide

Methane from aluminum carbide

Equipment Gas , 4 glass cylinders with flat-ground glass lids, hot plate Chemicals Aluminum carbide (F), NaOH (c = 0.05 mol / l) (Xi). How-to Put some aluminum carbide in the flask; the dropping funnel is filled with the dilute sodium hydroxide solution. Little by little sodium hydroxide solution is added to the carbide from… Continue reading Methane from aluminum carbide

Colorful Fire Recipes

The last days of the year are always super colorful, especially when it comes to fireworks. But how do all these different colors work? This is not about short-lived colored flames, which can be created by holding the appropriate salts in a Bunsen burner flame. Examples are copper (II) chloride (or alternatively a mixture of… Continue reading Colorful Fire Recipes

Sulfuric acid and sugar

Equipment: Beaker (100 ml, tall form), glass rod. Chemicals: Concentrated sulfuric acid (C), sucrose (table sugar). How-to: Fill a beaker two-thirds full with sucrose and place it on an acid-proof surface. Add 4 ml of water to it to accelerate the reaction. Now pour about 25 ml of concentrated sulfuric acid (C) evenly onto the… Continue reading Sulfuric acid and sugar

Melting sulfur

Solid matter that can be melted becomes thinner and thinner until it begins to boil and evaporate. You can try this on a piece of ice. Done? Now let’s see what happens if we melt sulfur. First, prepare a glass of cold water. You will need that soon. Then fill a test tube 1/3 full… Continue reading Melting sulfur

Bromine Aluminum Reaction

When bromine is introduced into a reaction vessel containing pieces of aluminum foil, a dramatic reaction occurs. Key Takeaways The following reaction occurs: 2 Al(s) + 3 Br2(l) ==> 2 AlBr3(s) The reaction is highly exothermic so that a huge part of the reactants is lost. Sparks from burning aluminum and bromine vapor are everywhere! Equipment &… Continue reading Bromine Aluminum Reaction

Classic Thermite Reaction

A thermite reaction is a really good example of a redox reaction in action! Here is how to do the classic demo: Key Takeaways Fe2O3 (s) + 2 Al (s) → Al2O3 (s) + 2 Fe (s) The reaction needs high activation energy. Once it is running it becomes self-sustaining Thermite reactions produce an extreme… Continue reading Classic Thermite Reaction