Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moment of Science: Whoosh Bottle

Here's a simple experiment on a large scale.  Take an empty 5-gallon water jug.  Coat the inside with ethanol.  Pour out excess.  Light a match on a stick.  Hold flame over the mouth of the jug.  WHOOOOOSH!

This is a great experiment for Combustion Reactions.  Coating the inside of the jar with ethanol removes the oxygen from the system.  Without oxygen, you can't light the fumes.  Except for the fumes escaping from the mouth of the bottle.  The oxygen and ethanol combust as the oxygen is sucked into the bottle creating the Whoosh sound.

I made sure to repeat this experiment on the day of the Reactions Test for my chemistry class.  The particular combustion reaction was the final question on the test.  Something like:

____ C2H5OH + _____ O2 -->  _______________________________

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