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Spontaneous exothermic reaction

Description

In this demonstration experiment, a mixture of glycerol (propane-1,2,3-triol) and potassium manganate(VII) crystals bursts into flame, giving off clouds of steam, after a short time lag.

Type of Activity

:
demonstration

Audience

:
Teacher

Age Group

:
11 to 18 years

Credits

:
This resource has been provided by, or developed in partnership with, Nuffield Foundation
spontaneous-exothermic-re...



Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

The teacher requires:

Goggles or a face shield

Safety screens

Clean metal lid from a tin can or jar (Note 1)

Heat resistant mat

The quantities of chemicals given are for one demonstration:

Potassium manganate(Vll) (OXIDISING, HARMFUL, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), 2-3 g in the form of fine crystals

Glycerol (propane-1,2,3-triol), about 1 cm3 in a test-tube

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 







In this demonstration experiment, a mixture of glycerol (propane-1,2,3-triol) and potassium manganate(VII) crystals bursts into flame, giving off clouds of steam, after a short time lag.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists