Exploding bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen

Description

This experiment works well as a class demonstration, it involves electrolysing water then re-combining the hydrogen and oxygen gas which produces a small explosion.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
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Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

Low voltage DC power pack, capable of supplying a current of at least 1 A at 12 V

Connecting leads and crocodile clips

Ammeter (0–1 A)

Pieces of platinum wire (10 cm length), 2 (Note 1)

Clear glass jar (about 400 cm3) (Note 2)

One-holed rubber bung to fit the jar

Short length of glass tube (6 mm diameter)

Length of flexible rubber, or silicone plastic tubing

Beaker (250 cm3)

Bunsen burner

Spatula with spoon-shaped end (Note 3)

Hydrated sodium sulfate, 10 g

Washing up liquid, a few drops

Universal Indicator solution (FLAMMABLE), a few drops

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

 


 







This experiment works well as a class demonstration, it involves electrolysing water then re-combining the hydrogen and oxygen gas which produces a small explosion.

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