Friday, April 20, 2012

Gummy Bear

Poor Defenseless Gummy Bear Sentenced to Death!

Ok so it was not this brutal.......actually it was a bit worse. See we have a group of 9th graders coming to visit the chemistry lab next week. Our assignment? Come up with an experiment that will entertain young minds and plant the seed of a future scientist. 
My idea? Well lets just say it involves fire, loud noises, and lots of smoke. 
We all know the coolest part of chem lab is when something either catches on fire or goes boom. So I decided to introduce an experiment that my high school teacher mesmerized us with my junior year.

Gummy Bear meets Potassium chlorate.

So, we are basically working with the concept of rapid oxidation. We can view the poor gummy bear as our supply if sugar (CH2O). And since our potassium chlorate is so rich a source of oxygen(a course we must melt the stuff first, roughly 350 C) you can just imagine the response when our gummy(our source or carbon)  comes into contact with it..   

Alright, we have our supplies all set out(we actually used a red one for our trial today, ahh such a pretty color when exploding). Anyway, we assembled all of our equipment in a fume hood cuz, face it, you do not want any of this to touch your skin, and there is a LOT of smoke. 
About 10g of Potassium chlorate in a test tube clamped to a ring stand. We used a handy bunsen burner to heat our potassium chlorate, and then dropped our gummy in (under unanimous vote it was deemed proper to go head first).

Voila! The gummy bear screamed, blazed, and just went ballistic. 

And, no clean up is not easy....needless to say the test tube was put out of commission for any future use.
I just know the kids are going to love this next week. ;)

Last, but not least, here is a youtube video of how this reaction looks when in practice. 

*NOTE: This is not a list of instructions for you to use to conduct this experiment. It looks awesome, this is true, but this is a dangerous reaction that should only be done in a lab by professionals or under the supervision of professionals . So if your interested talk to your chemistry teacher.

Gummy Bear Meets Potassium Chlorate-The Crime
The story of why the gummy bear had such a horrific fate.

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