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Fires Burn in Different Colors

based on 61 ratings
Author: Danielle Abadam

Grade Level: 7th to 9th; Type: Chemistry

Objective:

In this experiment you will observe fire burning in different colors.

Research Questions:

  • Why do you think each fire burns a different color?
  • Which color do you think is the hottest?
  • Which color do you think is the coldest?

Materials:

  • Menthol
  • Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
  • No salt - salt substitute (potassium chloride/bitartrate)
  • Borax (boric acid)
  • Bowl
  • Lighter torch

Experimental Procedure:

  • WHITE
  1. Pour 1/4 cup of magnesium sulfate into the bowl.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of the menthol into the bowl.
  3. Light the mixture with the lighter torch.
  4. Observe.
  • BLUE VIOLET
  1. Pour 1/4 cup of potassium chloride/bitartrate into the bowl.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of menthol into the bowl.
  3. Light the mixture with the lighter torch.
  4. Observe.
  • GREEN
  1. Pour 1/4 cup of boric acid into the bowl.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of menthol into the bowl.
  3. Light the mixture with the lighter torch.
  4. Observe.

Terms/Concepts: flame test, elements

References: Flame Tests: http://chemistry.about.com/od/analyticalchemistry/a/flametest.htm

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