Whoosh brothers

The whoosh bottle demonstration involves setting light to methanol vapour in a thick walled 20L water bottle. By adding a few drops of water into the methanol, salts such as LiCl, NaCl and KCl can be incorporated into the ignition mixture and add colour to the resulting flame.

Here are some images of the same.

First three pictures of the experiments:

01_2016_01_31_Listill

Lithium whoosh – the bottle on the right did not ignite.

02_2016_01_31_Nastill

Sodium whoosh – only the middle one

03_2016_01_31_Kstill

Potassium whoosh

Next are three animated gifs of the experiments:

2016_01_31_Liwhoosh70

What colour do you see in the flame in the bottle? Is it the characteristic flame colour from Li, Na or K?

2016_01_31_Nawhoosh70

Tried for a triple whoosh, but only the middle one worked. Was it Li, Na or K?

2016_01_31_Kwhoosh70

Better colours with the lights out? It’s usually difficult to see the colour of the flame with this shy violet. Li, Na or K?

The whoosh brothers! A composite gif animation of all the above.

2016_01_31_whoosh_brothers_75

Whoosh brothers!

Try as I might I could not get more than one bottle to ignite at a time. Movies uploaded to You Tube soon.

 

SAFETY

Follow appropriate safety guidelines when igniting the bottles. Methanol vapour is toxic. Only use thick walled plastic bottles. Do not try more than one ignition per bottle. Wash each bottle by filling completely with cold water after each ‘burn’. Our laboratory was ventilated with the all the windows open after the each experiment for more than an hour.

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