Up in Flames

Ever hear of burning money? Well, you can burn money without ever letting it catch fire! If you take the bill out of the equation, it is easier to understand. Alcohol and oxygen can have chemical reactions that produce Co2, H2O, heat, and light energy.The chemical formula:

C2H5OH + 4 O2 -> 2 CO2 + 3 H2O + energy

If you add the money back in, you can coat the bill with am alcohol and water based solution, meaning that, when you light a flame, the alcohol will be burning off, and not the actual money. Another reason this works is because alcohol has a high vapor pressure, its burning temperature does not evaporate the water, and paper bills are more like a fabric type of material. Once the alcohol is gone, the flames cease, and the bill is perfectly fine.

To do this:

  • one dollar bill
  • tongs
  • lighter
  • salt
  • half alcohol and half water solution
  1. Add a pinch of salt into the solution.
  2. Put the bill in the solution
  3. Use the tongs to pick up and drain the bill
  4. Light the bill

For more information, visit: http://chemistry.about.com/od/demonstrationsexperiments/ss/burnmoney_3.htm

Have fun burning your money!

So Ta Ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!


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