How to make an explosion using silver
Explosive silver in an explosive new video!
Do not try this at home. Only under professional supervision.
Reagents and equipment
- calcium carbide;
- 50mL Tollens’ reagent;
- conical flasks;
- cork with gas pipe;
- filter paper;
Add a small piece of calcium carbide to a conical flask with 50mL of water, and close it using a cork with a gas outlet tube. Immerse the free end of the gas outlet tube in 50mL of Tollens’ reagent. Wait for the reaction to die down. A loose, greyish-white precipitate will form in the second flask. Filter it through a funnel with filter paper and rinse with water. Pat the precipitate dry with filter paper and set a small amount on fire. And boom!
The reaction between calcium carbide and water produces acetylene gas and calcium hydroxide:
Passing acetylene gas through a solution of Tollens’ reagent (ammonia silver hydroxide solution) yields a friable grey-white precipitate of silver acetylide:
Silver acetylide is an extremely unstable explosive. The fewer impurities it contains, the more dangerous it is. Silver acetylide can explode when heated and mechanically stressed.