Holiday tin tree
How can you make a small tin tree grow beautiful “snowy” needles in a few minutes?
Attention! Only under adult supervision.
- zinc wire;
- wooden stick;
- tin(II) chloride;
- sodium hydrogen sulfate;
- glass container;
- beaker of water.
Dissolve some tin(II) chloride and sodium hydrogen sulfate in a beaker of water, then transfer the solution to a larger glass container. Bend a zinc wire into the shape of a tree and suspend it in the container by a thread tied to a wooden stick. In a few minutes, the tree is covered in fluffy “snow”!
Zinc is located to the left of tin in the reactivity series, meaning that it is chemically more active and easily takes part in redox reactions with solutions of tin(II) salts. In this case, the tin moves from the solution to a metallic state, forming beautiful crystals on the surface of the zinc wire:
SnCl₂ + Zn → Sn↓ + ZnCl₂
A similar experiment is included in the “Tin” set from the MEL Chemistry subscription.