“Fireproof banknote” experiment
Why doesn't the banknote burn?
If you soak a banknote in a mixture of alcohol and water, and then set fire to it, the alcohol will burn, but will leave the paper intact.
Reagents and equipment:
- ethanol or isopropanol (approximately 10 ml);
- a small banknote;
- a glass dish;
Prepare a mixture of ethanol or isopropanol with water in a ratio of 1:1. If you are using 70% ethanol, mix it with water in a ratio of 3:7. Pour the water and alcohol mixture into the dish. Soak the small banknote in this mixture, and make sure it is completely soaked. Pick up the banknote with the tweezers, let the liquid drip off a little, then remove the dish with the alcohol and water mixture. Set fire to the banknote. It is best to conduct the experiment in a dark room.
C₂H₅OH + 3O₂ → 2CO₂ + 3H₂O
A lot of heat will be released in the reaction, but it will still not be enough to ignite the soaked paper.
Avoid burns! Wear protective glasses and gloves. Don’t conduct the experiment near flammable substances and objects. Fire-extinguishing equipment should be at the ready. Follow general safety recommendations. Chemical experiments must be carried out in full compliance with the legislation of your country.
Warning! Only under professional supervision.