Chemical cannon

How to make a cannon shooting with a pipette

This ex­plo­sive ex­per­i­ment demon­strates the ox­i­diz­ing prop­er­ties of man­ganese(VII) ox­ide.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • potas­si­um per­man­ganate;
  • con­cen­trat­ed sul­fu­ric acid;
  • ace­tone;
  • test tube;
  • plas­tic pipette;
  • cot­ton wool;
  • stand;
  • tweez­ers.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Add 0.5 g of potas­si­um per­man­ganate to a test tube, then add sev­er­al drops of sul­fu­ric acid. Drop the mis­sile made from the pipette and cot­ton wool soaked in ace­tone into the test tube.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

In the in­ter­ac­tion of potas­si­um per­man­ganate and sul­fu­ric acid, green man­ganese(VII) ox­ide, a strong ox­i­diz­er, forms. Its in­ter­ac­tion with flammable sub­stances, for ex­am­ple ace­tone, caus­es them to ig­nite.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear pro­tec­tive gloves and glass­es when con­duct­ing this ex­per­i­ment, and fol­low safe­ty rules for work­ing with flammable sub­stances.

Warn­ing! Don’t try to re­peat this ex­per­i­ment with­out a pro­fes­sion­al su­per­vi­sion!