"Gummy bear volcano" experiment

How to make a volcano from a gummy bear and potassium chlorate

For chemists, gum­my bears are not just a sweet, there’s a chem­i­cal reagent too.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Ob­serve safe­ty rules when work­ing with fire and heat­ed ob­jects. Wear pro­tec­tive gloves, glass­es and a mask.

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

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • test tube;
  • stand;
  • potas­si­um chlo­rate (15 g);
  • gum­my bear;
  • fun­nel;
  • gas burn­er.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Fix the test tube on the stand, put a fun­nel in the test tube and add potas­si­um chlo­rate through it. Then melt the chlo­rate with the gas burn­er. Add a gum­my bear to the liq­uid. It ac­tive­ly re­acts with the potas­si­um chlo­rate.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

Potas­si­um chlo­rate is a strong ox­i­diz­er. If it is melt­ed, its strength in­creas­es from the re­lease of oxy­gen in ther­mal de­com­po­si­tion.

If you place a gum­my bear in the test tube, it will re­act with the melt­ed salt, and the sug­ar and gelatin con­tained in the bear will first­ly car­bonize, and then burn.

The flame will have a pink­ish-pur­ple col­or, be­cause of the pres­ence of potas­si­um ions in the chlo­rate. At a high tem­per­a­ture, the potas­si­um ion re­ceives a large quan­ti­ty of en­er­gy and moves to an un­sta­ble state. When it moves back to a sta­ble state, it emits a glow in the form of a pink­ish-pur­ple col­or.