The most domestic version of the Pharaoh's Snake
The best DIY way to grow a “snake”!
- Attention! Under adult supervision only!
- Observe safety precautions when working with fire and flammable materials
Equipment and reagents
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar;
- 1 tbsp baking soda;
- lighter fluid;
- bowl of sand.
Mix 4 tbsp powdered sugar with 1 tbsp baking soda. Pour some lighter fuel into a bowl of sand. Transfer the mixture of sugar and soda to the center of the bowl and set it on fire. A menacing sugar snake begins to grow!
Igniting the mixture initiates several processes.
- The combustion of sugar, releasing carbon dioxide and water vapor:
С₁₂H₂₂O₁₁+12O₂ =12CO₂ +11H₂O
- The thermal decomposition of sugar into carbon and water vapor:
С₁₂H₂₂O₁₁ → 12C+11H₂O
- The thermal decomposition of baking soda into carbon dioxide and water vapor:
2NaHCO₃ → Na₂CO₃+H₂O+CO₂
The body of the “snake” consists mainly of carbon, which forms when unburnt sugar is heated. This carbon is what makes the “snake” black. The snake also contains Na₂CO₃, which results from the baking soda’s thermal decomposition. The carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gaseous products of combustion foam the carbon, making the body of the “snake” airy and porous.