“Piranha” mixture vs. an apple

Solution that dissolves an apple

A lot of chemists like trop­i­cal fish, but un­for­tu­nate­ly it’s some­what prob­lem­at­ic to keep them in a lab­o­ra­to­ry… so they came up with an al­ter­na­tive, the “pi­ran­ha mix­ture”, a dan­ger­ous and rav­en­ous fish that de­vours ev­ery­thing in its path!

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • con­cen­trat­ed sul­fu­ric acid;
  • con­cen­trat­ed hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide;
  • ap­ple;
  • beaker;
  • plas­tic rod.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Pour hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide into the beaker, then care­ful­ly add the con­cen­trat­ed sul­fu­ric acid. The “pi­ran­ha mix­ture” is ready. Put half an ap­ple in an­oth­er beaker and pour our mix­ture over it. Wait!

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

The mix­ture of con­cen­trat­ed sul­fu­ric acid and hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide is called “Pi­ran­ha”. It is one of the strong­est ox­i­diz­ing mix­tures in the world. It can eat away al­most all or­gan­ic mat­ter. Sul­fu­ric acid car­bonizes food fibers, vi­ta­mins and oth­er sub­stances in the ap­ple, turn­ing them into car­bon, and hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide ox­i­dizes the car­bon to car­bon diox­ide. With this “sim­ple” method we can feed our preda­tor!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

When work­ing with con­cen­trat­ed sul­fu­ric acid and hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide, wear pro­tec­tive gloves, a lab coat and glass­es. The mix­ture is very dan­ger­ous, and can leave burns on the skin and eat away cloth­ing.

Warn­ing! Don’t try to re­peat this ex­per­i­ment!