“Sinister Swamp” experiment
How to make a glowing “swamp”
Chemiluminescence is one of the most amazing phenomena in chemistry. In this chemical reaction a great deal of light is emitted. Here’s a bewitching chemical swamp that draws you in with its glowing lights.
Reagents and equipment:
- dimethyl sulfoxide;
- sodium hydroxide;
- hydrogen peroxide (10%);
- potassium ferrocyanide;
- flask with stopper;
- heat-resistant mold.
Put sodium hydroxide in the flask, then add dimethyl sulfoxide, and then luminol. Seal with the stopper and mix well. Turn off the light and observe the glow on the boundary line of the solution and air. Shake the flask – the glow spreads throughout the whole flask. Then pour the contents of the flask into a heat-resistant mold and add a solution of hydrogen peroxide and potassium ferrocyanide. Watch as a “sinister swamp” forms.
In an alkaline medium, luminol is easily oxidized by the oxygen in the air (if the flask is shaken), or by a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and potassium ferrocyanide – this is a catalyst for the oxidation of luminol by the peroxide. An unstable particle forms, which breaks down with the release of light.
Wear protective gloves and glasses.
Don’t try to repeat this experiment without a professional supervision!