Breaking water down
Water can be disassembled like construction kit parts!
Attention! All experiments are performed by professionals. Do not attempt.
The baking soda solution conducts the electricity from the 9 V battery. Under its influence, the water reacts with the thumb tacks, yielding hydrogen on the first thumb tack and oxygen on the second. So the water is disassembled into its constituent elements:
2H₂O → 2H₂↑ + O₂↑
Pure oxygen actively reacts with a smoldering splint, allowing it to reignite. Hydrogen very rapidly bonds with atmospheric oxygen if ignited, yielding a sound and water. Isn’t it incredible – water can be disassembled and reassembled like building blocks!
A safer version of this experiment is included in the “Pure water” set from the MEL Chemistry subscription.