“Calcium gluconate snake” experiment

How to make snakes from a handful of calcium gluconate tablets

Snakes grow out of tablets of cal­ci­um glu­conate!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Avoid burns! Wear pro­tec­tive glass­es and gloves. Don’t con­duct the ex­per­i­ment near in­flammable sub­stances and ob­jects. The ex­per­i­ment must be car­ried out in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed room. Ob­serve gen­er­al safe­ty rec­om­men­da­tions.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • sev­er­al tablets of cal­ci­um glu­conate;
  • sol­id fuel;
  • lighter.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

On a tablet of sol­id fuel, place sev­er­al tablets of cal­ci­um glu­conate and ig­nite them. Ob­serve as dark “snakes” grad­u­al­ly crawl out of the flames.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

Cal­ci­um glu­conate breaks down when heat­ed. Cal­ci­um ox­ide, car­bon, wa­ter va­por and car­bon diox­ide form. Wa­ter va­por and car­bon diox­ide froth the car­bon and cal­ci­um ox­ide, turn­ing them into enor­mous gray “snakes”:

C₁₂H₂₂­CaO₁₄→11С + CO₂↑ +CaO + 11H₂O↑