“Devil’s flash” experiment
How to make a “firecracker” with zinc and sulfur
Some chemical experiments are almost incredible enough to inspire a belief in the supernatural! In this experiment, fire initiates a reaction between two powders, resulting in a blinding yellow-green flash and a cloud of smoke. Are you ready for a miracle?
Wear a protective mask, gloves and glasses and work in a well-ventilated room. Observe safety rules when working with fire.
Reagents and equipment:
- 5 g zinc powder;
- 4 g sulfur powder;
- 1 g potassium chlorate;
- Petri dish;
Combine the 5 g zinc powder and 4 g sulfur powder in the beaker and stir thoroughly, then transfer the mixture to the Petri dish. Add 1 g potassium chlorate as an igniting agent. When lit, the mixture explodes!
The combustion of potassium chlorate initiates a violent reaction between sulfur and zinc. Smoke clouds of zinc sulfide and sulfur are released, and the mixture burns with a yellow-green flame.
Zn + S → ZnS