How to make smoke from a ping-pong ball
Making a smoke machine using a ping-pong ball
Is it possible to make a huge smoke cloud from a ping-pong ball? Watch on…
- Do not attempt yourself!
- Perform this experiment only in the presence of a specialist.
- Do not conduct this experiment indoors.
Reagents and equipment
- ping-pong ball;
Carefully cut a ping-pong ball into small pieces. Use a pencil to wrap the pieces in foil. The hole the pencil leaves will provide an avenue for air to enter and smoke to exit. Hold the contraption with tweezers and heat it over a flame. Thick white smoke should begin billowing out!
The ping-pong ball consists of celluloid – nitrocellulose-based plastics and various additives. Celluloid was once used to manufacture photographic films, children's toys, rulers, and much more, but its usage was later reduced due to its high flammability. Celluloid burns quickly and brightly in open air, but smolders when heated in foil, producing a large amount of smoke. Smoke consists of particles of partially-burned additives. This experiment is highly effective, but you should not attempt it without professional supervision. Additionally, not every ping-pong ball is made of celluloid, so check its сomposition before performing the experiment. Combustion reaction:
4[C₆H₇(NO₂)₃O₅]ₙ + 9O₂=24CO₂+14H₂O+6N₂