"Smoke wihout fire" experiment

How to make two liquids smoke in another flask?

They say there’s no smoke with­out fire… but with chemists, any­thing can hap­pen! Be­fore your eyes we make smoke with­out match­es, logs and fire, only us­ing our wits and two liq­uids.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

For the ex­per­i­ment, we’ll need 3 flasks, joined by gas pipes. Into flask №1 we pour 20 ml of a con­cen­trat­ed so­lu­tion of hy­drochlo­ric acid (HCl) and firm­ly seal it with a stop­per with a gas pipe. Into flask №3, we pour a 25% am­mo­nia so­lu­tion (NH₃), and firm­ly seal it with a stop­per with a gas pipe. We also seal flask №2 with a stop­per with a gas pipe, to which we have con­nect­ed the pipes from the flask with the con­cen­trat­ed so­lu­tion of hy­drochlo­ric acid and the flask with the am­mo­nia so­lu­tion. We ob­serve the re­lease of white smoke in the sec­ond flask. How is this pos­si­ble, if flask №2 was emp­ty!?

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

Am­mo­nia and con­cen­trat­ed hy­drochlo­ric acid are volatile liq­uids, at room tem­per­a­ture the so­lu­tions evap­o­rate well and turn into HCl and NH₃ gas­es. The HCl and NH₃ en­ter flask №2 from flasks №1 and №3, and a chem­i­cal re­ac­tion takes place with the re­lease of white smoke. It is tiny crys­tals of am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride:


Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

The ex­per­i­ment must be car­ried out in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed room or in a draught cup­board, as gaseous am­mo­nia is a tox­ic com­pound, and gaseous HCl can cause burns to the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract. Ob­serve the rules for work­ing with con­cen­trat­ed hy­drochlo­ric acid.

Sub­stances of this ex­per­i­ment are tox­ic and high­ly dan­ger­ous for your health. Do not try this at home. Only un­der pro­fes­sion­al su­per­vi­sion