Sugar & Acid Starts A Fire


Purpose:

  1. To understand what spontaneous combustion is.
  2. To learn why mixing random chemicals together can be disasterous.

Materials:

  1. Sugar (C12H22O11)
  2. KClO3
  3. Concentrated H2SO4

Procedure:

  1. Put sugar in a mortar and powder it.
  2. In a seperate or clean mortar, powder the KClO3. (NOTE: Do not powder KClO3 and sugar in the same mortar because the friction may cause combustion.)
  3. Mix 1 gram of KClO3 with 2 grams of sugar and mix gently.
  4. Put a pile of the mixture on a metal tin or a different substance that is not flamable.
  5. Put 2 drops of H2SO4 onto the pile, and quickly stand back. (NOTE: You may want to do this under a hood.)