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Author: Subject: Juggler and red flames
TeTeC
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smile.gif posted on 20-1-2006 at 09:28
Juggler and red flames


Hello !

A friend of mine loves juggling... In a perpetual search of new ideas to 'spice' this activity, she asked me if there was any possible way to create red flames on her torches. Is there any compound that would (easily) produce such an effect?

Thank you. ;-)

TeTeC.
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DrP
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[*] posted on 20-1-2006 at 09:37


KCl disolved into the fuel should colour the flame pink if not red. I tried either copper chloride or sulphate - can't rememer now - gave a gren tint to the flame but only slightly as I did not have that much and the stuff wasn't dispersed properly. She could play with varying amounts of these disolved into the fuel.

I have some fire poi - great fun and go down well at parties - ;)
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 20-1-2006 at 10:17


Colored flames are often not as bright as flames from burning gasoline or kerosene. To make sure you see the color, you might try using an alcohol type fuel, such as methanol, ethanol or some of the fuels used in food warming trays. They burn with a clear blue flame. The metals that produce red colors in blue flames are lithium, strontium, and for a more orange color calcium. You want the more volatile easily ionized compounds, such as the chlorides or chlorates. Maybe some of the others can suggest a more specific combination. Strontium Nitrate is what gives road safety flares their intense red color, but that compound may not be as bright in an alcohol flame.
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ordenblitz
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[*] posted on 20-1-2006 at 10:45


From my experience methanol is the best fuel for color producing flames. You will need a few percent of a chlorine donor. Typically chlorinated solvents such as dichloromethane, trichloroethane etc work well.
Lithium salts will give you a good red. Lithium chloride or nitrate are soluble enough in methanol to work but if you need to get more in solution add a few percent water in the methanol.
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woelen
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[*] posted on 20-1-2006 at 12:20


Try methanol with boric acid. Beautiful purely green flames:

http://woelen.scheikunde.net/science/chem/exps/borate_ester/...




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Dave Angel
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[*] posted on 20-1-2006 at 16:27


I too have a juggler friend and I was looking into a few of these things for him. I've tinkered around with boric acid esters myself and they give such a wonderful green flame; just watch out for the toxic fumes - I'm sure there's more about that elsewhere in the forum, and other members will be able to advise you better than I.

The main point of my post was that if your friend tries this sort of thing, make sure she washes her clubs in plenty of normal paraffin afterwards because I seem to remember reading that the use of alcohol fuels and/or additives can damage the wicks if left on them, and I believe those clubs don't come cheap!
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TeTeC
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[*] posted on 21-1-2006 at 06:35


Ok, thanks a lot! ;-) Many ideas and some useful pieces of advice...

I'll report the results. In the meantime, if anyone else still has something to say, I'll read it.

Thanks again!
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silonyl
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[*] posted on 17-2-2006 at 18:27


Li salts give a very strong crimson red. Strontium is also pretty good.

Recommendations for alcohol fuel are good - they burn hot and blue. Higher hydrocarbons burn much brighter yellow, from increased C content (the yellow is the "swan" emission band of C2, the carbon dimer) and possibly cooler flame temps.

Li(OAc)2 might be a good start for an alcohol-soluable Li salt, or you could work with an alcohol-water mixture and a more water-soluable Li salt.

p
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Artifex
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[*] posted on 29-12-2006 at 07:41


I am also a juggler, I use ethanol with boric acid for green flames and ethanol with a little strontium nitrate (aqueous) for red.
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transformer
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[*] posted on 29-12-2006 at 08:45


One can also juggle with acids ;)

http://www.juggleonacid.com/




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