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Author: Subject: The Burning Book
Doktor Klawonn

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[*] posted on 16-12-2010 at 11:54
The Burning Book


This is an experiment I saw on a science fair lecture in Merseburg, Germany. It is very simple yet impressive.


- potassium permanganate
- glycerine or ethylene glycol [1]
- a big catalogue


In this experiment, paper smokes and burns. Ventilate the room after the experiment.


A hole is cut into a big catalogue. Into the hole there are placed approx. 10 g of potassium permanganate.

Buch1.JPG - 17kB Buch2.JPG - 18kB

Approx. 10 ml of glycerine are put on the potassium permanganate. The catalogue is then closed and left untouched.

Buch3.JPG - 18kB Buch4.JPG - 16kB

After about 40-50 seconds the catalogue starts to smoke and to burn.[2]

Buch5.JPG - 17kB Buch6.JPG - 16kB

The inside of the catalogue is still glowing after the flames have ceased.

Buch7.JPG - 18kB


The reaction between potassium permanganate and glycols is often used to ignite fire.

[1] I used propylene glycol.
[2] The time depends on amount, grade of division and quality of the chemicals
[3] This experiment in a video

[Edited on 16-12-2010 by Doktor Klawonn]
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lab constructor

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[*] posted on 16-12-2010 at 13:32

It must be a lot of fun to be in your classes. ;)

The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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Hazard to Others

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[*] posted on 16-12-2010 at 14:16

If done with a bible, its a nice way to scare away some of Jehovah's Witnesses ;);););)
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The WiZard is In
International Hazard

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[*] posted on 16-12-2010 at 14:53
Professor Wacko's Exothermic Exuberance

KMnO4— Glycerin

Product Recalls December 1994

Professor Wacko's Exothermic Exuberance chemistry kit
What's wrong: It's a fire hazard.

What’s included: The Wild Goose Co. of Salt Lake
City is recalling 5,100 Professor Wacko's Exothermic
Exuberance chemistry kits, intended for children age
10 and above.

The kit contains glycerin and potassium Permanganate
in bottles that look similar. If the bottle caps are switched
and small amounts of the chemicals mix, an unexpected
fire could occur. The government says two house fires
resulted that way. Also, the kit does not have sufficient
warnings and directions for use.

The kit's should be returned to the place of purchase
for a refund or sent back to the Wild Goose Co.
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