The invisible fire extinguisher
Discover the secret of the invisible fire extinguisher. This video shows you...
Discover the secret of the invisible fire extinguisher. This video shows you how to fight fire with baking soda and vinegar
- Duration: 5 mins
- Published on: Thursday 4th September 2008
- Introductory Level
- Posted under: Chemistry
If you’ve watched the video above, Candletastic – the invisible force, you might be puzzled. What put the candles out? Was it a gas? Was it a liquid?
You can try this at home – but remember don’t let children handle matches or candles, and don’t leave lit candles unattended.
The vinegar and bicarbonate of soda make a gas – carbon dioxide. This is heavier than air and so sits in the jug. When you tip the jug, it pours out.
Flames need oxygen to burn (which is present in the surrounding air) – but when the carbon dioxide pours over the flame it pushes the available oxygen out of the way and the candle can’t burn any more.
Take a look at a normal (red) fire extinguisher, many contain carbon dioxide… but with a bit more fizz.
What could you do next?
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 4th September 2008
Last updated on: Friday, 10th October 2008
- Body text - Copyright: The Open University
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.