Carbon from a candle

Carbon obtained from a candle

Scientific name: When wax burns, carbon is formed and condenses on a plate


Primary Science Demonstrations: Carbon from a Candle

by Royal Society Of Chemistry


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Reaction formula

CnH2n+2 + (n+1)O2 → nC + (n+1)H2O


  1. Paraffin wax

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Ignite a candle.
  2. Put a glass or ceramic plate to the flame. Carbon black is formed on the plate.

Scientific background

Candle wax burns to form carbon dioxide and water if it completely burns. If there is not enough oxygen for complete burning, carbon black is formed.


Published on 24 June 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst