Chemiluminescence of luminol

Beautiful blue glow arises during the chemical reaction

Scientific name: Chemiluminescence of luminol oxidation occurs as a result of oxidation


Chemiluminescence -- oxidation of luminol

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Reaction formula

C8H7N3O2 + 2 OH(-) + O2 → C8H5NO4(2-) + hv

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Prepare the first solution. To do this, take 100 ml of bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite solution) and 900 ml of water, put the ingredients into the flask and stir the components vigorously. The first solution is prepared.
  2. Prepare the second solution. This would require 0.4 g of luminol and 4 g of sodium hydroxide and 1 liter of water. Dissolve the listed components in water and mix it.
  3. Turn off the lights in the room.
  4. Slowly pour the first solution to the second solution with stirring.
  5. Observe the blue glow.
  6. Other variations of excitation the luminescence of luminol are possible with other oxidizers (e.g., hydrogen peroxide). For details, see. Links.

Scientific background

Luminol forms dianions when it interact with hydroxide ions, which react with oxygen which is ensured by the presence of an oxidant. The product of this reaction is a highly unstable organic biradical that instantly dissolves to form a molecule of nitrogen and 3-aminophthalic acid in the excited electronic state. When the molecule returns from the excited to the ground electronic state a photon is released.


Published on 20 April 2015

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