Fireproof money

Money doesn't burn due to the special liquid.

Scientific name: Mixture of alcohol and water is combusted to generate heat insufficient to ignite the paper.


Burning Money Science Fair Experiment

by Johannah Macy

Burning Money Science Magic Trick

by Anne Helmenstine

Burning Money - Cool Science Experiment

by SpanglerScienceTV

Деньги не горят - физические опыты



Wear eye protection goggles. Always use tongs or tweezers, do not keep the bill in your hands. Keep a safe distance. Do not ignite the bill over the bowl with water-alcohol mixture - it can catch fire! There is a some fire risk - a fire extinguisher should be ready.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

C2H5OH + 3O2 → 2CO2 + 3H2O


  1. Ethanol
  2. Water

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Prepare a mixture of water and organic liquid. If you use 95% ethanol, isopropanole or acetone mix in ratio the 1:1. If you use 70% ethanol, mix water and alcohol in the ratio 3:7.
  2. Pour the water-alcohol mixture in a bowl or glass.
  3. Take a 10$ or 20$ bill and dip it into the liquid. Make sure that the bill is completely soaked in the mixture.
  4. Remove the bill using tongs or tweezers. Allow excess liquid to drain. Move the bowl with the mixture to a safe place.
  5. Ignite the bill with a lighter or matches.You should carry out this experiment in a dark room.

Scientific background

Organic liquids such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol or acetone easily burn:

C2H5OH + 3O2 → 2CO2 + 3H2O

A lot of heat is released as a result of these reactions. If you soak the bill 95% alcohol and set it on fire, the bill will burn. However, this did not occur during the experiment because the mixture of alcohol and water was used. Water has a high heat capacity and heat generated by the reaction goes to heating water. Thus the energy is not enough to ignite the paper.


Published on 17 January 2016

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