Orange Flash

Orange oil is used to produce flashes.

Scientific name: This experiment demonstrates the ignition of orange peel essential oils.


ЖГУЧИЙ АПЕЛЬСИН - химические опыты


Orange Peel Explosion - Slow Motion Experiment | Slow Mo Lab

by Slow Mo Lab


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Reaction formula

C10H16 + 14O2 → 10CO2 + 8H2O

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Peel the orange.
  2. Light the candle.
  3. Take a piece of orange peel, hold it near the flame and squeeze.
  4. Observe the flash.
  5. Take a glass with some alcohol, put it near the candle.
  6. Squeeze a peel again so that the liquid from it goes through the flame and ignites the alcohol vapor.

Scientific background

Orange peel contains a lot of essential oils. The main component of orange essential oil is limonene (about 90%). This substance gives oranges their unique smell. From a chemical point of view essential oils of any plant is the mixture of organic substances, such as terpenes and terpenoids, aromatics, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, aldehydes, organic acids, alcohols, esters, and heterocyclic compounds, amines, phenols, organic sulfides, oxides and others. As a rule all these substances are flammable. When orange oil squirts into the flame it creates a flash. The main chemical reaction is the burning of limonene:

C6H10 + 14O2 = 10CO2 + 8H2O

If you put a glass with some alcohol near the candle and spray the oil into the flame you will observe a stronger flash. The reason of this is that alcohol is a high volatile substance and the burning oil ignites alcohol vapor.


Published on 28 January 2015

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