Rocket candy with sodium nitrate

Yellow flame of sodium nitrate and sugar mixture

Scientific name: Burning of sugar in presence of sodium nitrate

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Safety

Wear eye protection goggles. Perform this demonstration in a fume hood or outside. This is a violent reaction. Keep a safe distance. There is a serious 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

2NaNO3 → 2NaNO2 + O2

C12H22O11 + 12O2 → 12CO2 + 11H2O

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Mix sodium nitrate and sugar in a ratio approximately 2:1 by weight.
  2. Put it on a incombustible plate (metal, ceramic) or into an evaporating dish.
  3. Ignite the mixture with a burner.

Scientific background

Sugar does not burn without additional oxidizers. Nitrates of alkali metals can be used as such additions. Under heating sodium nitrate decomposes with the evolution of oxygen, thus, the mixture of sugar and sodium nitrate intensively burns. The flame has a yellow color because of the presence of sodium.

Danger:
Coolness:
Difficulty:

Published on 21 May 2015

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