Turpentine ignition

Drops of turpentine ignite in contact with oxidizing liquids

Scientific name: Turpentine ignites under oxidizer action


Взаимодействие безводной азотной кислоты со скипидаром

by Только для медиков


Wear eye protection goggles and gloves. NO2 is a poisonous gas! Work in a hood or outdoors. Avoid contact of acid with skin.

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

Reaction formula

4 HNO3 → 4 NO2+ 2 H2O + O2

2 KMnO4 + 2 H2SO4 → 2 KHSO4 + Mn2O7 + H2O

2 Mn2O7 → 4MnO2 + 3 O2

Mn2O7 → 2MnO2 + O3

turpentine →[O]→ CO2 + H2O

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. Prepare two oxidant liquids. The first one is concentrated nitric acid. The second one is the mixture of potassium permanganate and concentrated sulfuric acid.
  2. Place oxidizers into evaporation dishes.
  3. Add turpentine dropwise to the nitric acid using a pipette. Turpentine ignites in contact with the oxidizer. In the reaction with nitric acid a brown gas of NO2 is formed.
  4. For the demonstration of the reaction of turpentine with concentrated sulfuric acid with potassium permanganate, soak a cotton ball in turpentine and insert it in an oxidant mixture. The cotton ball quickly ignites.

Scientific background

Nitric acid is a strong oxidizer. It decomposes to NO2 gas, water and oxygen gas.

In the mixture of concentrated sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate manganese (VII) oxide is formed. It is also a strong oxidizer. In the oxidation reaction manganese (IV) oxide is formed.

Turpentine is a mixture of various organic compounds, mainly monoterpenes alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. They are flammable substances. When turpentine reacts with oxidizers, a lot of energy is released, and a flash occurs.

  • Categories:

Published on 22 October 2015

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