How to Blow Out the Candle with Chemistry

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You know you can put out a candle flame by pouring water on it. In this demonstration, the candle will go out when you pour ‘air’ onto it.

What You Will Need:Abbys-Answers-Candle-Atom

  • a lit candle
  • a transparent glass (so people can see what is inside the glass)
  • baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • vinegar (weak acetic acid)

What Next?

Simply pour the gas from the glass onto the candle.  The flame will be extinguished.  Another way to perform this trick is to pour the gas that you just made into an empty glass and then pour the apparently empty glass over the candle flame.

Why This Works?

When you mix baking soda and vinegar together, you produce carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so it will sit in the bottom of the glass. When you pour the gas from glass onto the candle, you are pouring out the carbon dioxide, which will sink and replace the (oxygen-containing) air surrounding the candle with carbon dioxide. This suffocates the flame and it goes out.

 

 

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