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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:I have had the incredible luck of being able to use fire poi as a chemistry science fair project. My whole idea is to look at the different chemicals used to produce different colors while spinning. I am looking for any info about what chemicals produce what colors, info about what chemicals show the best colors, which ones burn longest, and basically any ideas about how i could demonstrate these things (keeping in mind that this is at school) etc... basically i want to have a chemistry project that actually interests me for once biggrin.

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Check my signature smile

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:I have a box full of these mentioned chemicals, just no suitable solvent. frown

Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:methanol is probably the best solvent for most of them... but as we all know, it's one of the stupider fuels knows to fire performers. when i last did the boric acid trick, i was swinging off globs of flaming methanol from my poi.. very dangerous stuff, besides the health hazards of the vapors.

i wonder if ethanol would work.


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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Wai
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

newbie
Location: Sweden

Total posts: 24
Posted:To be honest I wouldnt try mixing differents chemicals to create cool effects. Im going 2nd year at University and Im studing Chemistry and trust me you dont wanna mix something you dont know what it is. It is not as simple as putting A+B will give you green but you need to calculate how much of this do I need and is this in liquid or is it a powder form ? Is this chemical dangerous ? Will it be explosive if it is in contact with some thing else ? Will the powder explode once energy is added, and how big will the explosion be ? I can keep on for ages biggrin.



For your information I can tell you that b4 I was allowed to enter the laboratory I needed to pass a safety test the book were in 100 pages cause in that building I got enough chemicals to blow away half of my town ubbloco. Basically you must know what to do when you get acid on your cloths, what to do if you get acid on your eyes etc etc. For your information I wouldnt dare to stand and mix chemicals randomly without any knowledge of the actual chemicals, all experiemnts that I do is always supervised by a prof or a labb assistance.



However dont be frighten now, your project can still be done just I dont advice you to try to mix dff kinds of chemicals. Especially if you miss the knowledge and the experience. Chemistry is dangerous if you cant handle it.



Okey now for the better part, What I do recomend you to do is that you use lamp-oil it gives a nice yellow blur what you can do is that you explain what happens when you put energy on lamp oils, what kind of chemical reactions actually makes it burn is it an exothermical reaction or is it a endothermical reaction?, when it burns what is happening is oxygen consumed ? And so on. I dont know what lvl in chemistry you are but these are things you can look up. Also If you want nice colours I suggest you buy some color " strips" ( dont know the name on english but it glows in the dark with all kinds of colours) also there you can think of what is happening ? Why does it start glowing when two chemical are mix togehter? Is it a sign that energy is realesed due to a chemical reaction ? If you still want to dissolve chemicals I strongly suggest that you speak to your teacher about it just dont do it ALONE .So I hope you pick of some information here, if you wonder ask more rolleyes so happy twirling and GL and HF with your project. weavesmiley



//Wai

EDITED_BY: Wai (1097795760)


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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:dont worry, im not doing this inside a building, and i really dont think im going to be experimenting with too many really dangerous chemicals, this is a high school project, my idea for presenting is to experiment with some chemicals and video tape myself useing them in, say, my driveway, which is asphault and not flammable. but thanks for the warning, i will deffinitly keep that in mind biggrin

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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Sakura_Moon


Sakura_Moon

Hop's Kitten Jester.
Location: Wonderland igloo, Vic, Austral...

Total posts: 1803
Posted:I know a chemical that will work but yo need to be carefl with it, i read it in the book i'll quote " One chemical that is safe is BORIC ACID. This is available from chemists and gives a green flame. It wont dissolve in parrafin but you can use 100% ethanol. Add a couple of teaspoons of the boric acid to the fuel, mix, dip and glow" From the book "Poi spinning" by Michal Kahn
Personally i'm to scared to try it but if you're doing it right thne i guess its okay...


.:Pink Exocutioner:.

I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct...

Loving you from the deepest part of my loins.


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Wai
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

newbie
Location: Sweden

Total posts: 24
Posted:If you plan on using Boric Acid here is some information you should read:



Inhalation:



Causes irritation to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. May be absorbed from the mucous membranes, and depending on the amount of exposure could result in the development of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, rash, headache, fall in body temperature, low blood pressure, renal injury, cyanosis, coma, and death.



Ingestion:



Symptoms parallel absorption via inhalation. Adult fatal dose reported at 5 to > 30 grams.



Skin Contact:



Causes skin irritation. Not significantly absorbed through the intact skin. Readily absorbed through damaged or burned skin. Symptoms of skin absorption parallel inhalation and ingestion.

Eye Contact:

Causes irritation, redness, and pain.



Chronic Exposure:



Prolonged absorption causes weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, convulsions and anemia. Liver and particularly the kidneys may be susceptible. Studies of dogs and rats have shown that infertility and damage to testes can result from acute or chronic ingestion of boric acid. Evidence of toxic effects on the human reproductive system is inadequate.

Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions:

Persons with pre-existing skin disorders or eye problems, or impaired liver, kidney or respiratory function may be more susceptible to the effects of the substance



Boric Acid is a very Hazardous chemical, I wont touch that thing without gloves, safety cloths and googles. So conclusion Boric Acid is not safe I do not agree with that book, whatever they say BE carefull!



One more thing about Boric Acid, if I dont remember wrong a mixture of potassium and boric acid may explode on impact, also the powder Boric acid isnt fire hazard but I really dont know what happens if you dissolves it in Ethanol All I know is that Solubility: 1g/18mL in cold water.



//Wai

EDITED_BY: Wai (1097830962)


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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:I prefer to use ethanol over methanol. My preference. And I have all the chemical sfatey datat sheets for the substances I have, and if anyone wants to use these chemicals, they have to read and understand the dangers involved.



I did try to calculate some of the chemical equations involved, but I gave up (I'm a biologist, for heaven's sake!)



Anyway, I haven't burned anything for around a year now.



I would say, for each seperate chemical/colour you want to try, purchase new, seperate wicks. If you can think of a way, mark each wick with the name of chemical that it is going to be holding. Not only will this prevent getting mixed up between the colours, it will eliminate the risk of combining chemicals. That's prolly summit you don't want to experiment with.


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:I'm sorry to be a snot, but are we actually letting yet another colored flames thread exist? Durbs is serious - there is a FAQ and tons of threads on the subject already...



except for using it as a chemistry science fair project (good idea that!), this has all been covered ... a lot.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Wai, sounds like your getting your facts from a MSDS sheet. A very valid source, but MSDS sheets were made for industry specifically for manufacturers and warehouses where workers are exposed to tonnes of each material. You need to keep things in perspective. We are taking risks here. Look up the fuels you use, they sound even nastier.

We burn boric acid regularly. We dissolve it in denatured alcohol which can be found at hardware stores. It's in with the paint thinners etc.

Table salt with denatured alcohol burns a glowstick orange, but you had better read the MSDS for good ol NaCl before you try. I bet it's nasty too.

Don't go chewing on your wicks now, and spinn off before you light.


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:You should do a google-type search on "Colored Flames Lab"... you'll get a ton of different experiments you can set up as Chem labs. Every chem teacher in America does one (including me)...

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Wai
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

newbie
Location: Sweden

Total posts: 24
Posted:Yeah okey your right Cody, but the fact that Boric acid is not some pretty things to do. I just say : look up everything b4 you do anything! Sounds fair ?

//Wai


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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:That sounds fair Wai.
I am usually a huge safety advocate on this site, but I also seek balance. Do everything within reasonable safety. Do your own research first and don't rely 100% on others opinions, but they do count. I felt I had to answer your post less everyone currently burning Boric Acid suddenly getting freaked out and upset. wink


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:Hey everybody, so far so good. My project is now in its beginning stages. Over the next month and a half, I am going to begin researching all of the chemicals you have suggested, the solvents, and actually doing the project. My plan for the presentation is a board with all the technical stuff (chemical reactions and such) which will sit in the room with all the other chemistry fair boards. My main attraction will be the TV i will also have set up next to it. Basically im gonna video tape myself doing some simple swinging with the different colored flames, following the suggestions of some of you and not doing every one all in one night, but doing maybe one a night over a weeks time. weavesmiley I'll have this video running in a loop next to my board. I think this will be, if not the most scientific of all the projects, the most attractive. Most of the people at this school really have no clue what poi is and are amazed by the simplest moves biggrin Thanks for all the submissions so far, its been really helpful to have an interactive source of information. I will keep any who are interested posted on how this is coming along. If anyone has any more tips or new ideas for me, im open to any suggestions. Thanks again for all the help

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)

Total posts: 625
Posted:I nominate, that this is the longest post un-noticed by a mod, in 12 days. ubbloco

$5 this sucker will last another 36 hrs


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:nope not taking that bet - I figure the orginality of actually doing a science fair project from the colored flames gives this thread enough "new contribution" quotient that they aren't ever going to kill it. Besides, I'd really like to hear how the project gets organized and how well it goes over with the judges.

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:well im glad that i came up with an original enough idea biggrin

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
clap clap

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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:ok guys, saturday night is the big night, im gonna record my first colored flames clap bounce weavesmiley cant wait again, thanks for all the help, the whole project is due next friday, so i am now working on the chemical equations confused yay

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:wow, chemical equations suck. i cant find the products of a mixture of boric acid and methanol when burned. any suggestions?

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:As far as I understand (and I haven't done chemistry for a while), the boric isn't involved in the methanol combustion - the meths just gives enough heat for the borate(?) in solution to oxidise. It would do the same thing in any flame (c.f. flame tests)

monkeys ate my brain

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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:ok, i have the reaction of the methanol burning, i just didnt know if boric acid contributed. so the product would be whatever methanol creates + boric acid?

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:It would be something like:

C3OH -> CO2 + H20

B(OH)3 -> B2O3 + some other stuff.

I think. But you need to check that.

Good luck biggrin


monkeys ate my brain

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: mo-seph

It would be something like:

C3OH -> CO2 + H20

B(OH)3 -> B2O3 + some other stuff.

I think. But you need to check that.

Good luck biggrin



Um.... no. biggrin

2 CH3OH(l) + 3 O2(g) ==> 2 CO2(g) + 4 H2O(g)

And the boric acid ISN'T reacting chemically per se. The electrons are being excited and jumping up to higher (excited) states and then falling back down to lower (ground) levels and giving off light as they fall.

Same thing is true with any of the METALS that you'd see in any of the compunds.

And please tell me you were kidding about the MSDS for NaCl. confused


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:Thats Sodium Choloride.

Common Table Salt?

umm


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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:I was just trying to proove a point. biggrin

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:Written by: NYC

Written by: mo-seph

It would be something like:

C3OH -> CO2 + H20

B(OH)3 -> B2O3 + some other stuff.

I think. But you need to check that.




Um.... no. biggrin

And the boric acid ISN'T reacting chemically per se. The electrons are being excited and jumping up to higher (excited) states and then falling back down to lower (ground) levels and giving off light as they fall.



Ooops, my bad. Like I said, been a while, forgotten about my orbitals. And you don't want to forget your orbitals. (I didn't put numbers in equations cos it's homework, though. wink )


monkeys ate my brain

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Wai
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

newbie
Location: Sweden

Total posts: 24
Posted:Rofl!!! Well it was ages for me too.....I though we were talking about boric acid not Sodium biggrin.....and no NaCl MSDS sheet doesnt looks that harmfull :P.....

//Wai


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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Well I shot from the hip... and it went over your head. wink
The point was made for MSDS sheets not any specific chemical. Don't interperate them out of context. biggrin


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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poi_player
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

poi_player

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 121
Posted:This is getting real close to the end, presenting on the 7th. At the moment im typing up my report (10 pages umm) once this is over ill post some of the pictures i took during this, they werent too bad thanks for the help with the chemical equation

If you're a pyro and you know it, clap your hands!
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Wai
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

newbie
Location: Sweden

Total posts: 24
Posted:Yeah post some pics on the gallery I wanna see how it looks like biggrin....

//Wai


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