Do these chemicals create a reaction when burned?

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Do these chemicals create a reaction when burned?

Postby skylinegtr725 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:01 pm

For my science fair project, I want to create colored fire. I have seen scientists do it before, by getting a chemical like epsom salt, mixing it with methanol, which is a liquid that burns, then lighting the mixture on fire and the flame is yellow. I have also seen scientists do the same thing but instead of epsom salt they use "no salt" which is a salt substitute, and the flame is blue. So for my experiment, I want to try and mix epsom salt, "no salt" and the methanol, and light it and see if the flame becomes green, because of the yellow flames mixed with blue flames. So my question is, would epsom salt have a dangerous reaction with the no salt? My mom needs to know if it's safe before I can do the science experiment. Thanks.
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Project Question: Mixing different chemicals with methanol and lighting the methanol to see if the mixed colors create colored fire.
Project Due Date: january 8
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Do these chemicals create a reaction when burned?

Postby Craig_Bridge » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:09 pm

According to one web site the "NoSalt" brand salt substitute contains: Potassium Chloride, Potassium Bitartrate, Adipic Acid, Silicon Dioxide, Mineral Oil and Fumaric Acid.
Epson salts is magnesium sulfate.
Put all of this in methanol and I have no clue what all the potential partial combustion products are going to be and then determining that it is safe to burn under arbitrary conditions.
The mineral oil has a variety of hydro carbon components that could easily produce carbon monoxide under some conditions. Carbon monoxide is an inhalation poision.

My best advice is that all combustion products are harmful even when the only issue is a hot gas that is harmless when cold. This is one of those experiments that should either be done under a specialized vented chemical saftey hood or outdoors with a slight breeze and nothing down wind for 500 feet and definitely with a very small amount of material.
-Craig
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