How To: Make a chemiluminescent reaction with home chemicals

Make a chemiluminescent reaction with home chemicals

Watch this science video tutorial from Nurd Rage on how to make a chemiluminescent reaction with home chemicals. Make a chemiluminescent singlet oxygen red light pulse from two simple chemicals almost anyone can buy: pool chlorine and hydrogen peroxide.

NOTE: This is not a true "glow stick" type reaction. It uses a slightly different operating principle then the one that actual glow sticks use. Type "singlet oxygen chemiluminescence" into Google for more info.

WARNING: This reaction will produce highly toxic chlorine gas, do this OUTSIDE!!!

It's also rather unimpressive so do this only because you're interested in chemistry, not because you want to glow stuff up. A real glow stick is cheaper, safer, and much brighter.

Simply get 30% hydrogen peroxide and fill a tall container (a jar will do) with about 25mL. Then get a teaspoon of pool chlorine and dump it in. Crush your pool chlorine first if it comes in tablet form.

Perform the reaction at night and you'll see a dim pulse of red light. This is singlet oxygen.

Afterward, the reaction will also heat up and start generating chlorine gas so leave the mixture alone outside overnight before you dispose of it.

Although nowhere nearly as good as an actual glow stick, completely useless as a light source, and somewhat dangerous, this experiment is nonetheless the most straightforward way to demonstrate chemiluminescence.

Brought to you by one of WonderHowTo's favorite scientists NurdRage.

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