How To: Make a glow stick reaction with real chemicals

Make a glow stick reaction with real chemicals

How to Make a glow stick reaction with real chemicals

Watch this science video tutorial from Nurd Rage on how to make a glow stick reaction with real chemicals.

The glowstick reaction is made using a diphenyl oxalate derivative known as bis(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl)oxalate or TCPO. Additional ingredients include ethyl acetate as a solvent, sodium acetate as a base, 9,10-bis (phenylethynyl) anthracene to give it the green color, and hydrogen peroxide to react with the TCPO and create light.

The exact proportions are:

15mL of ethyl acetate
3mg of 9,10-bis (phenyethynyl) anthracene
1g of sodium acetate
800mg of TCPO
3mL of hydrogen peroxide added last to initiate the reaction.

The exact same process is used in glow sticks. This is NOT mountain dew. Mountain dew cannot glow like this, it does not have the crucial TCPO chemical or any chemical like that.

The reaction will glow in the dark for several minutes if you use ethyl acetate as the solvent. It will glow for several hours if you use diethyl phthalate as the solvent.

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

3 Comments

what are the other alternatives materials aside from that?

I like your glow stick and would like to use it to spell out Hope and Cure for our Relay For Life.

nurd rage wht can we use instead of phenylethnyl or 2-4-6- tricholorophenyl i couldnt find any of them !!! cant we use any other chemical for this reaction ?

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