News: Light dry ice on fire

Light dry ice on fire

Light dry ice on fire

Impossible, right?

Ahh, well science says fire and ice can and do coexist.

The Science of this experiment:Dry ice at -109ºF, is frozen carbon dioxide (CO2), not water (H2O). Dry ice is also much colder than a freezer ice cube. To be exact it is almost as cold as Earth's coldest temperature: -129ºF recorded in Antarctica.

The fire here is the result of a reaction between metallic magnesium and carbon dioxide. Magnesium reacts with oxygen in the air to form magnesium oxide, but when the only source of oxygen is from CO2, the reaction becomes much more energetic.

The product of this chemical reaction is white magnesium oxide and black carbon. The chemical reaction is broken down as: 2Mg + CO2--> 2MgO + C. The Magnesium oxide is what burns, while the carbon is what's left over as seen at the end of the video.

Mr. Kent, suburban Long Island chemistry teacher behind KentChemistry.com has given us many great gems such as 'elephant's toothpaste' and 'fireproof money'. Check them out if you're looking for more great Mr Wizard-like videos.

Finally, an offering for those who prefer the humanities to science. Apropos to science's impossible pyrotechnics is a poem by Robert Frost, perfectly titled 'Fire and Ice'.

Some say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I've tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.

Click to play Set dry ice on fire video (will open in new window).

5 Comments

Does anyone know what those spark are?

too much science, humanities for me,
i love the poem!

Its probably some type of magnesium powder.

i give it a 6+

itz a smoke bomb/light

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