Try This at Home: Invisible Extinguisher
The three ingredients required for fire are fuel, oxygen, and heat.
What You Need
- 1 small dish
- Matches or lighter
- 1 large bowl
- Baking soda
- 1 short candle (and 1 slightly longer candle, optional)
What To Do
Make sure you have an adult with you to supervise this experiment.
Partially fill the dish with baking soda and place it in the bottom of the bowl. Position in the candle(s) upright in the baking soda.
Light the candle.
Pour the vinegar onto the dish of baking soda, but not onto the candle.
Observe what happens. Does the candle stay lit? Why or why not?
When the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, it produces carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless gas. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so it sinks and begins to fill up the bowl, pushing the air, including the oxygen, out. When the carbon dioxide level reaches the flame, the flame extinguishes.
You can tell how hot fire is by its color- the hottest flames are white!