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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 4 (2002) pp 220-222

A Safe Way of Performing Some Dangerous Experiments. II. Construction of a Safety Dropper

Vladimir M. Petruševski* and Metodija Ž. Najdoski

Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics,Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Arhimedova 5, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedoni
Received April 12, 2002. Accepted May 28, 2002

Published online: 26 July 2002

Abstract. Due to the high safety risks, chemistry instructors avoid demonstrating many remarkable experiments based on the addition of a liquid to a solid. Well-known examples of such demonstrations are various pyrotechnic mixtures of potassium chlorate and sugar (sucrose), which are usually activated with a drop of concentrated sulfuric acid. Other attractive demonstrations are the addition of water to freshly prepared magnesium phosphide and addition of water to burning magnesium. In all of these demonstrations the reaction that takes place immediately is very vigorous and can be hazardous for the instructor. Because chemistry teachers and instructors usually try to avoid performing experiments that include a hazard, a number of highly attractive experiments may remain unknown to the public. Using a simple homemade device called a safety dropper, one can perform all of these experiments with complete safety, both for the audience and the demonstrator. Details for performing some of these experiments as well as for the construction of the safety dropper are given in this paper. Video clips of demonstrations are included as an aid for inexperienced instructors.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; physical chemistry; demos

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (214 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Video Clips Showing the Reactions (Zip file 24.84 MB) 10.1007/s00897020583b

Issue date: August 2, 2002

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