Introduction: Chameleon Chemical Reaction - Beautiful Four Steps Colour Change

Chameleon Chemical Reaction


Chameleon chemical reaction is redox reaction which show a beautiful colour change. During the reaction, the colour is change from violet -> green-> yellow -> red.


1.Prepare a breaker with 500ml warm water

2.Start the magnetic stirrer

3.Add 6 grams sodium hydroxide

4.Add 9 grams sucrose (sugar)

5.Prepare the potassium permanganate solution by adding 30mg of potassium permanganate into 30ml of water

6.Add potassium permanganate solution into the breaker and watch the colour change


Permanganate MnO4 is reduced by sucrose under alkaline environment. During the reaction, KMnO4(violet) is reduced to K2MnO4(green), then it further reduced to MnO2 (brown/yellow)


1.Sodium hydroxide is corrosive, please be carefully when you use it

2.Magnetic stirrer is not a must but it will mixed the solution faster

3.If more sucrose in added, the colour change will be faster

4. If more potassium permanganate is added, the reaction will start with dark violet and it is not easily to see the colour change

5.If less potassium permanganate is added, the final colour may be yellow but not red.


SHOE0007 (author)2017-06-07

I use this same method to electroplate copper through electroylsis.

debbajune (author)2015-03-20

Where do you find the ingredients?

The ingredients are readily available on Sucrose -- white table sugar -- you can purchase just about anywhere, but the sodium hydroxide may not be easy to find where you live; you want to be careful NOT to use a lye-based drain cleaner, as additional chemicals in these formulations would cause untoward reactions. Potassium permanganate can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe's. Hope this helps!

SusanaJ3 (author)FrontierTeacher2016-05-20

Thank you for the information as of where to purchase the permanganate. It is super helpful :) :)

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