Instructables

I learned how to make glow sticks recently in my chemistry class. you just need a few "simple" chemicals, your probably going to have to buy these chemicals online, unless you can get/steal them from your chemistry class. Also, these amounts of the chemicals only make a small glowstick that doesnt last that long to make it last longer you're going to have to add more chemicals. so you need:


supplies:
-C12H12N2O3 (Luminal)  found here:http://crimescene.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products_id=49

-NaOH (Sodium hydroxide) found here: http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-Lye-Pellets-500g-P15983.aspx

-H2 O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) found here: Any drug store

-k3Fe(CN) (Potassium ferricyanide) found here: http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Potassium-Ferricyanide-500g-P6513C670.aspx

-water
-50 ml beaker or graduated cylinder
-stir stick

 
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Step 1: Mixing it Together

Now, mix everything together EXCEPT for the catalyst (the Potassium ferricyanide) 
Start with the 1.5 ml of Hydrogen Peroxide with the 40 ml of water, then mix in the  .04g of Luminal, and one piece or flake of Sodium hydroxide about the same amount as the Luminal. now mix the solution really well so its all dissolved, remember don't add the Potassium ferricyanide ytet (the orange stuff)

Step 2: Adding the Catalyst

Now when your ready add the catalyst, the Potassium ferricyanide, once you add this your solution will start to glow, the more you add the longer it will glow, but remember to put the solution you mixed in the previous step in what every you wanted to put it in.

Step 3: Finishing

Picture of Finishing
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Now you have completed your glow stick, have fun!

Step 4: Extra Fun

Picture of Extra Fun
I was thinking and remembered that the reason why the solution glows is because the Potassium ferricyanide excites the electrons or something and makes them glow, and so i had the idea to run an electric current through it and it started to glow a bit, THEN i had the idea to tazer it, looked alot better, you can kinda see in the picture the blue glowing wire, it did look alot better in real life. but just have fun with it, it also looks really cool in the toilet, or on your skin.

Ask if you have any questions

Enjoy!
xs20005 days ago

is it toxic? would it damage skin?

Dark Solar3 years ago
Helpful Hint #7,461,039

You -yes, you- can make sodium hydroxide at home in the privacy and convenience of your very own kitchen. Tired of the paperwork? Tired of the constant interviews with D.H.S. and F.B.I. field agents? Tired of waiting weeks for the UPS guy only to recieve a corporate notification that your shipment has been back-ordered and will arrive approximately 2 weeks after never?  Well, then, it's your lucky day!!

MATERIALS:
(1) BOX OF BAKING SODA
(1) BOTTLE OF DISTILLED WATER (1L)

EQUIPMENT:
(1) STAINLESS STEEL OR CAST-IRON POT
(1) STAINLESS STEEL SPOON
(1) SEALABLE PLASTIC OR GLASS BOTTLE
(1) KITCHEN RANGE (gas ranges are preferable but an electric will do)
(1) DUST MASK (optional but very highly recommended)
(1) FUNNEL

DO:
-ADD 1 CUP BAKING SODA TO POT AND SPREAD INTO EVEN LAYER.
-ON RANGE, ROAST BAKING SODA OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT.
-AS BAKING SODA BEGINS TO BUBBLE, USE SPOON TO GENTLY STIR.  **AVOID CREATING A DUST CLOUD OVER YOUR ROASTING POT.  A DUST MASK WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR EYES**
-WHEN CONTENTS OF POT SHOW NO FURTHER SIGNS OF GAS EVOLUTION, REMOVE FROM HEAT AND ALLOW TO COOL.
-ONCE SIDE OF ROASTING POT IS HOT TO TOUCH BUT NOT HOT ENOUGH TO BURN, RETURN TO LOW HEAT
-VERY SLOWLY ADD DISTILLED WATER  TO ROASTING POT WHILE STIRRING GENTLY UNTIL SODIUM CARBONATE IS COMPLETELY DISSOLVED OR YOU RUN OUT OF WATER.
-REMOVE FROM HEAT, COVER AND ALLOW TO COOL
-INSERT FUNNEL IN MOUTH OF SEALABLE GLASS OR PLASTIC BOTTLE AND POUR OFF LIQUID. 
-SEAL BOTTLE

**WARNING: SODIUM HYDROXIDE WILL CAUSE SOME PLASTICS TO BECOME BRITTLE OVER TIME.  ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES WHEN HANDLING AND KEEP AN EYEWASH BOTTLE FULL OF DILUTE VINEGAR HANDY.**

You are now the proud owner of an extremely useful piece of data and a bottle of sodium hydroxide with a concentration > or =  95%.  Try not to get it in your eyes.
Doesn't sodium bicarbonate decompose into sodium carbonate, water, and CO2? Obviously, the CO2 and water will simply be given off as gasses.
I have 2 questions then:
Does the average kitchen stove even reach 500+ F, and how do you turn NaCO3 into NaOH?
stoobers echaa10 months ago
Yessir, the average stove reaches way higher than 500 degrees!
You can drop zinc match box cars in a pot and melt them on the stove.
Or pennies. You can melt a whole pot of pennies (called pot metal). That is hot hot hot hot. You can feel the heat coming at you when you are near it.
There's absolutely no need to "make" your own sodium hydroxide....do a quick google search and you will find many resources for the chemical. Try this, i found it at Ace Hardware..... http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2845800&cp=2845052
As a general reply for everyone's consumption and as a corrective measure to cover some things I left out of the original proceedural comment:

1. So everyone knows what they're going for temperature-wise, sodium bicarbonate decomposes into sodium hydroxide at 270C/518F.

2. Addition of water to dry-state sodium hydroxide sets up an endothermic reaction. Do this very, very slowly with cold, distilled water to avoid all possibility of flash-boiling.
Thanks so much but I do have one question. Can you use the dry NaOH just like the stuff you use to be able to buy? I have been making biodiesel for years and the meth heads have made my life more difficult.
I'm a little fuzzy on bio-diesel process but if your unit calls for dry-state NaOH, then absolutely you can. Just be certain that the gas evolution step is 100% complete and you'll be good to go. If it wants for a solution of a specific concentration, that's a little bit of a different animal but still completely do-able.
Isn't sodium hydroxide the crystals in drano? Or maybe Canadian drano is different?
According to the label, there is sodium hydroxide in Crystal Drano. Whether or not that's what gives it that nice sparkle I can't say; according to Wikipedia the crystals are just common salt, but I only half-trust Wikipedia.

Anyway, given the other components of Crystal Drano, it probably wouldn't be suitable in this instance unless you could work out a process to remove the sodium nitrate, aluminium shavings and table salt...which actually sounds like a fun project in and of itself. Thanks for the idea!!!
Emsaid (author)  Dark Solar3 years ago
wow thanks for adding this!
Glad to be of service.
Can you make different colors other than blue?
s9k2 years ago
potassium ferricyanide is K3[Fe(CN)6] .
juanbullet3 years ago
when I was in the National Guard we cut a Chem Lite open and poured the liquid on an ---hole who was sleeping, then had him called to the commander's tent. Good laugh, but helped me know you can safely pour the fluid on children's Halloween costumes so they are easier to see from cars driving by.
Just because you could pour it on someone and not have instant pain and suffering doesn't mean its safe at all. I would not pour it on a kids costume you don't know how it might reacts to the materials the costume is made from. I'd worry most about some sort of fumes.
Usually the chem lite (glow sticks) say nontoxic on the packaging.
That sounds a lot like the actuall Bohr-Model of an atom. And yeah it works here ieven when it's not completly right.
pmendonça3 years ago
It glows because when you excite it(give it energy) the eletrons jump to a new energy level, when they jump back to their normal energy level, they release that extra energy in form of light.
s0peil3 years ago
how long it will glowing ?
sismart3 years ago
My question is, what do you recommend putting the mixture in to make it portable, yet safe? I can't very well give my child an open test tube to walk around with :P
I once purchased, I think @ Hobby Lobby, some plastic test tubes with screw on lids that would be perfect for this. They are actually unexpanded pop bottles. They are made of polycarbonate which is extremely tough, at room temperature you probably couldn't break one with a hammer. As a plus, the lids seal really well. They have to for soda pop. Look for them where kid's scientific stuff is sold. There, your crisis is solved.
By the way, my hat's off to the author. This is fascinating stuff.
mysss DabeAltis3 years ago
Or just give your child a test tube full of glowing green liquid and see what happens. ;-P
Dark Solar3 years ago
Oops, my fault. In the "make your own sodium hydroxide" comment, roasting of sodium bicarbonate DOES NOT CREATE SODIUM CARBONATE.

Rather, it converts NaHCO3 to NaOH (dry-state sodium hydroxide) by
driving off carbon dioxide.

I'm getting old...things are starting to slip away.    \: (
Will higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide help or hinder the end result?
help.
Treknology3 years ago
I would be doing all the intense mixing BEFORE adding the H202. Being as unstable as it is, you could well find that the free O- has escaped...
Even if you stir it, it takes years for the O2 in H202 to escape. It is not very unstable, until a catalyst is added.
Speedmite3 years ago
I like blue but, can you get other colors?
Use different chemicals than luminal
Speedmite3 years ago
Omg. Its like a cooking show, but it glows and would probably would kill you if you ate it. All measured out, and "But I prepared one earlier" is all in here.

Good ible. Might have to do this, looks cool.
toad3 years ago
Try putting it in the microwave, Makes it brighter but shortens the life.
You realize the ferrocyanide would break down in the microwave and create poisonous gas, right? Not a good idea. Cyanide is nasty stuff, and oly a little is necessary to put you 6 deep.
djbarista3 years ago
Maybe a little bit more time at school.....
usafa923 years ago
From the linked website for Potassium Ferricyanide - "Compound itself has low toxicity but decomposes on strong heating to evolve highly toxic fumes."

I guess that nixes the microwave idea. I'm leery of playing with anything with the word "cyanide" in it...
illovich3 years ago
I thought I should point out a small typo, which caused at least two errors in your instructions that could cause further confusion…  

1) "Luminal" is the trade name for phenobarbital, which is also the chemical formula that you list. Luminol ( C8 H7 N3 O2 ) is the chemiluminescent stuff that people want to make glowsticks.

2) C12 H12 N2 O3 is phenobarbital, which is a sedative and not chemiluminescent… It's a schedule-IV drug, which might be why searching for places to buy 'Luminal" won't be fruitful (and I wouldn't necessarily trust that what you got in the mail was Luminal anyway). 


mmm_chewy3 years ago
i found luminol here : http://crimescene.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products_id=49
Emsaid (author)  mmm_chewy3 years ago
oh thanks! i wasnt having much luck finding i
Emsaid (author)  Emsaid3 years ago
*it