This instructable shows the use of Copper Chloride as a fire colourant and the production of a small candle which can be used with a standard candle holder.

First of all, let me adress the fact that this, like most coloured fires, involves some chemicals that are not very good for the enviroment. So only small quantities were used (and only small quantities are needed, it's quite strong stuff)

That said the substances used are not thát dangerous or poisonous. More like a 'maybe-you-should-wear-gloves' or a 'try-not-to-get-it-in-your-eyes' kind of poisonous.
The main problem is that they are quite corrosive. (see later)

I know green fire has been done before, but mostly with Heet and Boric acid. Not much people have used Copper Chloride. Besides, it is mainly blue fire (see last step).

This instructable is mainly a response to The Green Gentleman's   'Spirit Lantern'  since it provides an alternative fuel that doesn't produce the white smoke that settles onto everything.
I made the candle with a test tube so it fits in a candle holder, but of course it can be used in his lantern. However, the main additives and combustion products are a bit corrosive and that perhaps requires some modifications.

And perhapse also a response to The Real Elliot 's 'Better etching solution' instructable since this is the etching method I used.
However it is not a way of getting rid of the waste. Since I used very, very small quantities.

Besides some complications and restrictions because of the corrosivity it is pretty basic and the result is a nice colourful flame.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

This is a list of all things used for the candle. Everything can be switched by other things but try to avoid reactive metals such as aluminium.
Note that this was just some personal entertainment, I did not measure much. The quantities of the Copper chloride are so small that it is no use of measuring them with a kitchen scale.

At the bottom are some comments on the chemicals involved.


    A small test tube. 
    (Probably not a real one, it came with some advertisement I think. But the flat bottom is great and it fits in a candle holder)

    The lid of a jar.

    Some thick copper electrical wire. (I used 1.3 mm)

    A bolt (see later, it must just be something cylindrical)

    An old cotton rag.

    Maybe some string.

Tools used:

    Small pliers

    Tin snips

    Old dull X-acto knife

    2 small files

    A piece of sand paper

    A nail (4 mm thick)

For the fuel.

    I used 85% ethanol (alcohol)

    CuCl2 / CuCl  (the etching waste basicly,  not much is needed, I think I didn't use more than 1/10 th of a gram for this entire instructable. (except in the next step of course) )

The main components are CuCl , CuCl2 and methanol.  And since you burn them together with alcohol, you get mainly HCl and some HOCl as the main combustion products (besides the normal ones COand H2O). And some Cu, but most of that stays on the wick. Yes, these are a bit corrosive but in small quantities they don't do very much.
Don't burn this candle in a small room or area.

Also, those CuCl , CuCl2 like attacking other metals. Try to avoid contact from e.g. Iron with the solution. Also keep it away from alluminium it just gets eaten.
Just type it in google, it is quite interesting stuff.

Basicly think 'fungicide' for the copper compounds (because they are (sort of) ) and treat them as a 'cide' and you'll be fine.

HCl is HCl, just don't breath that in too much.  (think puke, it smells anyway)
HOCl look at wikipedia, it pretty much decays into H2O andn ClJust don't breath that in too. (think bleach)

That Is a very good idea!! Thank you for the Inspiration!
You're welcome!
oh my god this is cool someone should make a slytherin themed silver holder that would look so awesome
Thanks! <br> <br>
Excellent photos and instruction! I have only one correction, the alcohol does not move up the wick via osmosis, it does this by capillary action or capillarity. This is very similar to when you stick a stalk of celery in a glass of colored water or if you stick a piece of wood in some water, the will start to get wet above the water line.
Thanks, <br> <br>Yes, I may have generalised osmosis too much. <br>Thanks for noticing! I've fixed it.
OH ! Very nice !!
Excellent photos for this instructable!
Hey, I really like this! Thanks for the nod!
You're welcome!

About This Instructable




Bio: I work in optical design.
More by Sparticles:Small Wimshurst generator from cardboard and CDs A cardboard televisor (with arduino and LEDs) Etching waste green/blue candle 
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