How to Perform the Genie in a Bottle Demonstration


Introduction: How to Perform the Genie in a Bottle Demonstration

This Demonstration shows the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

100mL of 30% hydrogen peroxide is pour into a flask that is wrapped in aluminum foil. A small packet of 2 grams of manganesse dioxide MnO2 is wedged between the rubber stopper and the rim of the glass. When opened the packet releases and the reaction starts.

*****Important Note- There must be hole in the rubber stopper (use a 1 hole or two holed rubber stopper) incase the MnO2 reacts prematurely with the H2O2. It is not a sealed container and will not explode.



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20 Discussions

I believe that the aluminum foil is for heat absorption, so the glass beaker doesn't crack from thermal shock. As cytokine said, the reaction is exothermic, and unless that beaker is Pyrex, it would shatter. This is a guess, and, after all, I'm only 12!

1 reply

You could make sooo many movie effects with this. Very cool Is this toxic in any way? I mean can the fumes make you dizzy or something?

2 replies

regardless of what the answer is, do this in a well ventilated area. As previous posters pointed out, it's steam. steam usually means it's very hot. Not something you want to put your face near

The aluminum foil is to prevent the breakdown of the hydrogen peroxide into "heavy water"; that's why bottles of peroxide are always dark plastic. Light breaks it down.

You can also use beef liver as a catalyst for H2O2. I don't know what catalyst is in beef liver.

1 reply

INSTRUCTables..... this one would actually be fun to know how to do! why wrap the bottle in foil? what concentration of Peroxide? what else is in there? why is it PINK? Write it up, and tell us HOW to do it ourselves!

8 replies

I'm about 99% certain that the foil is just for show; it's supposed to be presented as a magic trick; you don't want the audience to see that when you open the stopper the bag of MnO2 drops into the fluid at the bottom.

There isn't anything else in the bottle, just the peroxide solution and the packet of MnO2 after the stopper is removed.

The smoke isn't pink; it's actually steam, the chemistry involved is this:
MnO2 + H2O2 ----> O2 + H2O + Mn+2 (sp)
The reaction is highly exothermic, thusly boiling the water and releasing steam. I think the lighting in the room, or the camera makes it look pink.

I have waaay too much time on my hands :)

Don't you mean:
2 H2O2 ---MnO2---> 2 H2O + O2
instead of:
MnO2 + H2O2 ----> O2 + H2O + Mn2
Because MnO2 is just a catalyst, it does not react with the H2O2 to make manganese metal.

it says 30% peroxide, an instructable doesn't have to tell you how it works just how to make it work, if you want to learn the complete reaction and chemistry behind it then look it up. peroxide and manganese dioxide are all that in it.