Introduction: How To: Ghastly Green Fire, at Home! (And Why It Burns Green...)
Remember to read any precautions on the Borax and Methanol labels carefully before starting this experiment.
Hello, today I am going to demonstrate how to make some awesome, vividly Green colored flames, using some ingredients you can find at your local Super-Mart.
The only thing(s) you should need to buy is: (Possibly not if you already have them)
-Methanol (Methyl Alcohol) Can be found sold under the name of "Heet", it is used as a Gasline Antifreeze. It should be able to be found in any store that sells auto parts. (Comes in a yellow container.)
Note: "Iso-Heet" is not the same thing as "Heet." As it is instead Isopropanol (Isopropyl Alcohol), and this should not be used. Aside from clearly saying "Iso-Heet" on the bottle, it instead comes in a Red container so it should be easy to distinguish between the two.
-The second ingredient is simple Sodium Borate, better know as Borax. This is used as a laundry booster, and as cleaning agent. As such, it should be able to be found anywhere those items are sold.
Note: If by chance you have Boric Acid instead of Borax, you can use it instead in the same way.
Other things you'll need, but probably have already laying around:
-Scooping/Mixing Utensil (Spoon, Popsicle stick, Ect.)
-Fireproof Bowl, Preferably Metal
If you have all of these, we can move onto the next step.
Step 1: Mix the Ingredients
This step is simple, just take some of the Methyl Alcohol or "Heet" (I'm using about half a cup) and add it too your Fire-Safe bowl.
Next take some of your Borax (Also known as Sodium Borate, Sodium Tetraborate or Disodium Tetraborate) and also add it to your bowl (You could also instead use Boric acid if you have it.) I'm using a couple of spoonfuls, you should note that it doesn't take that much. You should then stir it for around for about 30 seconds.
By mixing the Disodium Borate (Borax) with the Methanol ("Heet") what we are doing is synthesizing Trimethyl Borate, which burns distinctively Green due to the presence of the Element Boron.
So after you have thoroughly mixed it up, all you have to do is light it with a Match or such. Remember, keep your hands away from where the flames will be to avoid accidentally burning yourself. If all is right, you should have some really cool green flames to look at.
After awhile though you'll more than likely start getting some Golden Yellow highlights to the flames, and then eventually they'll turn yellow all together. This is simply from the flame burning down enough that it reaches the Sodium Borate. The Sodium Borate burns distinctively yellow due to the presence of the Element Sodium. This overpowers the Green color of the Boron fairly easily.
This is why using only a little Borax is better than using a whole bunch. If you use Boric acid however, this shouldn't happen seeing as it contains no Sodium.
Welp that's it, just remember to have fun and be safe, this is playing with fire after all!
On one last note, this doesn't produce any particularly harmful fumes while burning but it will produce CO2, and large amounts of this can be bad. So just to be safe, please do this in a well ventilated area or even outside. This can also cause certain fire alarms to trigger (Ionization Fire-Alarms in particular) so unless you want a sudden scare, it's best to once again do this in a well ventilated area or outside away from any of said alarms.
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