Introduction: How to Make Green Fire.

Mix Heet Antifreeze, with Boric Acid (commonly found as roach killer), and light!
Its that easy.
But why does this happen?
Because, Boric Acid is a boron containing compound... Any boron-containing compound will cause flames to emit a green colour.

When boron compounds are heated, electrons absorb a certain amount of heat energy that causes them to jump to higher energy levels. After some time, the electrons lose this energy and fall back down to their original levels, emitting this energy in the form of light. Because the energy absorbed by electrons is different per element, each element will give a different colour.


pgach (author)2014-10-21

Illinois Cub Scouts Burned in Chemical Explosion

wannabemadsci (author)pgach2015-04-07

Very sad to see people, especially children, hurt.

People need to understand what they are working with and take appropriate precautions.

The HEET automotive gasoline additive (gas-line antifreeze) contains methyl alcohol (methanol) which is very flammable. Explosive vapors are generated from the time the liquid is dispensed from its sealed container until it is ignited (the flashpoint of methanol is as low as 52F). The explosive limit, air to fuel ration, ranges from 6 to 36% (gasoline only ranges from 1.4 to 7.6% air/fuel mixture) so methanol can be explosive over a greater range of air fuel mixtures than gasoline.

Too much time probably elapsed from when the methanol was dispensed until it was intended to be ignited and a cloud of explosive vapors formed which were ignited with dire consequences.

Make sure if you perform this instructable that you do so outside and make sure that the mixture is ignited as soon as is practicable after dispensing the methanol (HEET). Stay safe and be smart.

d2j5 (author)2009-09-19

wont...that like kill you? under boric acid it said roch killer........

hqdiyexplorer (author)d2j52012-11-04

check out the link:
and its fire diamond on the same page, but scroll a little up.

spotty mcgee (author)2009-07-26

would burning copper salts produce the same results from a much safer compound that isn't deadly.

VIRON (author)spotty mcgee2009-08-27

Boric Acid is similarly toxic as salt, except that people have no reason to eat it. It kills bugs in hair and fungus on skin. It kills bugs by making them unable to eat. It is probably the weakest acid. Salt kills earthworms and slugs. Copper dust or thin wires do make fire green too.

hqdiyexplorer (author)VIRON2012-11-04

what about carbonic acid??? as far as weakest acid is concerned???

yeah, it probably would. Since the copper (or copper compound) in the crystal is bound by electrons basically 'magnetized' to protons of the other compound, you could probably dissolve as much of the salt as you can in almost boiling water and then burn it

Green Silver (author)2012-10-31

That'll look good n an oil lamp.

Evilblaze (author)2009-06-21

Why does this happens? Not correct. Boric acid and methanol forms boric acid methyl ester and when this ester burns, than it will cause this light. It also works with ethanol, but than you should add some cc sulfuric acid as a catalyst to form boric acid ethyl ester.

bentcyclist (author)Evilblaze2011-09-16

Please change your than to then.

amaziliauskas (author)2011-09-14

do you have to use heet antifreeze or i can use other antifreeze?

thelastonekills (author)2011-05-07

this is cool!! 5/5

tranoxx (author)2010-10-02

How long will it burn for?

luka1184 (author)2010-04-22

How can and do you even learn how to guess what things in both scince, technology, electronically and substances and WHATEVR, which can work together? And how the hell did the first sciencetists found out and learned it?

I need to make Withccraft fake flames for fun, only to expereince. I'am not really interesting in it like that.

Cya my friends!

PS I would apreciate a FAST and EASY way to learn this, AT HOME ;D Bye bye, and live on happily.

thartaros (author)2009-07-23

does the fire create toxic fumes? because as far as i know you're burning two chemicals that can kill humans. also is there a way to make this into candle form, or maybe like an oil lamp?

TechNerd1012 (author)thartaros2010-03-07

If it does create toxic fumes, as long as you do it outside, you should be fine (given that youre not mutting your face right over it and breathing it in deeply)

as for the oil lamp, you could probably just put this mixture into the part of the lamp where the oil goes

FuyuKitsune (author)2009-07-02

My trick is mixing isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and sugar. The sugar burns blue and the alcohol burns yellow, but it's not as cool as this. That bright-green is sweet.

gorgo333 (author)FuyuKitsune2009-07-19

that doesnt work.

FuyuKitsune (author)gorgo3332009-09-19

oh, the alcohol burns blue :P sorry the only liquid I can think of that burns yellow is gas. Ima try that later

iMac (author)FuyuKitsune2010-01-11

Sodium burns yellow, so maybe you got sugar and salt mixed up.

iLikeCoolStuf (author)2009-06-24


tailboy (author)2009-06-15

thats pretty neat!

___ (author)2009-06-13


westfw (author)2009-06-13

"Heet Antifreeze" (actually, isn't it more a de-watering agent for gasoline?) is Pretty pure methyl alcohol. My understanding is that the alcohol actually reacts with the boric acid to produce methyl borate, which is both flammable and soluble in the alcohol, which makes this work much better than other similar demonstrations.

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