Introduction: Making Solid Rocket Fuel in the Lab
Music: Kevin MacLeod Once used as solid rocket fuel, because the reaction requires no oxygen. Sulfur and zinc react vigorously. The reaction with zinc produces flame and a near explosion. Sparks fly and smoke billows in this dramatic chemical demonstration. Please do not try this one at home.
Zinc is a bluish-white metal used to galvanize iron, and is also found in alloys, batteries, and rubber. Sulfur is a yellow, brittle nonmetal; it can also be found in a powered form. Zinc and sulfur react with each other violently to produce zinc sulfide; the reaction is accompanied by a vigorous evolution of gas, heat, and light:
Zn(s) + S(s) ââ> ZnS(s) [one of the easier
The products of the reaction also include small amounts of zinc oxide (ZnO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
!!! Hazards !!!
This reaction produces a great deal of heat energy; clear the area of flammable materials.
This reaction must be performed in a fume hood or some open, well-ventilated area. If you do this in a fume hood, be prepared to spend some time wiping zinc sulfide powder off all of the surfaces in the hood.