How to Make Red Flames

Introduction: How to Make Red Flames

About: I build stuff because it isn't available to buy, or is too expensive, or the ones you can buy don't do what I want them to. Sometimes I don't have a reason, I just want to build something. For me it's about t…

I wanted to make Red, Blue, and Green flames for my fire breathing dragon mask. This is how I did the red.

Links to related projects:

Green Fire:

Blue Fire:

Fire Breathing Dragon Mask:

Step 1: Materials Required

Methanol, and either Strontium Nitrate, or Lithium,

You must use Methanol, or ethanol, because they burn with an invisible flame. If you use another fuel, they usually burn yellow, and will not give as clear and vivid colours.

Methanol is adsorbed through the skin. It damages the liver, and if you ingest 50ml or so, you can suffer from blindness which could be permanent. A cure for methanol poisoning is ethanol. But it's best to give your liver a rest and avoid the methanol in the first place.

Lithium can be found in energiser Lithium disposable batteries.

Step 2: Mixing Them Together

A stir plate isn't necessary, but an erlenmeyer flask and a stir bar will make life easier on you. I'd suggest a 500ml flask, My 1L is too big really. 250ml is probably too small for this:

Stir bars are pretty cheap:

You can easily make a stir plate out of a pc fan and two magnets.Instructions on how to make a stir plate:

The Strontium Nitrate doesn't dissolve in methanol. It does dissolve in water. The problem is that tap water contains contaminants which burn with a yellow flame. For this reason, deionised water must be used. Even if you try to dissolve it in hydrochloric acid, it still precipitates a salt.

I have been told that Lithium metal dissolves readily in methanol. It can be found in pure form within Energiser brand disposable lithium batteries.

You don't want to saturate it, because this could lead to precipitation. This means it comes out of solution, and causes problems with your system. I recommend mixing at the lowest temperature it will be stored, or used at. And once it is saturated, filter out the remaining solids, then top up with a splash of extra methanol. Just to ensure it stays in solution.

Step 3: Test It Out

Burn it, just do it in a well ventilated space. Don't breath in the fumes. Wear PPE as necessary. Follow the MSDS for the chemicals you buy.

  • You can burn it in an empty can.
  • Or use a spray bottle
  • Or even use a fuel injector off a car, though this is likely to break it.

Links to related projects:

Green Fire:

Blue Fire:

Fire Breathing Dragon Mask:

Be the First to Share


    • Photography Challenge

      Photography Challenge
    • One Board Contest

      One Board Contest
    • Raspberry Pi Contest

      Raspberry Pi Contest