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How do I collect the oxygen from the reaction of hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide? Answered

I believe that the reaction between the black, powdery manganese dioxide found within carbon-zinc batteries, and household-variety hydrogen peroxide produces oxygen. However, it is my understanding that oxygen is heavier than air, and will therefore that collecting the gas will not be as simple a matter as seen in steven07's Instructable on producing and collecting hydrogen.

Unless I'm completely wrong, and a reaction that produces oxygen will inflate the balloon. :P

Or, does anyone else have another way of collecting the gas?


can i use measuring cylinder full off water to measure the volume of oxygen

If your looking for a solid container Try Water Displacement...... wait would that even work...... O2 moving through H2O??? or Would you just get H2O2 Again??

Water displacement would work fine. Hydrogen Peroxide formation is not energetically favorable in most cases. Producing it involves electrolysis of Sulfuric acid in the presence of an organic molecule followed by hydrolysis of the organic reactant.

How pure do you need the O2? The gases will mix, if you minimize the volume of air it would help.

Have you looked at these old articles for ideas on how to set up a lab? Or, if you can find it, 'The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments' (28 meg pdf if you can figure a way for me to get it to you) for 'low tech' ways of setting up. It was a torrent file for a while, I don't know if it still is.

. Great link! Don't know which I like better, the articles or the ads. ;)

Or, if you can find it, 'The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments

Hehe, I've had that for a while now. I wish I had the time to really follow through and get the whole experience.

So, would the balloon inflate?

I don't need the gas to be anything special. I just like toying with elements, (Come on! The building blocks of...well, everything! :D )


11 years ago

The balloon will inflate and fill with oxygen. The added pressure is plenty to overcome the "heavier than air" issue. (Hmm. I wonder how a rubber balloon filled with oxygen reacts to a flame. Rubber burns, and it might burn REALLY WELL with enough pure O2 nearby.)

That would be my take on it too. Oxygen doesn't "burn itself" but combines with another substance in order to cause burning, and a violent combining produces heat and flame. A red hot thin splinter of steel plunged into a test tube filled with pure O2 will burst into flames.

Doh! I spaced on the whole "added presure" thing. Thanks.

hi im an a-level chemistry student and this is something that we look at quite alot if you are just trying to collect oxygen (O2) from the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) then you can just put a piece of potato into the H2O2 and the O2 will be released and the H2O will be left in the solution. the O2 is heavier than air approx. 1.1 times so not by a great amount. the balloon thing will kind of catch fire but there is nothing special try adding hydrogen can be produced easily from reactions of magnesium ribbon with an acid add these to and there is a great mix. i have wrote too much now and i doubt anyone will read it but if anyone is interested i have loads of little experiments with this kind of thing so message me

Hi! I read your comments and I think you can help me out (for the catalyst test), at school I got a lab quiz about collecting oxygen from a reaction of hydrogen peroxide and potato, what can I do to collect these oxygen and measure the amount of it?

What made you think that nobody would read your comment? :P I unfortunately, am all out of magnesium, but I usually mix zinc with sodium hydroxide to produce hydrogen, anyway. (It's a "clean" reaction). Thanks for the tip, though.

try making bubles like ones that are made wen you was a kid these burn really well

You should be able to do the ballon method or if you have enough peroxide or if you want to collect pure oxygen you can make a water bubbler to collect the gas:


2 H2O2 ==> 2 H2O + O2