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The Chemistry of Fireworks

Experience the hidden Chemistry inside...
by

Zack Froembling

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of The Chemistry of Fireworks

The History of Fireworks The Han dynasty in China invented firecrackers.
Chunks of green bamboo was thrown into the fire.
Inside, the air expanded as it was heated creating a loud BOOM! But the REAL fun began now... The air was trapped inside the pockets of the bamboo which then exploded.
Used to scare away spirits during the holidays. Gunpowder created during the Sui & Tang Dynasties Alchemists were experimenting to create an elixir of life. Sulfur, potassium nitrate, honey, and arsenic sulfide were mixed together to create a dangerous substance. Charcoal added in for a BIGGER & brighter firework Black powder = Gunpowder Chemist involved in the invention Li Tian Inserted gunpowder into the bamboo to create a more powerful firework Colors! Different Colors... Red Elements: Strontium & Lithium Salts Chemical Expression: Strontium Carbonate-SrCo3 Lithium Carbonate-Li2Co3 Orange Elements: Calcium Salts Chemical Expression: Calcium Chloride-CaCl2 Yellow Elements: Sodium Salts Chemical Expression: Sodium Chloride-NaCl Green Elements: Barium Compounds & a Chlorine producer Chemical Expression: Barium Chloride-BaCl2 Blue Elements: Copper Compounds & a Chlorine producer Chemical Expression: Copper (I) chloride-CuCl Purple Elements: Mixture of Strontium (red) and Copper (blue) compounds Silver Elements: Burning Aluminum, Titanium, or Magnesium Lift Charge- Gas trapped inside the cylinder builds up and pushes at the launch tube, sending it forward. Launch tube- a steel tube inside the firework
3 times bigger than the shells.
Travels upward Fuse- provides a time delay
Electrical wires create a spark as the electrical current rushes up the wire. Black Powder- allows the firework to explode
75% saltpeter , 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur. Stars- pellet or a small ball of flame.
Creates the colors in the sky
The color compounds are stored here. Bursting Charge- charge at the center of the shell
Causes the shell to burst open
Burning stars escape Sources Shell- circular or cylindrical paper
Produce a burst with different colors, shapes, and noise.
The Chinese and Europeans designed the shells. Chemical Reactions
and their causes... Oxidation/Combustion Reducing Agents Produces hot gases by burning the oxygen.
Examples: sulfur and charcoal
Speed of the reaction can be affected.
Stars will accelerate Regulators Regulate the speed in which the reaction is being produced.
Adding metals speed up the process.
The larger the surface, the faster the reaction Binders Holds the mixture together
Work as the firework is being lit.
Examples: dextrin & paron. How is the Sound Produced? Boom from the flash powder
The shell explodes as the burning chemical reaction releases the gas, creating noise. Energy releases into the air & begins to expand faster than the speed of sound.
Creates a shock wave, or a sonic boom. Fireworks in Action Electric current sent by a computer to the fuse.
A time fuse is also lit up, shooting the shell out of the mortar.
The more black powder inside, the higher up it goes
Release the stars when it reaches the designated height and fly off into all directions
The electrons in the metal give off light (photons).
Last 5 seconds after these steps How can we see these colors???? Coloring agents mix in the reaction.
The gas atoms collide, pushing the electrons in higher orbitals.
Energy is unleashed in the form of light containing the color.
Color is dependent on how much energy is discharged. Time fuse- lights up when it senses an electric signal.
The time fuse reaches the powder in the shell.
Stars burst out Break- holder of the stars
Located inside the shell
3 compartments with individual bursting charges Oxidizing agent
Oxygen is created to burn the reducing agents.
Oxidizers: nitrates, chlorates, and perchlorates.
Creates some type of heat (fire or light). Chemical Reactions and their causes Continued... So now that you're an expert on fireworks... Parts of a Firework The Chemistry of FIREWORKS! Chemistry history.com howstuffworks.com burchcom.com concieregepreferred.com deviantart.com wikimedia.com scienceblogs.com pyrotexfireworx.co.uk fireworkstown.com skylighter.com skylighter.com allsparkfireworks.com pbs.org howstuffworks.com skylighter.com acepyro.com nasa.gov glencoe.com shutterstock.com Embedded Video "Fireworks." Gale. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <ic.galegroup.com/ic/scic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=SCIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Reference&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&source=&search_within_results=&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CCV2646000449 >. "Fireworks!." Chemical of the Week. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/fireworks/fireworks.htm >. "The Chemistry of Fireworks." Glencoe Webquest. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <www.glencoe.com/sec/science/webquest/content/fireworks.shtml >. "The Chemistry of Fireworks." ThinkQuest. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <library.thinkquest.org/15384/chem/ >. Zachary Froembling Period 2 <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CNjggrxUQ78?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Questions?
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