Flaming Peeps Experiment


The King of Random


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Hey guys welcome back to the King of Random cooking show where today were cooking with a fun little chemical called potassium chlorate. Now's that time of year where these little marshmallow peeps are popping up all around the local grocery store. So i ran down to pick up a few boxes to see if it would assist us with out chemical experiment today Now in addition to these seasonal flavors here, I also picked up some pink bunny rabbits as well as some white Easter eggs not that it makes any kind of a difference to the reaction itself ,but it just adds a little variety So what exactly is potassium chlorate? Well let me tell you a little bit about this cool chemical substance I have in my possession today. As you can see potassium chlorate is a very fine white crystalline substance now this stuff's been reduced down to a very very fine powder because it's used for pyrotechnics I got this stuff from a pyrotechnic supply company because it's a very strong oxidizer used in manufacturing fireworks but it's also the main component in the match heads you have in your boxing matches at home it's a very reactive material once it's mixed with a fuel but by itself it actually won't burn instead if we can throw enough heat at it we can actually get it to melt down because it's actually got a melting point around 672 degrees Fahrenheit so this is the purpose of our experiment today let's melt down our potassium chlorate into a hot molten bath then take one of our little marshmallow peeps and let them go for a swim and observe what happens it really looks and feels a lot like powdered sugar that should be more than enough it's a quick update on what I'm thinking here guys we're going to get this stuff up to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit and I'd really like the reaction to take place inside of a glass now the problem is glass is sensitive to thermal shock and if we take a blowtorch to it it will probably shatter into a million pieces. So what im hoping we could do is liquify the potassium chlorate in the pan first and transfer it slowly into the glass where it may have a little bit better chance of staying intact if it does we should be good to go and if it doesn't we'll just find another way I'm using a map gas torch which produces a very very hot flame so I'm just going to sweep that back and forth over the white powder until it liquifies and I've never actually liquidfied potassium chlorate before so I'm very interested to see how this looks glasses on for safety let's rock there we go you'd actually already see at the top there parts of it are liquifying and melting down and the edges here are spewing looks like they're reacting with something maybe that's the nonstick surface of the pan itself not exactly sure but doesn't look like it's taking too much to melt this down it's definitely a different reaction than if you were to try this with sugar the sugar would just burn and turn black you can see this is turning into a very translucent liquid syrup it's not sticking anymore that's a good sign our potassium chloride is completely molten now it's not even sticking to the pot anymore so let's go ahead and transfer it to glass my only concern is whether or not the glass will hold up there's a possibility it will just crack and splatter this stuff everywhere that glass warmed up a little bit very carefully make the transfer cool holding up so far now that we've got our potassium chlorate completely liquefied let's take one of our fruit punch flavored peeps and let them go for a swim pretty oh this one looks like he's crying oh don't worry little buddy it'll be over soon that's so wrong isn't it what's going to happen three two one oh my goodness oh my goodness oh there goes a glass that is crazy I can't believe how quickly that took off this looks like instant reaction just burst right into flames like the second it made contact there was barely enough time to get my hands away guys you got to come check this out there is nothing left of that red peep look it is completely disintegrated all that's left is a little tiny bit of black ash residue but other than that it is gone you can see our potassium chlorate has actually solidified again back into this big white blob look there goes el sweet so it looks like this stuff is castable look at that I just cast it into a cone shape that's kind of fun that reaction took off immediately burst into these bright magenta pink flames very very vigorous and produced a lot of smoke that was pretty cool and you can see from the heat of the reaction the glass actually did end up exploding everywhere which is why I put this plate underneath it so we could recapture some of the potassium chlorate and use it again it's expensive stuff you know for our next experiment I thought it would be fun to try one of these decorated marshmallow Easter eggs so let's recapture some of our potassium chlorate melt it down and let it up oh there goes the glass look at that egg glass is done so you get for getting your glass at the dollar store okay so that was kind of expected when I poured the potassium chloride into the glass it sat there for like just a couple of seconds and then completely shattered because it wasn't able to withstand the thermal shock we're down to our last glass here I'm not very confident it's going to hold up either let's go ahead and put it to the test anyway you see there are chunks of glass still stuck in there but those are going to come right out in solution let's see how those glass pieces are free now freedom and the separate the night out will the glass survive here we go alright so far so good let's go ahead and throw in our egg I'm going to be a little bit guts here now that I've got the tongs here here we go and contact Wow okay I was going to say look underneath there look at the color of those flames see how you got like beautiful magenta pink some orange in there so as much as I wanted to do these experiments in glasses they're not holding up very well to the heat you can see that just within a few seconds of pouring the molten potassium chlorate oh there goes the plate plate just cracked so as much as I want to do this reaction inside of glass containers they don't hold up very well to the heat at all you can see that within a few seconds of the liquid making contact with the glass it shatters and spills out the molten material and then it very quickly solidifies and the reaction stops so for our next experiment let's try placing our peeps down below and melting the potassium chlorate from above so it drips down on the marshmallow and watch what happens in that scenario there and I'm just going to let that cool down and solidify she give us a nice little chunk cuz you gotta enter so here we are I've got a nice chunk of our chlorate melted down and Risa Lydda fide now we're just going to hold a flame to it and drip it down onto our peeps that's so cool you can see how it balls up on the top and then just explodes boom this stuff drips off when it hits the marshmallow it has such a vigorous reaction it just explodes sweet let's do that again but a little bit longer what we saw in that last experiment was a lot more stability and control because we were able to regulate the flow of potassium chlorate down onto the peeps themselves when the stuff actually hit the peeps it seemed to ball up into a very vigorous reaction and then explode for one final experiment let's mix up one large batch of molten potassium chlorate in the pan itself and take a whole peat party and throw the whole lot in at once that's so cool huh oh look at that guys we have a huge pot full of molten potassium chlorate let's get ready for the Big Finish let's do it Pete Pete Pete we don't want these guys to be left out of the party the smoke coming off that's incredible whoo and look at those flames we've got magenta we've got pink we got kind of like purplish whitish flames going on in there as well and the reaction just died out does that mean we used up all of our potassium chlorate that quickly what or did it just solidify and look yeah all the potassium chlorate is gone that's amazing that burned up so fast look at that goopy glue a mass of molten pipi marshmallows this one's still growing look at that that looks pretty trippy check that out these marshmallows are still on fire though from the heat of the reaction let's stop and take just a second to recap what we did here today we learned about a chemical called potassium chlorate that's used as an oxidizer and building fireworks it's normally a crystal or a fine white powder but if we get a hot enough it'll completely liquefy we found that if we mix this molten potassium chlorate with peeps it bursts into a very vigorous reaction of pink purple and magenta flames very appropriate for Easter we also found that the liquid is so hot that if we pour it into a glass it'll shatter within seconds due to the thermal shock so we tried dripping it onto the piece from above where we saw the reaction caused it to ball up and explode we finished up our experiments with a whole pan full of liquid chlorate and threw in a whole Easter party it beeps at once that reaction took off very vigorously producing a lot of black smoke and even brighter purple pink and even white flames that we hadn't seen before very cool chemical experiments and the perfect day to do them we also discovered that even using all that potassium chlorate it was still the limiting factor in the reaction because it disappeared before all the marshmallows did well there you have it hey thanks for joining me for this experiment guys it's been fun hanging out with you peeps and I'll be looking for you the next video talk to you that if I was addicted to any white substance it probably testing for a chlorate you