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For our lab, we did three experiments on chemical reactions.

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The first was a reaction between calcium metal and water. When we added water, the calcium began to bubble, producing hydrogen gas. When that hydrogen gas reacted with flames, there was a pop where a burst of flames occurred. This happened because hydrogen is highly combustible when lit in flames with a sufficient amount of oxygen. However, the combustion is weak so it only lasts a few moments.

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The second was a reaction between hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide in a test tube. When you put a splint with glowing embers in the tube, the flame is reignited. This happens because the splint still has 2 of the 3 necessities for flames to erupt; fuel and heat. When the chemical reaction happens, a high amount of oxygen gas is produced. When the splint is inserted, it has the third component oxygen, thus can burn.

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The last was a reaction between sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid in a tube. When you put a splint with flames in the tube, the flame is extinguished. This happens because the chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide, which has a characteristic of extinguishing fire by covering the oxygen fire needs to burn. Therefore, when the tube is inserted, it gets in contact with the carbon dioxide, thus losing the oxygen it needs to continue burning.

I think this was a cool lab because it gives you an insight on the reactions that can occur when you react certain elements with fire. It may prove useful as it may save your life. For example, we all know that Coke and Mentos don’t really go well together. That’s also a chemical reaction. Much like that, now we know not to expose too much oxygen around a campfire. Or, we know that some fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to help neutralize a fire.