Pouring Gas

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Blow out a candle by pouring a gas produced by a simple chemical reaction into a container with a lit candle inside it.


Container such as a vase or jug
Candle (a Tea-light would be ideal)
Matches or a lighter
Large Cup or Glass
Bicarbonate of Soda


In a large cup or glass pour about an inch or so of vinegar.
Light the candle and place it inside the vase or jug.
Add approximately a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda to the Vinegar.
Hold your hand over the top of the glass containing the vinegar solution while it bubbles away.
Removing your hand from the top of the glass, pick up the glass and carefully pour the collected gas into the container with the lit candle inside.
(Try not to pour any of the vinegar solution into the container).
The Candle will go out.

The Science:
The reaction between the Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda produces Carbon Dioxide, a gas which is heavier than Air.
Once this gas is collected in the glass above the Vinegar solution you are able to pour it into the container with the lit candle in, as it sinks below the air and displaces it.
Fire requires Oxygen (from the air) in order to burn, by excluding the air, you are taking away the necessary oxygen, and forcing the flame to go out.


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Badge Links

  • Scientist - Solution
  • Scientist - Vinegar