Chemistry

Elephant Toothpaste

Hello everyone.  I am having a problem with the elephant toothpaste.  I am using yeast, potassium Iodide, and sodium iodide.  These are all working, but i am looking for the wow factor.  I have viewed some videos where the toothpaste shoots up out of the bottle.  Does anyone know what the catalyst is?  The ones i have been using it just oozes out.  

Jesus Sustaita
Jesus Sustaita
10 Activity Points

Are you using 30% hydrogen peroxide from a chemical supply (like Flinn)? A long narrow container, like a graduated cylinder also helps. I use potassium iodide and typically get a nice fountain followed by oozing.

Rebecca Falin
Rebecca Falin
71380 Activity Points

Jesus, I find much less expensive 30% H2O2 at a local store that sells water purification systems. The concentration is key since the reaction is exothermic enough to auto-accelerate. Be sure you test it with small amounts first, because those higher concentrations of H2O2 present additional hazards. Best, Bryan=

BRYAN SMITH
Bryan Smith
310 Activity Points

I have done all that, but on some videos the toothpaste goes flying out about 10 ft. Any more ideas?

Jesus Sustaita
Jesus Sustaita
10 Activity Points

The key to a fast, huge eruption is pressure. If you use a graduated cylinder you do not get as much pressure forcing the material out of the top as you would if you used a large conical flask. Larger reaction area at the base (more gas produced) confined at the neck/mouth of the flask, resulting in greater pressure and a more dramatic eruption. Steve Spangler has some material on a patriotic demo (https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/blog/2011/07/04/patriotic-monster-foam-exploding-hydrogen-peroxide/). If you look at the picture you see that they are using conical flasks. **I get the 30% H2O2 from a pool supply store (Leslie's).

Cris DeWolf
Cris DeWolf
11285 Activity Points

Ok. Thank you. I will try it that way. I have been using a graduated cylinder.

Jesus Sustaita
Jesus Sustaita
10 Activity Points

Jesus, It also might be the age of your 30% hydrogen peroxide. H2O2 will degrade over time so depending on its age, it will not actually be 30%. When did you purchase your hydrogen peroxide?

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
58310 Activity Points

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